Leaving your country is a tough decision regardless of the reasons. It is even more difficult if; you were well established in your country, you are in your mid career, mid thirties, and have kids. Embarking on such a step needs a lot of mental and psychological preparation. From experience, the most important thing to keep you going and face the challanges ahead is to stay focused on the goal, keep your eye on why did you leave your country in the first place, and what do you want to achieve by going to the other destination.
My husband and I selected destination was Calgary, Canada. I’m going to share some points on how to benefit and be beneficial in Calgary as a new comer. Before starting, I want to say that the province of Alberta offers alot of help to new comers, compared to Toronto, or that is what I heard. However, most of the help you can find in Calgary, is from the communities, NGOs, and by individual efforts, and donations. If you already benefitted from the resources, activities, and donations, you have to have the mind set of giving back, or the PAY BACK initiative, why? Because this is the only guarantee these services are going to continue and increase. Because if everybody took and didn’t give, the cycle will break.
My 101 guide to Calgary New Comers :
1- Rent a place. This is important so you can have an address to open a bank account, do your sin card, and receive your PR on.
2- Book an appointment with an Immigration Services counselor (V.imp), because they will walk you through the steps you need to do, also they most probably have people speaking your mother tongue (it is in 7th Avenue with 8th Street ).
3- If you don’t have income, and you need help with your household items, furniture, ask your counselor for a referral, most of the time they don’t offer it , you have to ask.
4- Same for food, ask for a referral to the food bank, however, for this and previous point, make a vow to donate & volunteer for such great services, when your situation is better.
5- Take a CLB test to evaluate your English.
6- Participate in all workshops that you feel you need to give yourself a kickstart in the Canadian job market.
7- Make a membership in the Calgary Library, and go to their events for networking.
8- Check the Meet Up website, and try to join the groups that share your interests.
9- Get a mentor in your career, Directions, CIWA, and Immigration Services offer this to immigrants for free.
10- If you are interested in studying, ask your counselor for information about funding.
11- Check thrift stores Calgary, the variety for clothes, household items, and furniture is huge, it will help you save until you have a steady income.
12- Download Flipp app, it will help you keep track on the weekly offers in all shop and retailers around Canada.