What can you do in your first week in Canada?

You worked hard and finally, you made it — got permission to come to Canada through one of the immigration programs. You start researching more about the city in which you are going to settle. Now, other worries creep into your mind as you think of how your children are going to adapt to the culture and language. You start worrying about getting a job or buying a car and so on. But this is only the beginning of the journey.

Once you step on a Canadian soil, you will be overwhelmed with mixed feelings. At first, you will feel quite positive. Newness always brings hope and a sense that something good is awaiting you in the future, which is true. You have to maintain confidence in yourself to be able to face new changes and get used to them. At the same time, it is really important to have realistic expectations. Sometimes, things are not going to work the way you expect them to be and you’ll need to be able to replace “Plan A” with Plan “B”.

To reduce the pressure, it is always better to get prepared in advance. Good knowledge of English or French will define how quickly you will be able to integrate and find a job. So, if you can barely speak one of these languages, you’ll have to work on yourself. Ability to communicate well will help you make arrangements like finding accommodation, opening a bank account or getting a phone during your first week in Canada.

To reduce the pressure, it is always better to get prepared in advance. The very first thing you need to do once you arrive in Canada is finding a place to stay over. For your first weeks, it can be temporary accommodation like a hotel or hostel.

It’s hard to imagine your life without a cell phone today. You need it not only for getting in touch with your relatives but building contacts for employment purposes as well. You will find different cell phone plans. The most used cell phone plan in Canada is known as “service baskets” which includes 450 minutes of calling and 300 text messages. You can also opt for a Service Basket Level 3 with 1,200 minutes of calling, 300 text messages and 1GB of data.

Another very important step is obtaining a Social Insurance Number (SIN) because without it you cannot start working in Canada or have access to the government programs and benefits.

Finally, all your efforts from the very first days in Canada should be aiming to find a job. And you need to make preliminary preparations, especially, if your profession is regulated. For example, to be able to work as a lawyer, you have to get qualified to practice law in Canada.

The National Occupation Classification (NOC) system ascribes a four-digit code and job description for each occupation in the Canadian labor market and classifies all occupations as regulated and non-regulated. Regulated professions are normally reviewed and you’ll have to take relevant courses to work in accordance with Canadian standards. What can you do in this situation as a newcomer? While large companies will not hire an immigrant without accreditation, there are many small companies that will appreciate your experience and advice. Imagine, you are a teacher, so the best option to accumulate work experience is to volunteer working with children.