Your first Canadian winter can be a shock, with the fluctuating temperatures, cold winds, and falling snow. Canada gets cold and dry in the winter months; not -5°C cold, but -30°C cold. So, how do you prepare for that and ensure you make the most of the season?
Go in prepared with these five tips for thriving in the Canadian winters.
Not all cold-weather gear is created equal. Whether you will be trekking through the backcountry, or taking on snow-covered city streets, winter can be brutal. That is why your winter coat, whatever the style, whatever the purpose, has to keep you warm. Look for a jacket that is water-resistant at a minimum, ideally waterproof, and rated for temperatures as low as -20°C. Longer cuts help to keep your backside warm when you are moving about and can keep the crisp winds from making their way in.
You will also want to find yourself a pair of waterproof, fleece-lined winter gloves, a fleece-lined toque and a thick scarf to help keep the cold off of your skin.
Although snow can be beautiful to look at, it can also be wet, slippery and icy. It is very common for people to slip on ice while walking, especially without appropriate footwear, so make sure you invest in a good pair of boots. You should look for insulated, waterproof boots with higher tops and a sole that has enough tread to prevent slips and falls.
Drinking plenty of water not only helps you stay hydrated, it also helps regulate body temperature and is essential to the function of cells, tissues and organs. Drinking warm liquids such as tea, cider, hot chocolate or coffee will help to keep you warm on chilly days. Drinking water and teas can also give your immune system a boost to keep those unwanted illnesses at bay.
Vitamin D Supplementation
In Canada, limited sun exposure means your body can’t produce vitamin D from November through April. For newcomers transitioning from a warmer, sunny climate, this is a major transition for your body to handle. Vitamin D regulates or influences over 200 genes in your body, playing an important role in overall health. Keep your body happy and the “bugs” away by supplementing with Vitamin D3 this winter season.
The cold winds of the Canadian winter sap your skin of its natural moisture which can cause your skin to dry and crack, or your lips to become chapped. In some cases, it can be painful but is easily avoidable with lip chap and skin creams.
If you plan to drive, it’s very important to be aware of the weather conditions and have your car prepared for them. In the thick of winter, Canadian roads can be icy and flurries can lead to poor visibility. Winter tires can help to give you better traction on the roads during this weather while slowing down and being aware of your surroundings can help you reach your destination safely.
These are a few tips to get you started off on the right foot, but you can continue to make this an amazing winter by further educating yourself on the things to be aware of with the cold weather and getting outside to enjoy the beauty and fun of the colder season.
There is an excitement and nervousness that you feel when you first arrive in your new Country. You have arrived in Canada, and now you have so many questions. Where do you begin when it comes to getting settled?
Here are 10 tips which can get you headed in the right direction:
- Find your first home in Canada. Whether you decide to rent or purchase, having your first home will be a major accomplishment in your Canadian journey. Check out these top considerations when looking for a place to call your own.
- Shop for appropriate clothing. If you came from a tropical country, you will need proper winter clothing that will stand-up in colder temperatures. Items such as a winter jacket, winter pants, and winter boots – pick ones that are water proof and have good grip. You will also need gloves, scarves, warm socks and toques. Keep yourself warm and dry during the winter months.
- Open a Canadian bank account. Anyone can open a bank account in Canada if they meet the identification requirements set out in the Bank Act. A bank account lets you write cheques, use automated banking machines (ABMs), get paid through direct deposit, and use a debit or credit card for purchases. You can open an account even if you don’t have a job yet or money to deposit, or if you’ve been bankrupt.
- Apply for your Social Insurance Number (SIN) and Healthcare Card. This very important, and you should do it in your first week if possible. Learn how to apply for your SIN card and healthcare card.
- Find a Family Physician. Family doctors treat a wide range of conditions, and are often your primary care providers. In the long term, that means you will want to build a lasting relationship with a family physician. Developing such a relationship allows them to know your medical history inside and out, helping them make accurate diagnoses, watch for red flags regarding medications and monitor changes in your health through the years.
- Find a specialist or consultant for Newcomer’s to Canada. Building a relationship with an immigration specialist will provide you with a resource who can provide information and direction throughout your Canadian journey. They will give you advice, provide information and resources, as well as suggest next steps.
- Strengthen your English with free courses. If you’re a permanent resident or a protected person, you can take language classes at no cost to you. English is a confusing language with lots of words and phrases that are more common in speech than writing, and are typically restricted to a particular context. Practice will strengthen your English abilities and help you get better at identifying appropriate context. Learn more about these classes.
- Get educational equivalency. Being new to Canada it’s really hard to get your dream job right away. Submiting your Educational transcript for equivalency may be a stepping stone to get you there faster. After you receive your equivalency, take it to any college or university and show your IQAS result. The educational institute will decide what additional courses you need based on this information. The advantage of sending your educational documents to IQAS is you may not have to upgrade any additional English or Math, allowing you to start taking other courses right away.
- Make new friends or contacts. Join local sports groups, find a volunteer job, reach out to your new neighbours, or attends short courses. Meeting new people will help you get settled in your new life and can prove beneficial in a variety of areas from personal to professional.
- Find a job. Looking for a job in Canada is like a diving into a “deep blue sea”. Remember you are in a new country and accepting any job will help you overcome challenges that may come up during your settlement period. Stay motivated to reach your goals and you will be successful.
These stepping stones can give a starting point for settled in Canada and help you along the path to living your Canadian dream.
Are you an international student who is about to complete your post-secondary education in Canada? Do you wish to stay in Canada after you graduate and obtain Canadian work experience? Then the Post-Graduation Work Permit program (PGWPP) may be what you’re looking for.
To work in Canada after you graduate, you need a work permit. The PGWPP allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions to obtain an open work permit and gain valuable Canadian work experience. An advantage of this program is that the work experience you gain may help you qualify for permanent residence.
How Long Will My Permit Be?
The duration of your post-graduation work permit (PGWP) will depend on the length of your study program. If your educational program was between eight months to two years, your PGWP may be valid for up to the same length as your study program. Alternatively, if the education program you completed was two or more years, then your PGWP may be issued for 3 years. If you complete more than one eligible program, you may be able to get a PGWP that combines the length of each program.
Programs that run for less then eight months are not eligible for the PGWPP. You also can’t get a PGWP if you already had one after completing an earlier program of study.
Am I Eligible?
On February 14, 2019, the Government of Canada extended the time to apply from 90 to 180 days, six months, after your designated learning institution issues your final marks confirming that the requirements to complete the program of study have been met.
You must also have maintained full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of your study program (except your final semester, which can be part-time, or if you took a leave from studies) to be eligible.
If you’re in any of these groups, there are unique requirements to be aware of that may influence your eligibility.
- Accelerated programs
- Distance learning
- Leave from studies
- Transfers between schools
- Canadian study programs with an overseas component
- Flight school graduates
What Happens if I Don’t Qualify?
If you’re not eligible for a PGWP, you may still be able to work in Canada after you graduate. Contact us to have one of our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants help you determine the best program for your situation.