Friday, September 29

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All you need to know about living in Canada as a Nigerian

by Tobi Oyewumi



As a Nigerian living in Canada, you'll notice that there is a huge difference between life back home and here in Canada.

Everything, from public transit to health care has a well defined system over here.

Having said that, I think it's best to highlight a few points for you below:


1. Climate

 
The climate is completely different! If you know that you cannot survive in sometimes -40°C weather (Edmonton, Alberta), then you might want to reconsider your options. You need to learn how to adapt quickly with the aid of thermal wears and fleece-lined jackets.

2. Social Life

Depending your personality, it might be very difficult for you to have a social life here. Make no mistake, Canadians are the most hospitable people on earth, but just like I said in the beginning, things here are very different. Best way to keep up with your social life is by planning hiking trips, tours trips and maybe dinner with your co-workers or classmates. Night life is also pretty okay (most especially in the major cities).

3. Culture

Diversity is highly encouraged here. This means that you will get to meet people from virtually every corner of the globe. Personally, I love that because you get to hear and share experiences with different people (and you might just get addicted to their food too!!!).

4. Food

Getting Nigerian food here is overly expensive! My first trip to the African store cost me over $80 and I barely made away with 5 items. Have a meeting with your taste buds before leaving Nigeria…#lol (Also, you might not “easily” find an African store except you are living in one of the major cities).

5. TAXES!!!

Yes, I had to literally “capitalize” on that because I know some Nigerians don't pay their taxes. Here, you pay what's called “General Sales Tax (GST)” whenever you make any purchase. For example, if a book has a price tag of “$10”, when you are paying the store attendant, you'll have to pay either 5% or 13% of the $10 + $10 = $10.5 (5% GST) or $11.3 (13% GST). Currently, the Province of Ontario has the highest GST (13%).

6. Healthcare is literally free

 
Well, you really do not have to worry about malaria, but on the brighter side, you might not need to pay any hospital bills at all (as long as that particular treatment is covered under the provincial health care bill).

Sounds dreamy right?

Pretty much, that's all I can say for now. As long as you are hardworking, law abiding, friendly and smart, you'll definitely enjoy your stay in Canada!

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Tobi Oyewumi is a graduate geoscientist from the University of Alberta and a photographer.

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