You're In Canada – Now What?

Finally, coming to Canada is a reality! You have actually seen the “Welcome to Canada” sign. You are also experiencing the bittersweet array of mixed emotions that range from the excitement and anticipation of being here, to the yearning for relationships left behind and, of course, the uncertainty of not knowing where to begin in making this your new home.

For some newcomers, moving to Canada is a family reunion as they have relatives awaiting them. For others, everything is new. Whatever the situation may be, this is a new beginning, a change in lifestyle, and a challenge as well as an opportunity to design the future. Throughout the process, everyone needs guidance and support for housing, job search, education and other settlement services. It will be in your best interest to explore the many government and community service programs that are in place for newcomers.

As it relates to your education, for example, Humber College provides FREE Advising Services to all newcomers. Knowledgeable advisors will help you reach your educational goals by providing information about:

• admissions and enrollment process
• academic and skills upgrading
• guidance to assessment and evaluation of prior education and experience

You may feel overwhelmed as you try to explore educational options. If you are having a hard time trying to decide where to begin, this is where the Newcomer Advising Services can help you.

Here is one such scenario: The first week of April, Tony (not his real name) contacted the Advising Services with one question:“Is it true that part time programs are not financed by OSAP?” Tony also had several other questions about the various programs that Humber offers. A one-to-one appointment with the Newcomer Advisor was scheduled. Tony met with the advisor and learned that there are various part time programs that are financed through OSAP. When he identified the program that was of interest to him, Tony was guided through the registration process and started a course in early May. Tony is happy to be able to continue with his studies while working full time.

Humber also delivers bridging training programs with support from the Ontario government. These programs are designed to give internationally trained individuals:

• skills training or targeted academic training
• preparation for a license or certification examination
• occupation-related language training
• understanding of the Canadian workplace culture
• job search supports and job development

Success Story - from Skills for Change. Khalid Ibrahim completed his BSc in Architecture in Khartoum, Sudan and earned his Master of Spatial Planning degree from the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. Khalid immigrated to Canada and settled in Toronto in 2010. With over 10 years of experience as an architect, he joined Humber College's Engineering Software Skills Enhancement (ESSE) program, a bridging program offered through the School of Applied Technology that provides internationally trained engineers with the latest technical and software skills in demand by Ontario employers.

Shortly after completing the ESSE program, Khalid started teaching blueprint classes at Humber part-time, a way for him to give back. Khalid is also in the process of creating an Engineers Group for the Sudanese Community Association of Ontario. He is currently the Executive Manager at Memar Consultants where he manages the office, including designing, drafting and hiring.

Khalid Ibrahim is a proud recipient of the 2012 Ontario International Engineers Success Awards sponsored by Skills for Change. These awards, presented at the Conference for International Engineers, recognize internationally educated engineers for their achievements and contributions to Ontario in the field of engineering. Humber congratulates Khalid, and many other successful graduates from our immigrant bridging programs who are successfully making their mark in the Canadian workplace.

The uncertainty and challenges of moving to a new country do not have to be negative; celebrate every step of your journey as you plan and go forward.

Be open to support and guidance: there is always someone who has overcome the challenges that you may be facing right now. Allow their stories to inspire and motivate you.

To learn more about our programs call 416.675.6622 x 4162 or visit the Humber College website.

Canadian Newcomer Issue 44