June 16, 2015 was the start of another chapter of my life. I left the Philippines to fulfill my dreams of living abroad and travelling. I remember I was really praying for the approval of the permanent resident visa and now I am almost two years coming June here in Canada.
I am sharing the highlights of my first few years in Canada to all fellows. ‘ might be a good help or reference. 🙂
I stayed in a room for rent in Calgary. Cost per month is $400 including all the utilities (water, electricity, wifi, laundry). I stayed with a couple, whose wife happened to be my highschool classmate. I was responsible for my own food/ groceries. Really, it will be easier if you have family/ friends to stay with as you adjust with the new life in Canada.
Finding another job in Kelowna, British Columbia, I moved to another apartment (room for rent still, costing $450 monthly/ all inclusive).
I did not drive in the Philippines so I will not be able to drive sooner. However, I did apply for a Learner’s driving license. After a year of learning how to drive, a road test can be challenged and if you pass, you can have a Class 5 license allowing you to drive independently with some restrictions. Each provinces have their own licensing regulations (e.g., Alberta’s different from B.C.)
I commute going to work and other places via Calgary transit. Monthly pass costs $100 covering unlimited pass per month to any stations in Calgary including the C-train. There is a per trip pass costing $3.50. The pass is good for until one and a half hours; you’ll just have to grab a ‘transfer’.
Within two weeks, I was hired at Tommy Hilfiger store in CrossIron Mills, few minute drive away from my apartment. I worked there as a stockman. Easy to get a job in Canada. All you have to do is move your feet and go to every stores or shops in town and submit a resume. Be prepared for a job interview impromptu or sooner. I was hired too at Sobeys, few minute walk from my apartment. Here I worked as a produce clerk in charge of stocking/ preparing/ displaying fresh produce. I did both as part-time jobs.
Came August 2016, I applied for a barista position at Starbucks and I was hired. It was a full time one and just nearby the apartment too. Starbucks preferred applications done online. Visit https://www.starbucks.ca/careers and pick the locations you wanted to work at. Tips on the interview: show that you are really interested for the job and that you can work anytime, anyday.
Thanks to God, after a year of working as a barista, I got a new job in my field or profession (in the Philippines). I was hired in a multinational nutraceutical manufacturing company in Kelowna, B.C. as an Inventory Controller. How was I able to do that? Check out below.
My university degree from the University of the Philippines is an equivalent 4-year business university degree here in Canada as per educational credential assessment by World Education Services (WES) Canada. However, it is somehow not of interest by the hiring companies. That is why you will see lots of degree graduates, even licensed professionals practicing survival jobs like in food service, janitorial, cashiering, but these are noble jobs.
While working at Starbucks, I decided to enroll for a Supply Chain Management Extension Certificate in Mount Royal University. This is one of the continuing education certificates offered not only in that university but in many universities and colleges in Calgary / Canada. The certificate consists of ten courses and timeline varies per season of the year. Mind you, the courses are expensive. One course averages $450. Finishing nine courses, I decided to apply for positions related to supply chain.
Studying again is challenging yet fulfilling. Always great to learn and always good to meet new people, immigrants or Canadians wanting to upgrade their skills.
I suggest you check first with immigrant-serving organizations as they have programs also in terms of advancing in your field or you may do a research. You might consider a new career and continuing education is a good avenue.
I have travelled to Lethbridge, Cochraine, Edmonton, Jasper and beautiful Banff.
Now, I am living in the marvelous city of Kelowna, part of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia.
I visited also Nelson, Castlegar, Summerland, Vernon, and Lavington. My Christmas vacation is a worth-remembering one as I was able to explore Vancouver and North Vancouver and the magnificent Whistler.
I would highly recommend travelling to Jasper and Banff in Alberta and Kelowna, Vernon, and Whistler in B.C. Amazing places.
These are all for now. Life is good in Canada. One must be positive always and humble enough to grow in this lovely land.
P.S. Do not hesitate to ask for clarifications/ questions. Just comment below and I will be glad to get back to you. 🙂