“Welcome to Canada! You have worked hard and earned the privilege to live in this country. Unfortunately we do not have specific programs to help with your needs and you need to learn everything on your own. It may take time but that’s what everybody goes through.”
Many newcomers have heard these exact words before. Faced with seemingly endless problems, they are often left to fend for themselves.
In this post, we will look at three major challenges facing New Canadians:
Language remains one of the biggest issues for newcomers, across Canada. Whether making new friends, meeting the neighbors, looking for employment, getting through interviews, or even shopping, immigrants require a degree of language competency in order to communicate and network. Understandably, they often struggle to connect with their peers and can be quite shy about making communication mistakes.
There are ESL classes designed to help newcomers but the effectiveness of these classes have been questioned and they usually target a wide range of age groups rather than creating specific-age related programs for the newcomers.
The process of finding employment can be very daunting for people first arriving in Canada. Immigrants need to learn about creating resumes in a new environment, prepare for interviews and learn how to network effectively in their new country. This can take months, if not years to master. There are online and offline workshops to help immigrants but they are few and very general. In many cases immigrants have to pay for professional services in order to feel prepared for interviews and have the proper cover letter and resume.
New Culture and Values
Cultural shock can best be described as the feeling many immigrants feel when they first move to Canada. New Canadians come from all around the world and it can be difficult to see the alignment between their own culture and norms and those of their adopted home. This often results in difficulties integrating, especially for the first arrivers. Children, because they attend schools and can find friends easier, tend to deal with issues much easier.
Adults however have a harder time adjusting to their new environment. Many NGOs and government programs are designed to help newcomers with this specific problem and given the right attention and enough time, most immigrants integrate well within Canadian society after a few years.