Okay, alright... I have started off being very critical about my arrival in Canada and how it has affected me. Part of it was because I did not come prepared at first. Fortunately, after spending the past ten and a half years here, I can proudly say: Canada is my new home! Yes it is different from Côte D’Ivoire, yes I have faced some challenges, and yes I felt isolated at times; but it would have been the same, have I stayed in Abidjan (to a certain extent). Regardless of the past, I have made the decision to stay in Canada and learned to appreciate this beautiful country. Today I can share five reasons why I love Canada.
1. Canada is a very welcoming country
This is an international fact, Canada is one of the most welcoming, multicultural country in the World. Equality is one of its strongest values. The proof is, the immigration process offers various options to people from different social and financial strata, so they'd have the chance to establish their lives here. Ten years ago, I came on a Student Visa and now I am a Canadian. It sure was a long process. I had to go through three different immigration status: Student, Qualified Worker, and Permanent Resident. I finally became a citizen two years ago.
I am grateful to have had this opportunity for I knew the end result was going to change my life for the better and it sure did. In other countries, immigrants contribute to the Economy growth and bring so much value but still don’t have the same immigration options available to them and their families.
2. Canada is a Bilingual country
Coming from a French country, I was surprisingly pleased to know I could continue my studies in French. Not only that, but my previous curriculum has been fairly reassessed, so I was able to finish a four-year program in two years. Although Quebec is the only officially Francophone province in Canada, French is not only spoken in Quebec. In every province, there are strong Francophone communities, working to make French services available in Government (Provincial and Municipal) and private sectors. Others than French, you will find many other communities organizing themselves to keep their linguistic heritage alive.
3. Canada has a ''Hot" Summer
I remember before coming, I asked about the seasons in Canada and was told the warmest it gets is 20°C... LOL. Unless you live in the North, it gets as warmer as in Ivory Coast during the summer. In Winnipeg as well as other cities in Canada, temperatures can reach 35° C with humidity index, it is sometimes even worst than Abidjan since you can't feel a single breeze on your face. Despite the ''cold" sea, do not leave your swimwear when coming because you can still enjoy warm lakes and beautiful sandy beaches.
4. Canada's road trips are the Best
I can count on my fingers the times I went on vacation outside of Canada. It is a beautiful country with diverse flora and landscape. In the beginning, I did not enjoy driving for hours, but I have learned to appreciate road trips. I no longer rush to get to my destination. I stop as often as I want, spend a day or two, contemplating God’s finest creation. I have visited a few cities on the Westside (Banff, Kananaskis, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon…). As for the Eastside, I am not quite ready to take on the challenge past Kenora (Ontario).
5. Canada values Education and Experience
In many countries the more degrees you can collect, the better chance you have to get a good job. Although it is true, efficiency comes by experience. In Canada, I appreciate the fact that most employers give a chance to experienced people even if they do not have all the degrees (education) required for the position. 'The most important is the attitude and the learning ability', I often heard employers say. Post-Secondary studies can be costly in Canada compared to other educational systems around the World. Plus recent studies show that more people end up working in a field they did not initially graduate in. In this ever-changing context, this Canadian Employment conception is very encouraging. LIFE is the biggest University in the World and guesses what: it is Free! So KUDOS to Canada for valuing experience in the workplace.
I just kept it to five reasons but the truth is, I have many more reasons to celebrate every 1st of July. What do you like about Canada? Share your story below.
Happy Canada Day! Bye for now...