About Me

My photo
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
I am a lot of things - I am limited edition, not weird :) . A Christ Lover and a fashion lover. I love crime and comedy shows (or movies) .. and I always move on no matter what :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Some hidden truths about Immigrants

Hey y'all! how is it going.... it's a beautiful morning (this is me trying to be positive) well... except for the fact that it is winter :$... the weather is not too bad today (only a few degrees, if you lived in Alberta you will be greatful too :p) .. Plus am blogging from my blackberry and it feels good. I feel like some sorta business/ career lady doing "work" that she loves hehehehehhe.... But I did not finish it that morning ... so the feeling was half? X_X

Anyways, I had promised to write from an insider's point of view about immigrants and I got some motivation today, so let's get to business. I will say that there are lots of misconceptions about people who leave a developing country like Nigeria or Ghana or Romania to a developed country like Austrialia, USA or Canada. People in your home country think you have hit it BIG no! HUGE! like it's all  going to be milk and honey and perhaps, maybe a money tree behind your house. Well, you understand what I mean... It feels like your life is finally going to have some shape or form?

hmm... it is a somewhat good feeling when you are leaving to somewhere that has more opportunities for you, your wife and especially your children, but it is not soo black and white. Before I move on, am writing for people who legally moved to a developed country. KEY WORD: LEGALLY!!! ... now, I can proceed :)

First, most immigrants were at least a little above average in their level of comfort if not, they would not have been able to afford processing the permanent resident visas. Processing these visas and so on is not cheap. It is expensive. Secondly, it has to do with a lot of emotional and psychological change. They leave their loved ones (friends and family) to a land where they know little (maybe from vacations) or nothing about. They prolly had maybe one or two friends or family there and have to start building networks all over again

Thirdly, no one tells them their chances of getting a job. Okay, some people get very lucky or highly favored by God. Some people worked with an international firm back home like KPMG or Shell, these people have higher chances of securing a job here, they could get a transfer or just apply.  Some people apply and it comes. While many others have to get off their high horse, forget everything or almost all accomplishments from their home countries and start over.

Start over, I mean go back to school, get an upgrade before getting a sensible job. It usually takes longer for people in the health-care line. They have to get their papers right before their degrees or experiences are recognized.

So what does starting over mean for you and your family. It means degrading. Well, if you look at it from one perspective, it is investing. If you are ready to do the work, it will be worth it. The good news is after 12 months of residency, it becomes easier to apply for loans, or grants and maybe get scholarships.

So what it means for the family, wife, husband, and children? It means downgrading, like they have to cut down almost everything.  The couple might not have time to do some of those extra things like going to the movies regularly, or some other special treats. They might now see them as luxury. It is a big change for the kids too. They might not be getting all they want or almost all they want anymore, they have to adjust to the life of "it's all we have for now" they will start to learn that nothing comes easy and also learn the importance of hard work. It means the parents get off their high horses and do menial jobs. Something they thought they signed away with their degrees or masters or even PHDs (from their home countries). Remember, many of them are back in school upgrading and working full-time to support themselves and families. So they are starting their lives over again.

Around the time of upgrading, they face challenges. The experience can be very frustrating, remembering who who they were and what they have to settle for now can be very frustrating. Sometimes, people wonder why they even moved :( ... Believe me or not, older adults face more challenges in school than we younger people do.  The weather and culture are huge influences too.....   Also, oh oh! one huge thing is they start to do everything I MEAN EVERYTHING themselves. No drivers, no house-helps, no "typists," no laundry man or woman lol. They do it all themselves  (remember that most immigrants were more than comfortable. They could afford these things plus in developing countries, labor is relatively cheap).

But at the end they will be fine if they keep holding on. The key is to never to stop trying. At least, look for something to do, get some sort of upgrade, talk to the right people, cut off all luxuries and because you worked hard for your money, be prudent and wise with spending.

Usually, once they get a first job after upgrading, things start to fall in place. Whether or not this happens tho, the opportunities they open for their kids is the deal. These kids will have almost no restrictions. Thank God they learnt the importance of hard work from their parents.

So yes, it is not all milk and honey, it is not as easy as people think. And for every cent they make they earned!!!  (no-one in this country gives you money for free), so yes, it is sometimes hard to give. It is more annoying sending money back home and hearing it wasn't used wisely.  But people away from home usually remember home so no matter what they still like to give a hand :)

However, all of these costs come with benefits, depending on where you live and how you think, the life style can be very simple (if you make it be), there are lots and lots of opportunities for you and partner and your children especially career-wise. But don't be deceived, it is not all black and white. If you are ready to tear down your house and build a castle then migrating is for you. If not, enjoy your already wonderful life with all your cleaners, and drivers, and special treatments (I miss the house-cleaner part sha X_X)

BTW: If you have a parent, or relative living abroad who just moved (my definition of just moved is anything under 6 years). Please think deeply before using their money to do "am the boss" at home. They won't tell you what they are going through and you prolly won't believe them. Just be wise please.

Have a wonderful week ahead y'all

Abi Tobi


  1. I wonder why I can't express myself as simply as you do.... Once again, a great and accurate piece delivered with such simplicity that fails to reduce its quality

  2. You are so right about this....especially the last paragraph! Since I came to the UK, I've been stingy with money that's cos I know how hard I work to get it.

  3. I agree with you though I think more people should tell others the hard truths as well as sending money.

  4. Totally agree. I've been in England for 14 months now, not as an immigrant but as a student and I know how it goes. Good one Abi. Cheers.

  5. thank @Bimbo F .. yay! I am glad u checked it out :)