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5 Ways that Settlement Organizations Help Immigrants

5 Ways that Settlement Organizations Help Immigrants

After months of preparations, you finally arrive in Canada. You're jetlagged, anxious, and ready to get settled. As an immigrant, one of the first things you should consider doing is registering with a settlement organization.

You'll find immigrant-serving agencies in most medium-sized or large Canadian cities. In smaller cities or towns, libraries and community centres often provide similar, if more limited, services for newcomers. The Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies, AAISA, lists locations across the province.

Regardless of how well prepared to integrate you feel, accessing the services of an immigrant-serving agency is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family when you move to Canada.

(Free) Skills Training

Immigrant-serving agencies offer a large number of employment services, many of which are free, covering everything from job search specifics (workplace communication skills, networking, and mentorship, for example) to computer and employment skills training. You can also attend occupation-specific workshops, such as skills upgrading courses for accountants or engineers, and accreditation examination study groups.

If none of the programs an agency advertises seem to match your needs, it's a good idea to ask what's available. You may find out about a program that you hadn't previously considered, and settlement organizations are always adding new programs.

Job Search Support

Settlement agencies have strong relationships with the local business community and can connect newcomers with job opportunities at companies that value the skills and experience of immigrants. Some employment programs teach you how to look for a job; some even find an internship or job opportunity for you!

Professional and Personal Contacts

Immigrant-serving agencies also help you gain professional and personal contacts. By participating in workshops or meeting with settlement organization employees, you'll meet more people. Chat with guest speakers from the local business community; ask for a business card or to connect on LinkedIn. Attend sessions and courses and you'll meet fellow immigrants, people who are facing the same challenges. They may become business contacts, friends, or both–an essential part of your support system in your new home.

Canadian Work Experience Through Volunteering

Volunteer with a settlement organization and you'll gain Canadian work experience, help other immigrants, and feel good about yourself. It could also lead to employment within the organization or elsewhere!

Help for the Whole Family

Take part in social, educational, recreational services, programs, and activities for children, youth, adults, and seniors. If you need assistance finding a place to live or a family doctor, have questions about income support, or need help filling out forms and applications, experienced settlement professionals can help you. Learn about community resources such as schools, health clinics, and legal services. Also, improve your English skills, visit a local tourist attraction, get family counseling or parenting support, and have coffee with other immigrants. There's something for everyone at any age!

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Sunday, 17 January 2021

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