Ish Kumar is the Project Manager at Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society
Why did you decide to migrate to Canada?
I decided to migrate to Canada to live a peaceful and beautiful life, and for a safe and better future for my daughters. Few prominent factors which really attracted me to migrate were dignity of human life, better infrastructure, clean air and social security.
Which year did you migrate?
I, along with my family, migrated in November 2014 from Jalandhar, Punjab, India, as permanent residents.
What were your first impressions of Canada?
‘WOW’ was my first impression of Canada. So beautiful and clean. We were welcomed warmly at airport and got encouraging support from different agencies for our documentation. We were able to get the same food, meet people from the same communities and practice our spirituality the same way, we used to do in India, so we didn’t feel like strangers since the beginning. It established a great reputation and positive image of Canada since the beginning only – a place for everyone.
Where did you stay when you reached Canada? Hotel, relative or friends place?
After reaching Canada, we stayed in a rented accommodation. We are thankful to my friend who supported us a lot at that time to settle down.
What difficulties/challenges did you face when you and your family moved here?
This was the first time, when I along with my family moved to a different country, so it was before bit overwhelming. The biggest challenge we faced in the beginning was loneliness, away from our parents and siblings. We were not used to this kind of silence in the neighbourhoods also. Another big challenge was taking public transport, we couldn’t understand which bus goes west bound or south bound. And clearing the driving test was another nightmare.
How was your experience getting a job here? Was it easy or troublesome?
It was wonderful. Getting a job here worked very well for me. Organizations like PICS guided us well through their immigrant serving employment programs. They guided us about the Canadian job market, and prepared us for interviews. And this helped getting me a job in Shaw Cable in just 25 days of landing. I firmly believe and have experienced here that if you have a positive attitude and are willing to learn, there are many opportunities open for you.
How has your overall journey in Canada been so far?
The journey was very wonderful and adventurous. It taught us a lot about multiculturism and I feel that I have become a world citizen. I love Canada.
How do you see your future in Canada?
I see a bright and successful future in Canada for myself and my family. As there are so many opportunities available here with so much of support from the government, we feel our future is filled with all good surprises.
One thing which really bothers me a lot; everyday we hear news of gunshots. I fail to understand how this is taking place in a country like Canada.
Good education and bright future for my kids is the only resolution we have till now.
Advice for immigrants
Be positive, optimistic, and take help from immigrant serving organizations as their staff is trained enough to guide you for your bright future and have the available resources. It can make your settlement journey easy.
We miss our parents and siblings, our childhood home and those streets where we grew up.