Here at Visto, we love to showcase real success stories of people who went through the process of relocating to Canada to start new lives. Read the interviews with our users and mentors to learn about what the process was like for them, and how they’re settling in to Canada!
Priyanka is a senior software developer. She graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering & Technology from India. Originally an electrical engineer, she always enjoyed software development and transitioned into it slowly. She is currently living in Edmonton, Alberta and has been here for 9 months.
I am very active on LinkedIn and was looking for opportunities. I found a Canadian company that hires international talent and was interested so I took some courses by them and they contacted me in October 2018. I came to Canada first to interview with 4-5 companies and chose the one that gave me an offer letter.
I came through a closed work permit because the company sponsored me. It wasn’t difficult, it was pretty easy to do it on my own. It wasn’t until I started having problems with my application that I met Josh and he helped me complete the things I was having difficulty with. He helped me understand the supporting documents and provided what I needed. Josh also stayed in touch until the application was complete.
The application was from October 2018 – February 2019 (4 months). I received the offer letter the first week of November. The company took some time to get the LMIA so we were waiting for that document the longest. Josh had completed the application before Christmas but because of the holidays, it took about 20 days so I got the approval in January and arrived in Canada in February.
The biggest challenge was coming to Canada by myself because I didn’t bring my partner along. The culture shock was huge and I didn’t really know what to expect. The company I work for provided temporary housing for 2 weeks so I had time to go out and find a place on my own.
The work culture between Canada and India is totally different. Here in Canada people are nice and polite. I was lucky because the company helped ease the transition. I was surprised that finding friends, places to hangout and things to do in Edmonton was difficult. I am not an indoor person and like to go out but the winter made it difficult. It was my first winter and first snow and it was hard for a while.
I did not know anyone when I first came to Canada. I used Bumble to try and make friends but it didn’t seem to work for me. It took about 6 months until I was able to make friends through the office and network. I also used Meetup.com for hikes in the summer which was really nice.
I wish I had a better understanding of what the culture was like in Canada first. I only heard about all of the good things about Canada but no one told me about the cultural differences. For example, in India, it’s common to have a maid to help around the house, but here it’s not possible and it’s really expensive to have a maid! I think I also would’ve chosen a bigger city like Toronto because Edmonton is small.
I wish I didn’t feel so isolated sometimes. I wanted to gain exposure and international work experience. I also wanted to step out of my comfort zone and try something different which I am. I’m very lucky that the workplace is so good because if not it would be difficult.
Definitely look for a roommate if you’re coming here alone. Also don’t rush on moving into places. Come stay in a furnished place to get acquainted with the city and see what it’s like and learn about the company you’ll be working for as much as you can.
Priyanka has kindly volunteered to become part of Visto’s Mentor Network which aims to help newcomers with the transition of moving to Canada and answering any questions they may have. If you’re interested in moving to Canada or learning about our Mentor Program, make sure to sign up and join the community here!
Are you interested in changing the lives of skilled newcomers? We’re always looking to expand our network! Send us a message here and we’ll get in touch!