So you’ve read all the top 10 articles listing Canada as a great place to live and you’re thinking, “Yup, that’s where I want to be.” Whether you’re making the move to for work, school, or to simply brush up on your English, we’ve got 5 quick tips to make your transition as smooth as possible.
1. Consider Living Outside Major Cities
Internationally, Vancouver and Toronto are the two most well-known cities in Canada, so it’s no surprise that living in them can be super expensive. An average one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver goes for about $1,750 on average and Toronto, an already expensive city, is experiencing a surge in rent and property values.
Of course, you may be dead set on living in one of Canada’s larger cities or you may not have much choice due to work or school. If so, consider avoiding the pricier downtown area, and compromise by making the commute. In cities like Toronto, you can find safe and affordable places to live in areas like North York or Scarborough. It may be a pain to leave earlier to get places, but it can ease the burden on your budget.
2. Seek Out New Arrival Offers at the Bank
Canada’s major banks offer newcomer programs to make the financial transition easier for new arrivals. Since financial institutions won’t consider your credit history from back home, you are essentially starting from scratch when it comes to accessing Canadian credit products.
Royal Bank of Canada offers the RBC Newcomers Advantage for new arrivals including international students and foreign workers. Eligible participants can get their first credit card without a credit history or annual fees and no monthly fee banking for six months.
3. Get a Library Card
Canada’s library systems are recognized as some of the best in the world. And it’s not just for their comprehensive physical and digital collections. They offer fantastic workshops, programs, continuing education events, and more. Your library card opens you up to:
- Free books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, and more
- High-speed internet access
- Workshops for upgrading your skills
- Employment assistance workshops
- Seminars on employment, personal finance, and legal assistance
Spending time at your library can also help you get to know your community and make local connections.
4. Opt For a Pay-As-You-Go Phone Plan
When you arrive, it may be tempting to lock into a contract with any of the big providers like Bell or Rogers just so you can quickly get connected.
But be aware: Canada’s telecommunications industry is not very competitive. As a result, voice and data plans are quite expensive. In fact, they are some of the priciest in the world. Locking into a contract in order to get a handset for $0 could come back to bite you in the butt. Instead, buy a cheaper phone and opt for a pay-as-you-go plan until you have the time to do some research.
5. Be Aware of Your Rights and Protections
Taking the time to browse the information on the Government of Canada’s Immigration and Citizenship website (in addition to provincial information) can keep you healthy and protected while living in Canada.
Canada has universal healthcare, but it is generally only available to citizens and permanent residents. (There is some coverage provided for refugees.) But did you know that temporary foreign workers with lower levels of formal training are entitled to private health insurance from their employeruntil they are eligible for healthcare from their province or territory?
The following links can be extremely help for avoiding immigration snafus when you need to extend your work or study permit, keep up to date with changes to requirements, or work during or after your studies.
- Temporary Foreign Workers | Government of Canada
- Work in Canada | Government of Canada
- Study in Canada | Government of Canada
Canada is bursting with opportunities and tremendous resources. With some forethought and preparation you can make a smooth transition into your new life in “the true north strong and free”.
Visit www.talaera.com to find out more and start your language journey today.