Immigration can be a stressful experience, especially for individuals coming from different cultural backgrounds. In Canada, immigration is viewed as beneficial to local communities and to the country as a whole. Newcomers not only add diversity but strengthen economies. In fact, the Government of Canada introduced the Canadian Multiculturalism Act
in 1982 and has since celebrated the country’s variety in language, religion, and customs that immigrants bring.
While Canadians openly embrace diversity, immigrating to a completely new country can still be a daunting experience for newcomers. Outlined below are tips for success that immigrants to Canada will not only find useful, but help ease the transition process in their new home.
1. Learning English (French)
Although many immigrants can speak English and/or French with a degree of proficiency, English and/or French fluency comes in handy for communicating effectively with local populations in English/French -speaking areas of Canada. Enhancing fluency will also help immigrants within the Canadian workforce and basic day-to-day interactions. Canada offers many programs to learn or improve English and French skills, and newcomers are encouraged to listen to English and French radio programs and news channels. Another rule of thumb is to make friends with native English and/or French speakers and use learned language skills on a regular basis.
2. Staying Positive is Key for Success
One of the most important things for newcomers to remember is to keep a positive outlook and look at new experiences as an adventure. While Canada is known for its inclusive attitude towards newcomers—and as with any place in the world—there will always be negative people or naysayers. To offset any negative attitudes you or your family might encounter, it’s best to find and keep positive people in your life that are willing to offer encouragement. Surrounding yourself with positive people will not only better your experiences but provide a brighter outlook overall.
3. Make an Effort to Embrace Canada and its Culture
Simply stated, learn about Canada and Canadian lifestyle. Whether it’s staying informed about Canadian politics or participating on a local sports team, one of the best ways to embrace your new country is to get involved with your community. Learning about what locals enjoy for recreation or talking about the latest news in social circles can make the transition of immigration a lot easier.
4. Have a Back-Up Plan—More than One
It’s important to have a plan, especially when it comes to relocating to another country. In fact, it’s a good idea to have a back-up plan—even multiple ones. Many individuals immigrate to Canada wanting to enter the same field of work or profession they were accustomed to in their home country, but it doesn’t mean success is guaranteed. If your initial plan doesn’t work out, you can always pursue a different plan with preparation and research, whether it’s exploring a different interest or making a career change.
5. Don’t Get Stuck in an Ethnic Bubble
Making new friends can be challenging in a new city, but integration into Canada is much easier for those who meet people from different ethnic backgrounds. It’s important to be open to new interactions and friendships, and will help from getting stuck in an ethnic bubble with people only from your home country. Becoming involved with a familiar community is a good idea and comforting for newcomers, but it’s equally important to meet others from other cultures. After all, Canada is a country that celebrates multiculturalism and collective diversity, so don’t be afraid to get out there and “mingle” with other people.
6. Be Willing to Take Risks
Immigration is a huge risk in itself and deserving of respect for those who have accomplished it. Even so, don’t be afraid to take other risks. Canada is a country that promotes innovation and entrepreneurship, especially from newcomers bringing needed skills to local economies. Keeping an open mind about new business or career opportunities helps with your continued success and positive outlook.
7. Find Volunteering, Mentoring, and Networking Opportunities
As said before, getting involved in your community is one of the best ways to get to know people and expand your social network. Finding a professional organization to volunteer at can help newcomers find work and getting involved in local charities can even build friendships and strengthen professional networks. The key is to get out there and explore Canada with a positive, open mind to ensure your success. Now that we have shared helpful tips for newcomers to Canada, we hope that life in your new country will be an exciting experience and full of opportunity. At QICMS, we aim to provide our clients with first-class assistance to not only ensure the best post-landing experience for both you and your family, but help create a smooth settlement transition. Contact our offices today to discuss immigration planning in Canada.
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