Home Immigration The right mindset for a newcomer to Canada, explained by immigrants themselves

The right mindset for a newcomer to Canada, explained by immigrants themselves

The right mindset for a newcomer to Canada, explained by immigrants themselves

As you prepare to make Canada your new home in the coming months, you will surely be researching what you need to do both before, and immediately after, you arrive. The right mindset for a newcomer to Canada, however, is extremely important to success in this country. 

Research on moving to Canada the right way can be overwhelming for all of us, which is why this article contains priceless advice from immigrants who moved here and are now well-settled into life in Canada.

Facing challenges is part of the right mindset for a newcomer

When you move to a new country, be prepared to face both expected and unexpected challenges along the way. One of the biggest challenges you could face relates to job searches, which could be very different from your home country. Understanding the work culture and job market here also takes time. 

Your most important allies on this journey? Patience, proactivity, and plenty of research. 

“What I had in mind when I was moving to Canada was that everything is going to be pink and beautiful and easy,” says Aneta Popa, team lead at Calgary Catholic Immigration Society. “But as much as Canada was welcoming, and as much as people were open to welcoming me, I faced a few challenges when coming. Please do as much research as possible and be patient in your journey. Everything will fall into place but with patience. Take one step at a time. Do not rush to achieve everything in one go,” she adds.

It is important to prioritize what you need to do first, whether it’s finding a job, securing a place to stay for the long term, getting your children into a good school, or any of the myriad number of things you need to do after arriving. 

Do compare notes with other immigrants and visit newcomer agencies: they will provide you with a wealth of information and insight into having the right mindset for a newcomer, but assess what they say to meet your needs. Every immigrant’s tale after all is different. 

“Your story is yet to come, and you will create your story. Being positive allowed me to focus on the things I wanted to achieve,” said Aneta. 

Also read: Adjusting to a new country can be hard but there is a place for all of us here in Canada: Isaac Garcia-Sitton

Understanding and adjusting to Canadian culture

Chidi Iwuchukwu, author of Coming to Canada, puts it well: “Success in Canada is not a sprint but a marathon. Yes, everything is going to be alright, but it will not happen the next day…you need to be prepared for the long haul.” 

Adjusting to Canadian culture can be hard for some. One of the best ways to develop the right mindset for a newcomer, however, is to actively participate in your community, whether it is participating in neighbourhood activities, or volunteering at a school, for example. There, you can make vital connections that could help you find your first job, or your first house, in Canada. 

“The most important thing is for you to set goals – long-term, short-term, and immediate, and then take them step-by-step,” says Chidi. 

Pre-arrival programs are here to help you

Canada has many services for newcomers that are free and funded by the government. Getting into a pre-arrival program will help you develop the right mindset for a newcomer because you can then create a schedule of what you have in mind, what you need to do, and what other aspects of settling in you need to explore. Many pre-arrival services also help you with a settlement plan and will prepare a list of resources for you concerning issues such as housing, employment, community services, education, and child care, which you can then explore once you arrive. Find a suitable pre-arrival program depending on your planned destination in Canada. If you are a Francophone newcomer, visit Connexions Francophones to access pre-arrival services in French. 

Prepping right for the winter season in Canada

Canadian weather does have variations depending on where you live: Toronto, for example, experiences all four seasons, while it does tend to rain more in both Vancouver and the eastern provinces. Preparing for and managing yourself during the winter is vital to living in Canada in the long term. It is, however, very doable. If in doubt, do ask your friends who live in the country! 

“The warmth of the Canadian people, the warmth of the community of the neighbourhood we are building will help you forget about the cold,” says Chidi, who lives in Edmonton, where winters can be harsh. “All you need to do is focus your mind on what you want to achieve, dress properly, and that’s about it. Many of us came from very hot countries, and the weather conditions were extreme for us. But hey, we made it here, and you too can make it home,” he adds.

Also read: Newcomer guide: Essential armour to stay toasty in the Canadian winter

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