Josée Poitras: A Francophone student to listen to!

IMG_2102An MA student in audiology at the University of Ottawa, Josée Poitras left her native New Brunswick to continue studies in the health field. Here is a portrait of the bilingual student who loves to share her experiences with others and is proud to study in French.

"I'm originally from Bathurst, a small town northeast of New Brunswick,” she says. “This is a fairly bilingual region. I grew up with a French father and an English mother, so I’ve always used both languages. My education was done in French and at home we spoke more English."

With a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Moncton, Josée continued her studies in Ottawa in the field of translation before turning to audiology. "French is the dominant language of my studies,” she said. “I really wanted to study science in French, since I come from a region where bilingualism is important. I want to offer services in both languages ??if I return to my area to work after my studies."


Through the Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS) at the University of Ottawa, students from Francophone minority communities are given improved access to programs of study in the health-related fields (Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Medicine). As Josée explains, the CNFS plays an important role in her education, which is why she participates fully in its activities. "The CNFS does many things for us [French students], so I try to get involved as much as I can in their activities."

For example, the student has participated in several conferences and lectures organized by the CNFS. She also accompanied the CNFS in career exploration days for Francophone secondary students in Edmonton and Caraquet. "At their age, I wasn’t aware of the options that I had to study in the health sciences,” she says. “These events are an opportunity to show them all the opportunities available for studies in French in the health field."


This year, she participated in the CNFS Ambassador project, an initiative to help students in targeted programs originating from provinces where French is the minority language, to integrate into their new environment. A 1st year student is paired with a student in 2nd year to offer support and guidance in their educational and social initiatives. "I know what it's like to come from a small region and arrive in Ottawa in the big city,” says Josée. “I try to make myself available to new students by answering their questions and sending them information on activities. It’s interesting to build bridges between Francophones!"

Needed support

During her studies in audiology at the University of Ottawa, Josée has received various financial supports that, for her, have been essential. In particular, she benefited from financial support for travel expenses for an internship she did in her home province, as well as a $9500 summer scholarship to initiate research on her project entitled, Listening to speech in the presence of background noise.

Also, she was eligible to obtain software to assist her in editing papers through the CNFS’s Projet Antidote. "It's a great program,” says Josée. “It helped me to prepare documents in French. I now never submit anything to my teachers before passing on my work to Antidote!"

The CNFS is proud to have such a committed student and wishes every success to Josée for the rest of her studies in French!

The National Consortium Health Training - University of Ottawa division is an initiative funded by Health Canada under the Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages ??2013 - 2018: Education, Immigration, Communities.