Every year the Canadian government invests millions of dollars in creating services that will help immigrants succeed in their new home. There is even a program for pre-arrival called the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program funded by Citizenship Immigration Canada. More on that a little later.
There are numerous immigrant service agencies throughout Canada to help newcomers settle into Canadian society, and many of them provide their services for free. Many of these organizations are managed by staff or volunteers who may even speak your language and are probably familiar with your customs.
Many have host programs, a volunteer-based program that matches immigrants with a host who can guide them through their first few months in Canada. Your “host” might be able to answer a multitude of questions about shopping, apartment hunting and schooling.
Settlement counselling is also a key service. Immigrating is often an emotional time. You might feel frustration, regret, and homesickness. Immigrant settlement agencies are there to help with support, counselling for the whole family and can also become a place where you make friends – both immigrants and Canadians!
One of the most important services immigrant settlement agencies offer is government-funded (free to you) language training. The government knows that excellent English (or French) is critical to newcomer success, and it encourages all immigrants to take these courses.