About Concordia experience:
When I started my major in fine arts at Concordia, the first big effort was to make the transition linguistically from French to English. Every subject I read about while I was in CÉGEP needed to be adjusted. I kind of dealt through with it for my first year in a half before it became more natural. Fortunately, I was able to submit essays in French when I felt comfortable enough with incorporating new content translated from English. Then it became pretty irrelevant for me to keep on writing my essays in French since I became bilingual throughout the years and could just think, sort through my ideas using both languages.
Having francophone friends on campus felt reassuring to a certain extent. Also, it allowed me to discuss my work along with other people’s work in both languages as well. At the beginning, it helped me be more comfortable during critiques because I think verbalizing abstract thoughts was the hardest. Having friends to rely on felt good when I was on the spot and looking for my words. I will be entering my fourth year in the painting and drawing program, and I still need people to back me up sometimes because I’m losing my tracks. But that’s just how I am.
I don’t feel like the studio environment separates the francophones and the anglophones at all. You’ll speak to everyone if you stay there long enough and walk around the studios, just being curious. I think people should not be afraid to walk around and start conversation with classmates, or studio mates, or even random teachers. People won’t always necessarily engage with you voluntarily, therefore, building on hope they will is probably not going to help building connections in the long run.