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How migrants experience Canada (Part 1)

You might be considering making the move to Canada. Why wouldn’t you? The economy is growing at an excellent pace. Canada is politically stable with forward thinking governance and the country’s crime rate is far lower than we have grown accustomed to in South Africa. Canada offers career opportunities that are just not available locally and on top of everything having Canadian Residency means you and your family will have access to brilliant schools and hospitals in one of the world’s most spectacularly beautiful countries in the world.

How Migrants Experience Canada Part 1

“Okay,” you might say, “it sounds good but how well will I fit in? How easy is the transition? What is the experience for other migrants in Canada like?”

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We agree those are important questions and when we came across a piece where Canadian migrants were interviewed we had to share their insight.

Migrants who live in Canada (or have lived in Canada) spoke to the Globe and Mail and answered some questions you might also have. We have listed their answers to the first of question.

What do people think of Canada where you are from?

• People used to talk about Canada with mild interest. In these politically volatile days, people express envy.
• People here think Canada is uniformly cold and snowy. They see Canada as an enormous, peaceful land mass with diversity.
• Canada is well loved and appreciated as an open country filled with friendly, good-natured people. Canadians are considered humble conciliators. Our artists (singers and actors) are recognized for their talent.
• I’ve lived around the world, and for the most part, Canadians are always viewed as friendly and jovial. Wherever I go, I’m proud to say I’m Canadian.
• Canada enjoys a positive reputation in Dubai. It is viewed as a dream country with tremendous future promise. Dubai itself is a transition city on most expats’ agendas and many, especially families, immigrate to Canada from Dubai.
• Canada is perceived as an open, egalitarian society with a healthy respect for the environment, rule of law and personal freedoms. Canada, to the people of Taiwan, is also an enormous land of overwhelming beauty, nature and wholesome food. While Canada is viewed as a wonderful place to raise children or grow, many young people in east Asia (ages 25-50) feel that Canadian cities lack excitement and opportunities for gainful employment/entrepreneurialism.
• Australians generally love Canada! We have similar senses of humour – self-deprecating, dry, sarcastic, don’t take yourself too seriously. We are both small in power geographically but have an above-average presence on the world stage. Every Australian that I meet, when I let them know that I’m from Canada, says that they either wish to travel to Canada someday, have travelled to Canada and think of it fondly or have friends and family currently living in Canada (typically Whistler). Canada, for them, is definitely all about snow, mountains, clean water and being polite.
• Kiwis see Canada as a kindred spirit. They imagine a place of amazing natural beauty populated with sensible, kind, tolerant people who live near/next to a country that is much bigger and a lot noisier.

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Next we look at the answers to the question “What is your perception of living Canada now that you have lived there?”

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