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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nzwasp View Post
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    For some reason I thought you were brown not asian.
    Hah, I'm browner than rage2.

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    My parents came separately to Canada from England and met here.

    My father came in 1949 on one of the last (perhaps the very last) voyage of the RMS Aquitania. (one of the famous Cunard four funnel steamers like the more well known Mauretania and Lusitania).
    SS_Aquitania.jpg
    I don't have too many details of his journey, but from what I can gather he carried with him virtually no money, only a handful of handwritten letters of recommendation from farmers he had worked for including a very touchingly formal one from his father, who owned a very small dairy farm in Wiltshire. According to the letters he "made a good job of things" and was "ready to take an agricultural position of responsibility and trust". He did work in a dairy farm near balzac (that is still around to this day) for a while, and then became a fuel truck driver delivering to local farms. At some point he became a Certified General Accountant and did accounting work for farmers all the way from Taber to Three Hills. Family legend has that he was "very close" to purchasing Time Air https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Air with some business partners at some point, although this may have been an exaggeration or outright falsehood because he was always but not quite totally broke. He was a hell of a storyteller and did have an amazing way of getting people into long discussions. Even people who really should have been too busy. He once talked his way (and mine too) onto a CP rail freight train from Golden to Revelstoke and back as passengers, despite not knowing a single person who worked at the railway. The train crew told me that wasn't a thing they did, but we did it. One of the greatest memories of my childhood. Lost my dad when I was in high school and I still really miss him.

    My mom got to Canada a lot later, probably about the same stage of life I guess, just that she's younger. When she left for Canada her brother was living in Halifax, but she ended up in Windsor. Her mother, who had never been more than 100 miles from her home in Yorkshire was happy her two kids were "so close to each other in Canada." She nannied in Windsor for a year, then moved to Edmonton, and finally down to the Calgary area. Because her family growing up never went anywhere (aside from one week per year at the very closes seaside town, staying in the exact same bed and breakfast) , my mom traveled the world when she retired. Went to China, Ecuador, Africa, Cambodia/Laos/Thailand and other hot places. She's settled down now.

    So I'm a first generation Canadian. People say my mom has a bit of an accent, but I can't hear it. My dad for sure had an accent. I even have some people say I have an accent, which I think is insane. Only thing is that when I say the word "rather" I say "rah-thur" instead of rhyming it with lather.
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedog View Post
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    Hah, I'm browner than rage2.
    True story.
    Originally posted by SEANBANERJEE
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by max_boost View Post
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    Mom & Dad both 19/20 at the time give or take around 1979/80 sold off some family jewelry to pay the boat fee to take them along with 20-30 others from somewhere in the DongXing/Vietnam area to Macao. Sad story because the ship captain oversold the number of spots and many paid and got left behind. The captain got his karma (maybe?) years later when he was the youngest of everyone on the boat to suffer a stroke.

    Dad was too small to work in construction so they just did some work with flowers and relied on government assistance. I was born in 1981. Another lady with same last name as dad became good friends / considered family because she loved baby me. That family left Macao to Canada in 83 and sponsored us through the church in 1985.

    The rest is history. Very fortunate.
    We or our parents might know each other. Came here in 79 at the age of 3 from the same DongXing/Vietnam area. We (mom, dad and 3 siblings, me being the youngest) were sponsored by a church group along with a uncle and his family + another son from another uncle who couldn't come. I don't know anything about the journey cause I was so young and my Dad never talked about it and mom passed when I was 6. No idea how Calgary was the choice maybe just the luck of the draw but since coming at such a young age, Calgary has always been home to me. Dad was a teacher in China but when we came here worked as a janitor at the foothills hospital for like 25 years then the university for like 10 and retired from there.

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    My parents fled Vietnam in '80 on a boat built in secret by my uncle. My mom was 8 months pregnant when they fled. They ended up in an island in Malaysia (after getting attacked by pirates) and I was born in a UN refugee camp. (There are lots of stories of the Vietnamese boat people. Reading them is a personal hobby of mine).

    Through the UNHCR, a lot of countries were sponsoring refugees. My uncles were university educated and knew english while neither of my parents had high school or knew english. My uncles got accepted into the US, however my family was not. Two countries offered us sponsorship (private sponsorship actually) - Australia and Canada. My dad felt that moving to Canada was better because it was closer to his brothers (not realizing how big the countries actually were), so we were sponsored to a small town in Alberta. The sponsorship provided a community who helped us get settled here (including language and gave my dad a career). We still keep in touch with those families.

  6. #26
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    my family came over from Vietnam in 1979. my sister was 5 and i was 3. we were part of a large contingent of boats loaded with people trying to leave for a better life. my family was actually fairly well off in Vietnam considering how poor other people were at the time. we had a tv when nobody had one. my grandpa was a business man that made a decent living.

    my family, along with my mom's whole side of the family (uncles, aunts and my grandparents) piled onto a boat headed for Hong Kong. when we arrived, they wouldn't let us on shore so we had to live on the boats. the government from Hong Kong were sending out food for the boats that were waiting but had forgotten about our boat for a few days in a row. my uncles had to swim to another boat to beg for food. we lost 1 uncle because he drowned.

    my dads side of the family stayed behind.

    we were finally allowed onto shore and were eventually sponsored by a church group in Calgary. my first home was in Dover. the duplexes that can be seen right on 36th street S.E.

    i've lived here ever since and i guess my kids would be first generation Canadians? my younger brother was born here in '86 so he would be a first gen Canadian as well.
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    My parents immigrated here from Russia 22 years ago. My dad tried to apply for Canadian immigration twice and got denied, so he tried Australia and New Zealand but they had a strict rule where you had to be under 35 to be considered or something like that, so it didn't work out. Finally he tried one more time to Canada and we got approved.

    Main reason for my dad wanting to leave Russia was the fact that we had mandatory army service, and at that time, the war in Chechnia was on the news daily, with soldiers dying left and right. I was 11 at the time and was 7 years away from army, and despite my dad being in the army himself, he didn't want me to go. This he has told me was his main motivation to leave.

    We got approved to move to North West Territories where we would get government assistance and my dad had a job lined up through the government. I don't know all the details, but he decided to go somewhere else and we ended up in Calgary, with no assistance. We arrived to Calgary a day before the stampede...and had to stay at Regis Plaza...the only place that had any rooms. Next day my dad was able to track down another hotel and we moved there, before finding a place to rent a week later. My dad worked small jobs delivering pizza, building bikes for walmart etc, before finding a job of his original career, which is a machinist. My mom worked at Marvelous Muffins selling muffins in the downtown location, and going to school for English and accounting. Eventually my mom got a job at an oil service company and worked there for 17 years...until being laid off last year due to the economy.

    I was too young to care about cars, and growing up here made lots of Chinese friends, who to this day I have many off. I never really hung out with any other Russians for some reason, so I don't really relate to them anymore at all. All the sacrifice was worth it for our family, my parents are pretty good off now relatively speaking, and I would have never been in a position to have a paid off house and a great job was it not for my dad. I don't know if I can ever repay them, but now that the house is paid off, I took them out for a family vacation earlier this year, and plan on getting my dad a brand new car in the near future, whatever way I can to pay back for their continued selflessness.

  8. #28
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    My moms side immigrated from Ireland in 1862 after the potato famine and settled as ranchers. Still ranching. https://albertaonrecord.ca/copithorne-family

    Fathers side came over during the same period from Ireland and started building homes in Calgary.

    Pretty boring I suppose.
    Last edited by BavarianBeast; 11-01-2017 at 01:11 PM.

  9. #29
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    first gen immigrant here as well.

    immigrated here in '93 from South Africa with my mom, dad, and brother. i was a teenager at the time with a large group of friends and started mid-year into grade 10. i've never really made the types of friendships here that i had back home.
    i fondly remember my dads Opel Monza and him racing cars with me and my brother in the back seat.
    we came straight to Calgary. my aunt lived here and sponsored us, from the time we applied to the day we landed in Calgary was exactly 6 months. our 24 yr anniversary is next week.
    i became a citizen in 2007 and my folks / brother about 5 years ago. we have family back home but some are scattered in other areas in the world.

    i watched my dad struggle to get a job, so much so, my folks nearly lost the house - so i learned early on to squirrel money away for that rainy day, never to extend oneself with credit, and to work hard to afford the simple things. save until you can pay for the want with cash.
    it was humbling for my dad that i was the first person in the family to get a part time job.

    i put myself though post-secondary, i have a professional designation, i never needed my parents to co-sign my first mortgage.


    my husband is also an immigrant. he came to Calgary in '89 from the Philippines.
    we've been together since '94 and married since 2006.

  10. #30
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    Our family moved here from the Philippines in '98. It was mostly for us to have better education, because Canadian education has more merit than Filipino education.

    Family from my mother's side all called Calgary home, so we followed along and my parents hustled their way through the years: two full time jobs each. They're hustlers, through and through.

    They're going into semi-retirement but we're still here as proud Canadian citizens. Minus the Trudeau part rofl.

    Random story: So English in the Philippines was Americanized and very different from Canadian/British English. My first 'FOB' encounter in school was the teacher asking me to recite the Canadian provinces: "New Found Land" and the whole room giggled.


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    The benefit of masks is not known at this time. But we do know it is some non-trivial amount more than zero.

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  11. #31
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    I am a first generation Canadian. My great grandfather left India in the late 1800's and settled in Kenya where my grandfather and father were born. In the 1960's my father was sent to Dublin for secondary school, and then on to London for University. Kenya achieved independence around that time and he chose to retain his British Citizenship rather than take a Kenyan one.

    My father ran a successful business in London, and my mother had just completed her Master’s degree in India, when she married him and moved to the UK. I was born in the early 1980's and my sister a couple years later. My mother went back to school to get her teaching equivalency, just as my father expanded his business further. The stock market crash in 1987 devastated the business; he was highly leveraged and couldn’t pay his debt obligations.
    We lost everything at the time, with my grandfather bailing my father out to keep our house. We had lived an affluent life; a Jaguar, a Mercedes, nice clothes, a great neighbourhood. Seemingly overnight we went to my parents making samosas to sell to the local bakery, us having patches all over our clothes, and my parents sharing a Datsun.

    My father started working for someone, and saved up a bit of money. In 1988 he went to Toronto to visit a cousin and fell in love with Canada. He came back to the UK and immediately applied for immigration, my parents were well educated and both quickly qualified under the points system.

    In 1989 we had a ticket booked for Toronto, two weeks before we were set to move someone told my Father that Toronto was too cold and he should move to Vancouver instead. My father has always been a bit of an impulsive type, the next day he changed our tickets, called a relative who called a friend in Vancouver to help us find an apartment.

    Two weeks later we were on a plane, my mother cried for most of the nine hour flight. I was seven years old, and for some reason the thing that stuck out at me that the cars here had red rear turn signals rather than amber. I had a difficult time when we moved here, people made fun of my strong British accent, and whenever I would start at a new school people automatically assume I needed ESL. By eighth grade I made a concerted effort to lose my accent, and it was gone by tenth grade.

    Our family struggled for the first few years; even though my father was educated in the UK and had worked in hospitals as well as being a successful (or ultimately unsuccessful) businessman, he only worked maybe three of our first ten years in Canada. Fortunately, my mother was able to get a good job with her qualifications and basically carried our family in those days. Often my parents would talk about packing up and moving back to England. They found the Indian community to be pretty backward to what they were used to from their crowd in the UK, many here coming from villages and having a pretty old mindset compared to the progressive views and lives they had.

    I always was a good student, but struggled to find my passion and what I wanted to do with my life. I gave up a scholarship two years into university and started working in construction. I found something I enjoyed and went back to school to get an education that supported that career path. In the mid 2000’s I was dating a girl from Edmonton and decided to take the plunge and move out here. I worked in Edmonton, then Fort McMurray and we got married and settled and bought a place in Edmonton.

    I started working for a major producer, and in 2010 they relocated us to Calgary. I have been one of the fortunate ones in O&G, and am still employed by them today. Calgary is home now and I am happy to live here with my wife and kids. I have to admit that do miss Vancouver sometimes, but don’t feel any major pull there now, with the exception of my parents and many close friends who still live there - as well as THE FOOD.

    Oh and I hate the snow, but after Fort McMurray and Edmonton I can live with the winter in Calgary.
    Last edited by mrsingh; 11-02-2017 at 04:44 PM.
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  12. #32
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    My family (parents and two younger sisters) moved from Colombia in '99 (I was 14 at the time). Both my parents had an idea that, at some point, they wanted to move away in order for the family to have a better future. In 97/98 Colombia was in a bit of a downturn and my dad, who had an architecture business, barely got any projects those two years. They applied for the permanent residence using the points system. It was an arduous process that took about 1.5 years but we finally got our PR visas. We had a pretty nice life back home - two cars, club membership, nice apartment + family etc... I will always admire them for what they were willing to leave behind.

    We landed in Vancouver and quickly discovered that Colombian degrees were worth shit here. Mom/dad had to quickly adapt and they worked in survival type jobs for a long time (telemarketing, restaurant, nanny, retail, truck driving etc). This was a shock to them as they were used to a different life and it hit my dad pretty hard at the beginning - I think he was depressed, and he developed a heart condition. We moved to Calgary after 3 years in search of better opportunities. They continued to work survival jobs here and ironically my dad eventually found a job with an architecture firm in Penticton - so back to BC he went. Eventually he found a job at an EPCM firm in Calgary doing O&G Projects - he finally found a decent job that paid well and I think it did wonders for him. Mom took an education certificate and managed to land a job with the Calgary School Board. It was not an easy experience for them but it definitely set us up to have a better future here in Canada. I will always admire them for what they did and will be forever grateful.

    Car wise, my dad always liked cars. He had a souped up Fiat 147 and a tiny Suzuki (SC100?) that were pretty cool.

    I am now married and have a daughter (the only Calgarian in the family haha). I definitely call Calgary home.

  13. #33
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    Immigration stories so good. Most times it's so saddening hearing the tales of those over the age of 40 having to re-adjust to their new lives. (i.e. those who moved here young under 10yo would enjoy it here, but looking through the eyes of the 35-45yo parent's struggle)

  14. #34
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    I mean, call me ignorant, but why do so many people think their education is a straight across slamdunk.

    Seems to be a common trend. No offense meant, but I think its fair to question credentials when people are coming from countries with questionable governments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HiTempguy1 View Post
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    I mean, call me ignorant, but why do so many people think their education is a straight across slamdunk.

    Seems to be a common trend. No offense meant, but I think its fair to question credentials when people are coming from countries with questionable governments.
    it's not the validity of the credentials that is in question, but that the experience and education outside Canada is not as valued.

    not sure what the "questionable governments" has to do with this, it would be pretty hard to fake if you are an engineer or doctor during an interview.

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    ^ I agree that new immigrants should go through a process where their degrees or credentials are evaluated by the respective professional organization in the province as applicable. I believe this whole process could be changed to make it easier for people to get their Canadian equivalence - after all, wouldn't someone add more value to society doing the work that they were trained to do in their home country? I also wish the embassy would've talked more about the challenges in registering as a professional in Canada to at least ground the expectations of those coming into this country.

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    I had a appointment at SAIT a a year ago back to enquire about courses. Im struggling finding work that recognises my experience and skills.
    SAIT insisted I take a English test and to have my UK degree evaluated ($400) to see if it was up to Canadian High school standard. I explained all my schooling was done in the UK, English is my first language. She looked at my degree certificate and said in a lowly voice.. but it does not say the course was done in English...

    That being said I met a a few people from Iran when I worked at the bank and their level of education blew me me away. Im saddened its not recognised. You have some really smart people.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by civicHB View Post
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    it's not the validity of the credentials that is in question, but that the experience and education outside Canada is not as valued.
    Your first statement directly contradicts your second statement. Clearly, the validity of the credentials is questionable.

    not sure what the "questionable governments" has to do with this, it would be pretty hard to fake if you are an engineer or doctor during an interview.
    Many people immigrating are coming from 3rd world countries, or places without strong governments. Surely you aren't suggesting that someone claiming to be a doctor from Afghanistan, for instance, had the same training both in education and experience as one would have in Canada? That would be something extremely difficult to prove, and would have major liability implications behind it.

    I did not realize they gave practical exams out to engineers and doctors during their hiring process at various companies and hospitals. In fact, I have no idea. If someone who actually hires engineers and doctors had knowledge, I'd love to know, because my initial reaction is they do not.

    Edit-
    While I know you are brown, maybe its because of the crazies coming out of Wales? :p I deal with enough expat Brits through rallying, hard enough to understand some of you let alone those guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by tonytiger55 View Post
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    but it does not say the course was done in English...
    Quote Originally Posted by el_fefes View Post
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    ^ I agree that new immigrants should go through a process where their degrees or credentials are evaluated by the respective professional organization in the province as applicable. I believe this whole process could be changed to make it easier for people to get their Canadian equivalence - after all, wouldn't someone add more value to society doing the work that they were trained to do in their home country? I also wish the embassy would've talked more about the challenges in registering as a professional in Canada to at least ground the expectations of those coming into this country.
    We're talking about positions that have implications for public safety, especially in regards to enginerds and doctors. If anything, they would be able to breeze through a lot of the education here if they had already taken it once before. Does it suck? Yes. But it's not up to us to accept that risk for the person trying to immigrate. I'd be all for relaxing some requirements (maybe they could start in the later years of a program without having to do the intro courses for instance, for doctors, maybe not have to do clinicals and whatnot, just spitballing).

    But this is sort of all besides the point. My question was, why would you EVER ASSUME your credentials are good elsewhere in the world?
    Last edited by HiTempguy1; 11-08-2017 at 04:55 PM.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by civicHB View Post
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    it's not the validity of the credentials that is in question, but that the experience and education outside Canada is not as valued.

    not sure what the "questionable governments" has to do with this, it would be pretty hard to fake if you are an engineer or doctor during an interview.
    I agree with what he is saying about the questionable governments. In such cases it's easy to 'buy' a degree in those countries.
    Years ago I used to do technical interviews for my company and we had a unspoken rule where we will not touch resumes from certain country and region simply because we can't verify their education qualification or experience.

    Yes it's little harder to fake a Engineer or a Doctor job interview. You can always fake an Immigration interview.
    Also not long ago CBC ran a story about a fake lawyer practice
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/fake...ents-1.4276157

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    My family was one of those Vietnamese boat people.

    Family fled the country in 1979 and settled in a refugee camp there then and I was born a year later in Hong Kong. In 1981, A church out of Minnesota sponsored our entire family (my dad's parents and siblings and their kids - about 20 of us), so that was our cue to GTFO out of the camps. Everything was cool until the US government found out that my dad was enlisted as an army reserve for the Vietcong, so we had to stay behind while the rest of the family emigrated to the States. Stayed at the Kai Tak refugee camp until 1989 when we were sponsored by relatives who lived in Calgary and this is where we settled. You don't know ghetto until you grew up in a refugee camp.

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