Immigration to Canada – is it worth it? Real life experience story of immigration to Canada

Immigration to Canada, as any other immigration, is a cocktail of hopes, doubts, fear and faith in happy future. Another country is another world with its laws, rules, advantages and disadvantages. As for advantages, everything is clear: you are satisfied, happy and get assured again and again that your decision is right. As a rule, in Canada the disadvantage is not a correct word, it is more of a difference between what we’ve got used to and what is a reality in our new life in Canada. It often depends on a person, his flexibility, his desire to be open and accept everything new. There are people who do not like the system of education in Canada, and there are those who are happy that they should not do homework with their children on the weekends. There are people who are not satisfied with medicine in Canada, and there are those who take advantage of free medical care quality. Everything is relative…


My husband, my five-year-old child and I moved to Canada from Ukraine in May, 2018. In June, my husband found a job at the plant. In July, 2018, my baby was born. So, in the following months we faced education system, medical care and employers very closely.


  1. Employment / Business


Different people have different reasons to move to another country. You can have lots of reasons, but at the same time you may have a stable income or successful business in your home country. So, in this case you start doubting, if it’s worth leaving everything.  You keep asking yourself: will I be able to find something similar in another country? Will I be able to realize my potential there? If you are from post soviet or third world country, you can find answers to your questions in history and economics. Has the situation been stable for the recent 50 years in your home country as it is in Canada? Are you confident in currency rate to take a loan or mortgage in order to expand business or to buy property? If you have a stable business, are you confident in taxation system stability? If you are 40 years old, for example, and you hold a good position in the private company, are you confident that in five years you will not be fired in consequence of the next economic crisis? Will you be able to find the same position in your 40s at home?


In Canada the economic situation is stable. Here people are not scared of taking a loan or mortgage, because it is always possible to find stable job, no matter what your age or sex is, and no matter how many children you have. At any job interview you will never be asked questions like, “how old you are?” Or “do you have small kids?” When you apply for job in Canada, your nationality, religion, skin color or political views are not taken into account.


  1. Accommodation / Mortgage in Canada


In Ukraine we rented an apartment, though it was a problem to rent an apartment with a small child. In Canada, while renting property the number of babies does not matter. In Ukraine we considered mortgage as a great risk, taking into consideration the economic situation. You have a stable income now, but in the future,  you can lose everything.


In Canada mortgage is one more topic for discussion. Interest rates are very low. Despite taking mortgage for 25 years, you enter into a contract with a bank only for the period of 1 to 5 years. You should not live in your property forever. In five years, you can enter into a contract with another bank, you can sell your property and move to another house or even another province.


  1. Education in Canada


School system is one more distinctive feature of the West, and Canada, in particular. Will you like Canadian education? Here you can ask yourself some questions. Would you like your child to know how to do something or to be able to actually do something? Would you like your child to go to school with great pleasure and then do sports or would you like your child to be depressed all the time because of the shouting teachers and to do endless homework after school? In real life do you take advantage of knowledge acquired at school? People with skills are easier to be promoted than those with knowledge, have you ever thought about that?


In Ukraine teachers assess kids’ knowledge acquired at home or at courses. In Canada teachers take charge of almost everything. In Ukraine kids should read and write before school. If pupils do not keep pace with their classmates, they are not accepted as everybody. When in Canada my daughter went to the kindergarten, she knew only names of the animals and colors in English. By the end of the academic year, she could understand English speech, read simple sentences and write letters. As soon as children start visiting kindergarten, teachers do not assess how proper the letters are, but rather whether kids can use a pen and scissors properly. They do not assess how well children know poems, but how they cooperate with each other. According to Canadian skill grading scale every child will feel himself smart and bright. So, I can say with certainty, my daughter’s adaptation to school system was successful.


And I know from my friends’ experience that in Canada teenagers like school as well, because not only teachers are tolerant, but classmates as well.


  1. Medicine in Canada


Medical care is one more topic of discussion in Canada. Here it is free, because you pay taxes. You do not pay for tests, injections, surgery, and hospital stay. However, many immigrants are not satisfied with medical care, because Canadian doctors will not send your children to ultrasound investigation if they have a stomachache with no appetite. Canadian doctors will not prescribe antibiotics to you or your children if you have a virus infection or influenza. Canadian doctors will not isolate your children if they have a chickenpox or a scarlet fever. According to people from Central and Eastern Europe, doctors do not do anything here. However, life expectancy is much higher in Canada than in post soviet countries. They treat you as a client, not as a patient in clinics and hospitals. They try to provide high quality service, though they respect your privacy. If you are in danger, they will call a helicopter to take you to the necessary hospital.

  1. Drug Stores in Canada

Some people believe that it is impossible to buy medication without prescription in the West. It is impossible to buy antibiotics without prescription. You can buy fever and pain relief medication in the supermarkets. Antibiotics are delivered in special drug stores’ boxes which contain the exact number of pills prescribed by the doctor. By they way, prescribed medication can be covered by the insurance.

  1. Attitude towards People in Canada

It is necessary to mention of attitude to people in all institutions. Nobody is rude in Canada. In the post office, clinic or other organization you will not face unfriendliness or irritation. Even if you wait in the line, as a rule, you do not stay, but sit – it may be the reason why people are calm and happy here. Everybody is equal in Canada. They regard you the same as native people. Sometimes they are even more tolerant to you, because they take into consideration lack of English language and so on.

  1. Laws in Canada

In Canada you do not need to give money or presents in order your child to be delivered safely, to pass exams or enter colleges (do not confuse with tuition fee). You do not need to bribe a driving examiner to pass driving test, because he / she is not interested in your failure. Of course, absence of bribes can be a problem for Russian-speaking people, because it is common for us to do things faster. However, in Canada everything goes slowly. Life is not hectic here. Those who can adjust to such lifestyle become calm and happy by themselves. On this occasion there is no need to bribe anybody to make things go faster.

Do not even try to bribe a police officer in Canada. Those who used to exceed speed or break laws in minor cases (keep a phone in hands while driving) can face problems here. However, look at the situation from another perspective. If you need help, the law will be with you. If you complain to the police about somebody, he / she will not avoid taking on responsibility by bribing the officer.

  1. Tolerance on the highway

You will feel tolerance and respect of people even while driving. In Canada nobody cut off you on the highway, nobody beeps at the lights, nobody uses obscene language. Here nobody uses terms “steering woman” or “steering blonde”. All women drive despite the age, and feel comfortable and safe. On the highway there are many drivers older than 80 years old.

  1. Parks and Facilities

In Ukraine it was stressful for me to go to the parks or play grounds with my child for the last couple years. They establish paid recreational facilities on the play grounds. They sell cotton candies, balloons and other kids’ goods and food in the parks. In Canadian parks there are no paid facilities or sales outlets. Here walk is a family outdoors rest without extra expenses. In all washrooms there are diaper changing tables. In small cities and towns parking space and public washrooms are free of charge. Besides, they often organize activities for kids, which are either free or at a token price. Safety cannot be comparable with Ukraine at all.

  1. Post Office in Canada

In Ukraine I had concerns how it was possible to send documents by common state post. In Canada everything is different. Banks send cards, and governmental institutions send documents by mail. Many problems are fixed by phone or mail here. You should not go to the institution with a pile of papers, and stay in the line. Many issues are solved online.

It is impossible to tell about immigration to Canada from only one perspective. There are no pure advantages or disadvantages. Everything depends on what you miss in your own country, or what you would like to get in the other one. There are no exquisite architectural structures in Canada – you can enjoy them in your own country. There is no beautiful gift-wrapping, but there is filling. In Canada there is something which is missed in the third world countries: quality service, respectful and tolerant attitude to people, and law in force.










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