Emily-Rose Smegal

Pointe-de-l'Église (N.S.), January 29th, 2018 – In January 2017, Emily-Rose Smegal, who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (Major in Art History) from the University of Toronto and has over 15 years of professional experience in design, marketing and communications, knew that the time had come to change careers.

As an activist for causes such as feminism, social justice and the elimination of bullying, she wanted to align her passions with her professional life and chose to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher. It is said that it takes a village to raise a child and Emily-Rose wanted to assume her share of responsibility for the development of future generations.

However, she discovered that in the Greater Toronto area, most recent graduates of teacher education programs face a highly competitive job market. She did not want to embark on a career where it is hard to land permanent employment.

The opposite is true for teachers who graduate from French Second Language or French First Language programs. They hold a privileged position on the job market and easily and quickly find employment after earning their diploma. Fortunately, Emily-Rose was enrolled in a French Immersion program from kindergarten to the end of secondary school, in addition to using her French from time to time as part of her work. As such, she quickly realised that speaking French afforded her a considerable advantage and decided to pursue a Bachelor of Education in French.

In preparation for her return to academic studies and to further develop her French, Emily-Rose enrolled in the Spring French Immersion session at Université Sainte-Anne. She also accepted to stay for the Summer session to work as an immersion camp counsellor. In September 2017, she decided to enrol in the Integrated French Immersion Option program to further her goal of pursuing a Bachelor of Education degree at Université Sainte-Anne.

“When I participated in the French Immersion sessions, I soon realised what an advantage a small university campus could be. Everyone knows me by name and the service level is extremely customised. As a mature student, I feel that the community embraced me with open arms and that everyone gave an extra effort to ensure my success,” explains Emily-Rose.

François Bélanger, French Immersion Program Director, supervises a group of students who are preparing to sit for the DELF-DALF exam. Emily-Rose joined this group to increase her chances of passing this exam. Moreover, she has landed two on-campus student jobs. Her first job was as a library monitor, and the second was as a tutor at the “Centre d'appui aux études postsecondaires” (“Postsecondary Studies Support Centre”). Finally, every Wednesday, she goes to CIFA, the community radio station, to participate in a show along with other French Immersion students. They hold discussions with the host on topical issues or subjects that interest them, all while practicing their French.

“My mother, who lives in Toronto, as well as my sister, who lives in England, listen to me on the radio each Wednesday. It's a shame that they don't understand a single thing I'm saying!” she tells us with a smile.

As she eats, sleeps, studies, works and plays in French 24/7, Emily-Rose is gaining a considerable degree of skill and confidence in French. At the same time, Université Sainte-Anne is delighted to count an involved, persevering and confident young woman among its students.

About Université Sainte-Anne

Université Sainte-Anne, the only French language post-secondary institution in Nova Scotia, offers university and college-level courses as well as a French immersion program and customized training in French as a second language. Recognized for its excellent programs as well as its unique and exceptional living environment, Sainte-Anne offers experiential learning opportunities that promote student engagement and success, and an atmosphere which encourages a culture of excellence in research and development. Solidly established in its community, Université Sainte-Anne is a partner of choice for all those who wish to strengthen the vitality of the regions surrounding its 5 campuses as well as all of Acadie throughout Nova Scotia.

For more information

Rachelle LeBlanc, Director of Communications and Marketing
Université Sainte-Anne
Tel. : 902-769-2114 Extension 7222
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Only some of our news updates are published in English.

To see all our news, visit the Actualités page.