When friends ask me about immigrating to Canada, my first answer is always DON’T!. However, though I’ve already written about this in the past, I have yet do so in English, so I’ll do so here, especially since yesterday I answered another reader.
Upset with the recent election results, my friend first asked me on WhatsApp for advice on immigration. I explained that I’ve already written about this in Romanian, I asked my friend to send me specific questions. I’ve known my friend since primary school, so I accepted her questions in Romanian, but in helping others, I will only accept English and occasionally French. If you don’t know either language, learn one.
It is important to search and look for information in English as what you find in Romanian is either not up to date or not very useful. If you are not too sure on your English, that comes with practice. Practicing thinking in English (and practicing thinking in general) while still overseas will make your transition smoother.
Use Google Translate to translate words or entire documents (to translate an entire page, paste its address in the “translate from” box then click translate). The answer to most questions I am being asked can be easily found with Google. If you have a specialized search, you can always book or ask a librarian.
If you won’t or can’t learn English (or French), fuggetaboutit.
Here is the Google Translation of my friend’s email.
Young mangod, as you might have noticed, I am extremely upset. For a lot of reasons, obviously culminating in yesterday's election, I think we should leave quickly. I do not want to, but I reached the conclusion that I have to. There are many things that keep me here: my father, who is my only surviving parent, who would be left all alone in the house we built from scratch and I love with all my being, knowing how I worked on it, the animals that I am never going to abandon.
My husband can no longer stand Romania, with all its negativity. And I must follow him, with a heavy heart although he’s right, leaving emotion aside. We have indeed the right to a normal and beautiful life. And our children too, especially them. So...
- How cold is it in Toronto?
- Could I find somewhere in suburbia a rental property with a large backyard to keep 10 dogs?
- What’s the level of education in schools?
- Is a consulting / law firm necessary for all the paperwork related to immigration or can you do it all by yourself?
- Would it be difficult for me to start working as a teacher?
I have more questions, but I must get the child to sleep.
Before going into detailed answers, a few details surrounding the questions.
I’ve come to Canada brought in by my parents, who had obtained political asylum, while I was still a minor, under a “Ministerial Permit”. I was not against coming to Canada, but it was not entirely my choice either. Looking back, it wasn’t a bad idea. This means that I do not know much about immigrating as an adult, legally or illegally. Also, since I’ve come to Canada long time ago, my term of comparison is a bit stale – i.e., my Romanian memories about daily routine are not up-to-date.
I will address motivation later on, but even though Dragnea and his party are not the best that Romania has to offer (vc-dragnea), there are some 36 reasons to avoid Canada – or are they to come here (ts-avoid)!? The same holds true for Amerifriends: see this Chomsky interview to understand that things are not always what they seem and the truth is, we know nothing of what Trump will do.
First of all, while most immigrants come to Toronto, you don’t have to. Canada is huge with lots of climatic differences but it’s generally colder than the places its immigrants come from. Other big cities are Vancouver (amazing nature, high rents), Montreal (better lifestyle, lower incomes; see also wikidot), Calgary (like Texas but colder and with great skiing). Few people end up in Eastern or Atlantic Canada, which is more British and less developed.
One way to learn about Toronto climate would be Wikipedia, but that would be too easy.
..continued in part II..
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