The well-adjusted migrant knows Canadian law and customs, will volunteer at their children’s’ schools and get to know their neighbours thereby building their new friend and support networks.
There are many ways you can settle into Canadian society and your new way of life. One way is to get to know Canada, its people and places, and learn as much as you can about the culture of your new community. It is also important that you remain open to new ideas and experiences without letting go of your own beliefs.
If you are not sure about something, ask questions and talk to Canadians and other newcomers about their country and their experiences in Canada. Most people will be happy to help.
Life in a foreign country can be quite intimidating, but never doubt if you should make use of immigrant services available for people new to the country. By asking for help and making sure you understand everything you may be able to adjust more easily and enjoy life in Canada that much more quickly.
But always remember; immigration is a huge life changing event for you and your family. Everything about your new life may be unfamiliar so make sure you get experts to handle as much as possible so that you may focus on making sure the family is content and confident. NWI offers various such services including handling your TAX and business registration and being able to find the perfect new school for your children. It is normal for every person living in a new culture to experience stress and challenges, don’t be too hard on yourself. If help is available use it!
Understand that being aware of cultural differences is part of the process of getting used to your new environment.
Explore the cultural differences between your and the Canadian cultures. This can help you avoid misunderstandings, make friends more easily, feel more comfortable and it could be a life enriching experience while showing your commitment to your new society.
French and English are Canada’s official languages. While you might be okay with English accents vary considerably making it hard for Canadians to understand you and for you to understand them. Practice your Canadian English and pick up some French by involving yourself in the community as a volunteer this is a good way to meet new people.
Get involved in activities that interest you. One piece of good advice one migrant family shared is, “Always accept invitations – even if you don’t feel like it or you are tired, this is the best way to find your place in your community and it shows your willingness to participate.” Check community notice boards for music, sports, dance, art, learning a language lessons and groups.
It’s hard, but it is best to accept that you and your family may have to grieve what you may have lost and left behind. This may include losing touch with friends and family, leaving pets or sentimental things behind or feeling lost in a new culture. Be sure to talk to your family about the changes and challenges they will face. This will help prepare them for the challenge ahead and they will be better able to cope with the new situation.
Remember why you and your family chose Canada, was it because it ranks as the country with most of the world’s most liveable cities? Where your family will be safe, you may find excellent job opportunities, have access to top class medical care and your children enjoy schooling of the highest standards. It is all worth the effort and sacrifice for a better life.