Shankara Narayanan Subramanian moved to Toronto in March 2019 and within a week, found a job and relocated to Edmonton. The information he had gathered during the Planning for Canada’s (PfC) pre-arrival sessions came in handy during the move. “In the sessions, I came to know that there is a thriving IT scene in Calgary and Edmonton,” says Shankara.
Country of origin: India
Immigrated to Canada in: March 2019
Currently lives in: Edmonton, Alberta
Occupation: Data Engineering Specialist
I moved with my wife and daughter for better opportunities for us as a family. The data scene is thriving here, so I thought it was a good idea to apply for immigration. The quality of education for my daughter and its cost in Canada was another factor.
I like how Canada becomes your home so soon. The people are warm and accepting. I also love the multiculturalism here. Interactions with different communities open up your perspective to a lot of things and you tend to look at day-to-day situations differently. In Edmonton, we have a cultural heritage festival, where people from around the world showcase their food, culture and traditions; it’s like visiting all these countries at once.
It has to be the weather when the temperature dips to -40 or even -50° Celsius. That’s harsh!
It has been a great journey but if I had to share something, it would be that if there are people who are nice to you, there are also some who try to take advantage of newcomers by fooling them for their own gain. The positive things, however, outnumber these few incidents.
I attended Planning for Canada’s sessions in February. It was a month before I departed from India and so I had time to act on the information and resources that PfC shared with us. It helps to be able to attend a session in person rather than to watch the videos that one can find online about life in Canada because you’re able to ask and get answers to your specific questions.
Besides a lot of information that was shared in the group session, what really helped was the personalized Action Plan that PfC creates for each individual. It was tailored for me according to my profession, choice of province, and employment and settlement goals. That’s how I came to know that there is a thriving IT scene in Calgary and Edmonton. PfC also told us a lot about the Canadian culture, what to expect and how to handle different situations. It was all so helpful.
Every small piece of information helps when you’re immigrating and looking to settle in a foreign country. For instance, we learned about the different types of houses, initial accommodation options available, the process of applying for it etc. And that was a big help, especially because we landed in Toronto and within a week, had to move to Edmonton as I found a job.
I had been applying for jobs in Canada while I was still in India, but nothing materialized. For this job that I have, I had established a connection before immigrating. I told them about my skill set and that I would be arriving in Canada soon. When I landed, I contacted them again and my interview was scheduled for the very next day. I got the job, and we left for Edmonton. Everything happened so quickly. We hadn’t even unpacked our bags!
My advice for anyone moving to Canada is that do not limit yourself to a single city or province. I had planned for Toronto and all my research and preparation, even during the PfC sessions, was towards Toronto. But when I landed, I got a job in Edmonton and I had to move quickly. I did not have enough time to prepare or do any research for this new destination. So, I would urge everyone to expand their horizon and consider other cities as well. I would say, do not limit yourself to just Toronto, Vancouver or other famous cities.