Immigrating to Canada is a dream for many, offering a promise of a better life and opportunities. However, the transition is often accompanied by unique challenges that can be overwhelming for new immigrants. Understanding these hurdles and how to conquer them is crucial for a successful new chapter in the Great White North.
Here, we discuss six common challenges faced by newcomers to Canada and the best ways to approach them.
1. Adjusting to Canada’s Seasons
Canadian weather is as diverse as its landscape, which presents new immigrants with the challenge of adjusting to extreme conditions. To make it through each month comfortably, it’s essential to invest in suitable clothing for the changing seasons and seek advice from locals on how to best manage the weather. This may include:
- Stocking up on adequate layers for winter weather (including waterproof and windproof clothing)
- Buying proper footwear for all weather conditions
- Investing in a remote car starter or block heater
- Shoveling in the mornings after it snows
- Having an ice scraper and/or snow brush in the car
2. Credential Recognition
A significant obstacle many immigrants face is having their international credentials recognized. Speaking with regulatory bodies and professional associations should be your first step when navigating this process. In some cases, additional education or certification will be needed to align your qualifications with Canadian standards. Workplaces often specify the credentials needed, including in job postings, so you know where to start.
3. Gaining Canadian Work Experience
The Canadian job market often values local experience, which can be rather difficult for newcomers. But you can start by volunteering, doing internships, or going to events where you meet professionals. This kind of experience can help you find a good job, especially when just sending out resumes isn’t enough.
4. Language Proficiency
Speaking and understanding English or French well is very important for finding a good job in Canada. It’s a good idea to take classes to get better at the language and to practice as much as you can. Also, make sure your resume shows your skills and work history in a way that makes sense in Canada.
5. Making Friends
Loneliness can be a barrier to settling into a new country. That’s why we encourage immigrants to engage in community activities, join groups, and use social media to build connections. If you’re attending post-secondary, you can also easily sign up for clubs centred around your interests and hobbies.
6. Accessing Support Systems
Canada’s social services are designed to assist newcomers. Immigrants should get familiar with these resources, including healthcare, education, and settlement support, to make their transition a little smoother.
For example, Calgary has the following support organizations for newcomers in the city:
Finding Your Footing? We Can Help!
The journey of a new immigrant in Canada is paved with challenges but also plenty of opportunities for growth and success. By embracing the local culture, proactively seeking resources, and connecting with the community, immigrants can navigate these challenges easily.
Are you ready to start your journey in Canada? ABES College provides guidance and support to help new immigrants realize their Canadian dream. Discover our programs and services today and take the first step towards a bright future in Canada.