Newcomer success story

June 3, 2010 | Janice

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(the City of Djakarta)

 Rudy is a new Canadian who comes from Indonesia.  He came to Canada with his wife and two young teenage children two and a half years ago. He answered a few questions about his experiences so far:

Why did you choose Canada?  Canada welcomed me by giving me points for my qualifications, education and English.

What did you do back home?  I was the chair of the English Department at a university in Djakarta, for seven years.  I knew when I came to Canada that I would be changing careers and making a transition to different kinds of work.  I did not expect to get a position in a Canadian university.

How long did it take you to get a job when you came ?  It took me two weeks!  I got a job in a call centre, selling things.  It was a depressing job, but it was a good way to practice my English.

What did you do to help you get a better job?  For the first three months I spent my days taking Enhanced Language Training classes in business communication in the mornings, volunteering at the YMCA in the afternoons and working at the call centre in the evenings.

What did you do as a volunteer?  I worked in the Newcomer Information Centre at the YMCA and at a LINC assessment centre.  I worked at reception and did intake for LINC and I helped organize events and worked with newcomers in the resource centre at the YMCA.

What job do you have now?   After a few months of volunteering at the YMCA I applied for a job as an Information and Referral Specialist.  If I had not volunteered there, I don't think I would have been able to get this job.  It has some similarity with my job at the university - I used to counsel students and help them get ready for exams and now I counsel newcomers and help them find out information about living in Canada.

Are you glad you came to Canada?  Yes, I am glad and so is my wife and my kids love it here.  I came to Canada mainly for my kids, so they would have more advanced education and more opportunities.  It is very important to learn many languages in the world today and they are already learning more languages - they can speak Indonesian and English and my son is learning French and my daughter is learning Korean!  My wife went to LINC classes for a year and now she has a job too.  After almost three years here, we are pretty much settled.

Do you have any advice for newcomers to Canada?  Yes, there are four very important pieces of advice I would give:

1. Brush up on your English and your communication skill.

2. Have a positive attitude - you really need to see the good points of almost any situation.

3. Never give up!  Have perseverance and keep working hard.  If you have the will, you can do almost anything.

4. Build your personal networks - find your community when you arrive.  They will support you psychologically.  Don't let yourself become isolated.

Thank you, Rudy.