Moving to Canada - a child's perspective

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My Story....

I remember it was at breakfast on a weekend when my parents asked me if I would like to move to Canada. They said that they had been talking about it for a while and that my brother and sister wanted to come as well. I thought it was a great idea and said that it would be fun to go. At this time I must have been about 8 years old but I remember that conversation as if it was yesterday. Mom and dad went to see an immigration consultant who gave us a list of things we had to collect. As a family we made a binder that had all of our birth certificates and diplomas we had. We even had to get a passport for our little dog! As I was little, I do not remember much of the immigration process but I clearly remember what it was like when we landed in Calgary, Alberta. A couple days after landing, I had to take a test for school so the teachers could see how much English I knew and which grade I could go into. Back in the Netherlands I had taken some English lessons so I did fairly well on that test. All I had to do was read a story out loud and describe what I saw on a drawing.

My first day of school was really interesting but a little scary. This was the first day that I would not have my parents with me and I was in a new school, in a new country, new language and I did not know anybody! I was pretty nervous but I pulled through. Everybody in the school was very nice and helped me with just about everything. If I did not understand something or if I did not know an English word, all I had to do was ask and about 5 people were ready to help. The things that we studied in the Netherlands and what they studied in Canada were actually quite different. Mathematics in the Netherlands focused a lot on mental math and calculations and in Canada I had to use a calculator which was something I had never used before. In social studies, they were learning about China and in the Netherlands we did not study any countries yet. It was a whole new program for me but luckily I did very well in school. To be honest, after speaking English for 8 months I was the winner of a spelling bee of my class.

Moving to Canada was a little scary at first because it was a place that I had never been to before. I did not know where our new house would be or where my new school was or who my new friends would be. All the kids here, no matter what age, are used to interacting with people from other countries. As a kid I was a little worried about moving to Alberta but it turned out that there really was not anything to be worried about. I think living here is awesome and if you have the chance to come here you should really take it. Southern Alberta is a really friendly place and I would recommend it to anyone. I hope my story will help you a little with your own immigration adventure.