My IEC Experience began back in late 2014 with the announcement that the first round of visas would be released in late January. I think I remember this correctly – 2015 participants, let me know if I’m wrong.
So, the day the visas would be released was only announced two days before, so you can either rely on yourself to spend every day from around the 10th January checking the IEC website or you can turn to a great and incredible forum – Experience Canada, or a more recent discovery, the IEC Facebook group. Both are really supportive and exciting environments where all of us (soon to be) expats get together and talk everything from health insurance, to application panic, to hey – check out the blog I wrote about my experience!
When the day finally came, I was lucky that I’d already prepared everything – putting a resume into the CIC prescribed format is one of the most antagonising things I’ve ever done. Cue visions of the visa processing office putting their fingers between my spaces and wondering what level of security risk radical I was for tapping the spacebar twice after finishing a sentence instead of one. I would recommend that if you know you’re going to apply, keep as many documents as you can handy and prepared at all times. Dropbox is a godsend! Especially because I was at work when the quota opened.
I understand that the IEC 2016 application has changed this year so the experience wasn’t so akin to trying to buy hotly anticipated concert tickets, the Canadian government adopted a more pool style recruitment method – please do let me know how that was though!
Anyway, I’ve decreed myself a firsthand expert on the following: the application experience, the arrival, the apartment hunt, the job hunt (some tips for being unemployed here), opening bank accounts, home internet and a phone, then the actual life experiences like, the value of a dollar, making friends, culture shock, the surprise language barrier and homesickness, sports, places to go in Toronto and how to find out about places to go in Toronto, managing the weather, the Beaches, the Island, the postal system, the public transit, things people will ask you, things you should ask them, books that make the expat life easier and finally the food. So, this is a fully fledged, blog series aimed to be published over the next 8-10 weeks or so (life depending) about how to move to Canada with a slight definite focus on the experience of Toronto.
So, sign up & follow along for all of the insider info and little guiding light to lead you on your way. Also, absolutely comment any questions you have, I’m pretty much an open book about whole process!