Justine Cascanette has dreamed of becoming bilingual since she was a little girl. While she did not grow up speaking French, the culture is part of her family’s heritage and she has long admired the language itself, with its poetic sounds and elegant expressions.

Having first completed a Core French program at Thom Collegiate in Regina, Justine’s passion for the language grew after taking a summer intensive at the University of Regina. This course inspired her to complete the Certificate in French as a Second Language program in 2010, which she describes as an unforgettable experience where her dream of becoming bilingual was finally realized.

I loved the program, the instructors and the learning environment!

With her newfound knowledge, skills, and confidence in French, Justine went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts with a French major. It was throughout her studies that she discovered Francophone culture and the Fransaskois community. Memorable experiences also include receiving several scholarships such as the Marshall Owen Lundlie award ($950) and the Book Prize for the Department of French.

With her degree in hand, Justine joined the Association des juristes d’expression française de la Saskatchewan (AJEFS), a non-profit law society serving the Fransaskois community, where she worked for two years. From there, she moved to Farm Credit Canada (FCC) in Regina, first as a bilingual administrative assistant before accepting a role in human resources. She is also a skilled pianist and teaches piano in both official languages at the Conservatory of Performing Arts in Regina.

Justine traces a large part her professional success back to her studies in French.

It is not cliché to say that being bilingual opens doors – it’s my reality.

Beyond creating career opportunities, Justine agrees that studying French has allowed her to better understand the world and her own community.

With her skills and experience, there is no doubt that her future will be bright.