“We had a bumpy ride in the beginning but everything worked out well in the long run. We see a good life ahead for ourselves and a bright future for our children.”
Ameek Singh works as a Manager, Business Solutions and Member Experience, at Khalsa Credit Union, Surrey
Manveen Kaur is a teacher at Khalsa High School, Old Yale Road-Surrey
Ramit Singh is 12 years old
Tejal Kaur is 10 years old
Ameek Singh and Manveen Kaur migrated to Canada with their two kids, Ramit and Tejal, in August 2017 seeking better quality of life and future for the family. They planned the move well in advance and rented a basement suite at an independent house in South Vancouver before their arrival, and went straight to this house after landing at Vancouver airport. Their first impressions: “It’s a country with vast natural beauty, fresh air and clean water. Canadians are polite, helpful and proud of their multicultural society,” says Ameek.
There were a few adjustments the family had to make to accept the Canadian way of living. “Drinking directly from tap water was surprising,” mentions Manveen. Additionally, adjusting to the long cold season in Canada took a while as they came from India where it usually is a hot and tropical climate. “As we came from a metropolitan city i.e. Delhi NCR, adjusting to the general social environment has been an easy ride,” adds Ameek.
Like most immigrant families, Ameek and Manveen’s biggest challenge was to find a suitable job as per their experience and skillset in their respective fields. “It took us a while for both of us to ‘get the first foot into the door’ – a cliché for job market here,” recalls Ameek. With both having educational qualification in computer engineering, back in India, Ameek worked for HSBC at Gurgaon, and Manveen worked as an Assistant Professor in Galgotias University at Noida. Yet, the job hunt here was difficult. “It was not easy to get the job role and profile of choice, but our perseverance and focus paid off in the long run. Today, we both are working in the fields of our choice,” says Ameek.
Ramit and Tejal had their share of challenges adjusting into their new school environment. “It has been a total cultural and mindset shift for them to adjust into Canadian society. But they overcame this struggle with their strong will, good guidance and help from their school teachers,” explains Manveen.
The family is happy to call Canada their home. “We like the people, the quality of life and clean environment (minus pollution) here. There’s no cutthroat competition where people tend to push each other off the edge and there’s better work-life balance. There is dignity of labour and respect for law,” says Manveen, adding that the only think they dislike is the long winters and rainy season.
Ameek believes their journey so far has been great. “We had a bumpy ride in the beginning but everything worked out well in the long run. We see a good life ahead for ourselves and a bright future for our children.”
Q & A
Biggest obstacle faced so far in Canada:
Not having previous Canadian experience has been the biggest hurdle in respective fields for both me and my wife.
Vancouver being a very costly city for new immigrants.
Resolutions made for yourself or family:
Being successful while leading a good quality life.
Providing the best education to our kids, and guiding them to choose the best career for their future.
Giving back to Canadian society either through our service, charity or being involved in social causes.
Advice for immigrants:
Come with an open mind, stay strong and don’t lose hope.
Be well-informed before coming here i.e. gather through friends, social circle and search over the Internet to gear up for the Canadian way of life.
This will help to face all challenges (whether personal and professional) and obstacles in a better way, during the initial days of settling down in Canada.
Memories of your homeland:
We do miss our families, friends and the social circle we built during all those years spent in our homeland. But simultaneously, we look forward to building good memories in Canada while adding new chapters in our lives.