Moving to a new country as an immigrant or refugee is a major life change. Everything you know is thrown out the window, and you find yourself in a new country, often coming to terms with a different culture and language. It’s not always an easy process for every newcomer. At Achēv, we’re here to help you achieve your settlement goals. We’re sharing the top nine ways to succeed in Canada as a newcomer.
1. Improve Your English Language Skills
One of the biggest barriers for any immigrant or refugee is learning the language of their new country. Wrapping your head around the English language can be difficult. For newcomers seeking to improve their English or French language skills, Achēv Language Services provide language assessments and referrals to in-person or online classes that suit all schedules.
2. Explore What Canada Has to Offer
It may have been our stunning scenery or famous ice hockey teams that attracted you to Canada. In your first few months, you want to experience everything that Canada has to offer. Becoming familiar with the culture early on can make the transition easier, whether it’s learning to love maple syrup or getting used to the sight of moose statues!
3. Register for Free Newcomer Services
You’re not alone when you arrive in Ontario – there’s help and support out there for you. Our newcomer centres should be your first stop when you arrive in Canada. Achēv Newcomer Information Centres are located across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), including Mississauga, Brampton and Oakville. For newcomers who live outside of the GTA, our friendly and multilingual staff can provide you with one-on-one virtual services. Our goal is to help you achieve your settlement, employment and education goals in Canada.
4. Go Outside Your Comfort Zone
Newcomers to Canada tend to find themselves making friends with fellow immigrants from a similar background. To get the most out of your new life, you want to go outside your comfort zone and keep an open mind. The Greater Toronto Area is a multicultural region, where you’ll find people from every walk of life. Don’t limit yourself to a specific community within your new area. Canada has so much to offer you, right on your doorstep.
5. Keep a Positive Outlook
Not every day will be sunshine and rainbows. You’ll miss your family and the comfort of home. Keeping a positive outlook as a newcomer will make your journey from immigrant to citizen an easier process. You have to be resilient to the challenges you’ll face. You can take comfort from the fact that there are immigrant services out there to help you in the first few months of your time as a newcomer. Keep your eyes fixed on the future and stay positive, whether it’s dreaming of buying a home in the Greater Toronto Area or landing your dream job.
7. Start Your Job Hunt Early
Some newcomers arrive in Canada with a job already secured. If you don’t have a job lined up, it’s a good idea to get started with your job search early on. You might have savings to help you get by, but you don’t want to rely too heavily on these. You may have to take a job in another industry, such as hospitality until you can land your dream job. At Achēv, our newcomer and employment services can help you succeed in your job search as a newcomer to Canada.
8. Become Involved in Your Local Community
It’s easy to feel isolated when you first arrive as an immigrant. Your new home might look drastically different than where you grew up. You don’t need to instant throw yourself into the local community in the early days, but baby steps are important. You can take advantage of your local newcomer services or even visit the library to learn more about your local area. It’s a good idea to attend community events, like fairs and festivals, to get a taste of the local culture and to meet your new neighbours.
9. Find a Mentor
As a newcomer to Canada, you’ll be filled with hope for the future. If you’ve moved to chase your dreams professionally, finding a mentor can help you navigate the system and move up the career ladder. Most companies have a mentorship program in place for new employees or immigrants to Canada. If your company doesn’t offer such a program, you can find a mentor in a few other ways. LinkedIn and networking events can help you find fellow successful immigrants who’ll be keen to help a newcomer to find their way. At Achēv, our TRIEC Mentoring Partnership program can help you find the right mentor in your field.
10. Build a Support System
Finding your support system as an immigrant is essential. It could be made up of people from your local community, new workplace, or even newcomer advisors, like our team at Achēv. Your support system is different from a mentor – so you want to find both! The people in your support system are who you’ll turn to when you need advice, whether it’s for your personal or professional advice. They’re the people you’ll turn to when you have a bad day or are feeling homesick.
Achēv’s wide range of newcomer services help new immigrants and refugees successfully settle in Ontario and integrate into Canadian society. We’re here for you from day one, with our Newcomer Information Centres located across the Greater Toronto Area.