Considering year-long move to Canada

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May 10th, 2004, 06:59 PM
  #1
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Considering year-long move to Canada

I am a recent college grad who is considering relocating to Canada for a year or so.
Someone tell me why I should and should not go? ie; cost of living, transportation, nightlife, currency, job market.
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May 10th, 2004, 08:14 PM
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What do you intend to do for that year in Canada?

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May 11th, 2004, 07:46 AM
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I was in the process of mapping out a plan. I have enough money to adequately live for six months w/out work. So just sightsee, explore and meet new people in Canada. I will spend a month there before actually making a decision staying in the Okanagan Valley with friends
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May 11th, 2004, 08:02 AM
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ddonivon: BAK is right - it all depends on what you intend on doing in Canada for the year. You don't indicate where you are from. If you're from the US, the paperwork is somewhat less than other countries, but there are still strict requirements you must follow. I suggest going to the website of a Canadian Consulate. Just plug the term in a search engine such as Google. The Consulates' websites are full of good info.
Nightlife depends on where you go. The larger cities all have active evening activities (singles scene).
Job market: Probably not an easy way to get a job. There are visas for skilled laborers but it's far better to have a job lined up ahead of time since I understand that competition is keen. As for unskilled jobs (waiters, lanscaping, tourists sites, etc.) I've no idea if that's possible. Again, contacting one of the several Consulates in the US is advisable.
Currency: If you decide to go, I'd recommend utilizing the favorable exchange rate by having a ready line of cash from a US bank which you can access via ATMs. Or, by opening an account at a Canadian bank with US currency, you'll get the official exchange rate converted into Canadian currency. I have a friend who is a US citizen who "retired" to Nova Scotia by buying a home there. He must return to the US for a short period of time about every six months or so. He has his retirement checks automatically forwarded to his Canadian Bank and receives the exchange rate. He also maintains a US bank account so he can access ATM machines for ready cash (and again receives the exchange rate). Heck, if you can swing it, go for it. Good luck!
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May 11th, 2004, 11:06 AM
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I'm from the U.S. I will check with a Canadian consulate(very helpful,thanks) and see exactly what I should do. I have researched the country somewhat and so far it's amazing. Just a college grad trying to have fun before starting law school in a year.
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May 11th, 2004, 02:49 PM
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it gets complicated. If you like winter sports, spend the winter in Calgary.

If you love great food, spend time in Montreal.

Do you have a readily transferable skill in demand by the Candian branch of a US company i.e. are you a Starbucks barista? Then you could work for a couple of months at a Starbucks in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal.

There are lots of Australians doing what you are doing, but Canda has an agreement with Australia covering the work permits. The goal of many Australians is to work in their chosen field, but they often s3ettle for working in retail. That's the case with one woman I know here, an industrial engineer from Sydney.

Some cities have more of a beer-drinking culture; others, while still having beer available, have braoder and deeper literature, music, film, etc. night-life.

Toronto and Vancouver have the most pass-through people; some cities like Edmonton and Winnipeg have less of a transient (international) population.

Cost of living; Vancouver is more than San Francisco. Toronto is less than New York.

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May 12th, 2004, 05:56 AM
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What a fantastic opportunity for you and what a fantastic country to choose (hehe - biased) were you hoping to hit many cities or is there one area that stands out to you? It is very important as others have stated to get an idea of what or where in Canada you feel drawn to as Canada has incredibly different cultures / ways of living all over. The east coast is a ball but much slower than Toronto and a different kind of fun...Obviously Toronto is dramatically different from our beautiful west coast...but the differences can even be as close and yet dramatic as being in Toronto - great urban nightlife, drive 4 hours to Ottawa - very University night life more affordable living, beautiful city, drive another 2 hours to Montreal and Whoa nelly - now you are in a very chic french uban city with a combination of Toronto and Ottawa nightlife....

If you lay out some ideas of what gets you excited about coming to Canada and giving us a year of your life then we could likely be even more helpful - because welcome to Canada - we are friendly for sure...just ignore some of the rude Torontonians...(kidding.)
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May 20th, 2004, 04:56 AM
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Man you guys are more helpful than ever and you have really caused me to rethink this thing through. I love your suggestion of Ottawa seeing as though I am an urban college grad and would love to interact with people in the same social setting as me.

What gets me excited about coming to Canada is that your country has very little violence, clean environment, friendly atmosphere and just a taste for adventure.

I really want to be sure I am making a concious decision. How hard is it to obtain a work permit? Does anyone offer services in finding an apartment or a part-time job to keep the bills paid?

Is there anyway I could contact one of you for a brief convo on Canadian life?
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May 20th, 2004, 09:03 AM
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ddonivon: I'll have to pass on providing more info. I'm from the US but have visited Canada extesnively over the years. It is a wonderful and beautiful country, and most of the natives we meet seem to have this more laid back approach to life, a willingness to help, and keener appreciation of a healthful environment. Heck, even if you only stay for 6 months, go for it! During that time you might well find info about obtaining a job. Good luck.
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May 20th, 2004, 09:31 AM
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Ddonivon, I think it would be easier for you to figure all this out if you came on an LSD (look, see, and decide) trip first. It sounds as if you intend to do this anyway, in the form of a visit to your friends in the Okanagan.

If you come here for a visit, be sure to have medical insurance that covers you outside of the U.S.

It's easy for a U.S. citizen to visit Canada for leisure purposes. It's quite a bit more complicated for an American to get legal authorization to work in Canada.

Generally speaking, temporary work permits are issued when the Canadian government is satisfied that there is a shortage of Canadians who are able and willing to do the work in question.

This is explained on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website at:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/

(Although the government department's name suggests that it deals with citizenship and immigration, it deals with temporary residence issues as well.)

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) allows for some movement amongst the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Generally speaking, the categories of people who are covered by NAFTA are business visitors, professionals, intra-company transferees, traders and investors, and accompanying spouses and dependents of the above mentioned people. Here's a website about that:

http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/nafta-alena/cross-en.asp

Hope this helps.
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May 21st, 2004, 06:37 PM
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WOW - thank God for Judy in Calgary...I have none of that brilliant and intensive information...I can speak only more to the experiences I have had in the different cities I have been in in our lovely Canada - I was born in Toronto and lived there for a LONG time ....then to Ottawa, now Oakville. I would say feel free to contact me but I am about to have a baby - as in tomorrow - so I fear I may be an inconsistent help...if you have any more questions about cities and life etc... I will be taking breaks from Motherhood to surf this site and will happily respond in any way helpful!!

You said that one of the things that gets you excited about Canada is low violence...Ottawa could be your city for that - healthy environment too...very friendly people (hey - we are Canadian friendliness is in all parts of our country) and adventure - in Ottawa you can go white water rafting...you can hike in the Gatineau's, party in Quebec and Ontario with a short walk across a bridge, you can check out our parliament and heckle the ministers with the best of them and then party the night away in the clubs...wake up and shop for fresh fruit and veggies in the market before grabbing a breakfast and then maybe mountain biking...wait - why do I live in Oakville??? You can also access Toronto really easily without paying the rent costs there (!?!?!?) and Montreal even more easily.

I am not as helpful as Judy re: laws and employment etc..but do you have as I have found here in Ontario - placement agencies that will set you up with jobs in bars or such with a job permit for a specifiec period of time? I looked into Aupair jobs in France...ony to find that they also worked with a company to find youth employment in the U.S, Ireland and England in Pubs and Bars...maybe you have one of these?

Goodluck and I hope you are able to make it up here and have a blast...if you have anymore questions I will hopefully be back in a couple of days and find a minute to surf the net!

Goodluck

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May 21st, 2004, 06:54 PM
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>>>>>>I am about to have a baby - as in tomorrow<<<<<<

Don't know if you'll see this message before then, Carib_bean, but may the force be with you. All the best.
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May 21st, 2004, 07:00 PM
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THANK YOU VERY MUCH JUDY!!

May the force be with me indeed - i am nervous but ready - I think...??

Thank you again!!
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May 21st, 2004, 08:21 PM
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Thanks Judy, are you a lawyer or professional because you are extremely knowledgeable? Is Ottawa a college town or close to one?

Congrats on the baby carib_bean. From your responses you seem to be one of the affable people I will ever encounter in my natural life. If I could send a gift of some sort I would.

I am coming on a LSD (look, see and decide) trip in about a month for about thirty days and then I wil make my decision. You all are so helpful and you have made my decision so much more clear.

Working in a pub or bar is exactly what I was thinking because I love to meet new people and discover new things.

Is there anything else exciting I may want to know?
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May 21st, 2004, 09:14 PM
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>>>>>>Thanks Judy, are you a lawyer or professional because you are extremely knowledgeable?<<<<<<

You're very welcome, Ddonivon, but I'm not a lawyer. I know something about the way immigration systems work, because my husband and I immigrated to Canada from South Africa in the latter half of the 70s. Then, in the intervening years, we've been on two expat assignments, one to the U.S., when my husband qualified under the NAFTA provisions, and next to Australia, where my husband was on a temporary work permit.

If you e-mail me, I can tell you some more of my own and my family members' experiences around this issue that I think might be helpful and relevant to you but probably boring to everyone else on the forum.
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May 24th, 2004, 12:35 PM
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I will e-mail you definitely. I have researched Ottawa and it seems like a pretty good place from what I have seen so far.
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 09:41 AM
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Thank you ddonivon and Judy!! Baby is here - it is a HE and he is fantastic!

ddonivon - you are very kind and I appreciate your kind words!! The best gift you can provide would be to come here to Canada and have a blast - then when you go home - if you do decide to leave...tell everyone what fun you had!! I do hope that you will come on line and keep us updated about your adventures - in the meantime - Ottawa is a University city in a sense as it has two large Universities...however, more importantly it is our capital and also has all of those interesting aspects as well - so overall a cool city - but can be quiet in the summer when the students go home and the politicians go on summer break....

I am dying to hear how your LSD goes - do post and let us know please...I hope you enjoy yourself!! Best wishes!
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 10:10 AM
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Congratulations, carib_bean!!! That's great news. Thank you for letting us know. ><

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Jun 7th, 2004, 08:58 PM
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That is very good news. I hope you are staying off your feet young lady(smile).
Now wait, should I go to Ottawa or Vancouver?
I will arrive in Canada July 20 and I should be there until November 20. If I remember correctly I was told that Ottawa was more affordable than Vancouver right? Although, I would like to be situated around excitement; college kids, partying, attractive co-eds, etc. Juniper I have not forgotten to e-mail you either.

Any idea when will the next school session start?

Once again I appreciate the help from the two of you and I look forward to hearing a response.

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Jun 8th, 2004, 11:46 AM
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I have been following this thread because I would love to live in Canada for a year or more, but there is the added excitement of a new baby bean arriving!
Congratulations, carib-bean
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