When one is immigrating to a new country they must consider what they will require from that country to make the transition a smooth one and what that country will require from them to become a contributing member of society. Speaking in general terms some of the necessities you will require will be
- A sense of community
Moving to a city that already has an established Nigerian community will undoubtedly make your transition much easier. Also assuming you are religious, being in close proximity to a church or a mosque will allow you to satisfy your spiritual needs. Typically these two requirements will only be found in Canada’s larger cities.
Money. Love it or hate it, it will provide you with the goods and services that will be key to your survival moving from tropical Nigeria to the frigid northern expanse we like to call Canada. As in any country, certain regions are faring far better economically than others. In this stage of our history, the Maritimes are suffering badly particularly due to the downturn of the fishing economy and the West is quickly becoming the nation’s powerhouse mostly due to oil and gas. Now depending on your skills and education, you may be able to get a job anywhere, and if so more power to you. However if your abilities can only accommodate a specialized field, location will be everything for you. Growing cities with diversified economies will be your best bet. A few that jump to mind are Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver to name a few.
As mentioned earlier, money is the magic bullet that will conquer most of your problems with the transition. While this would be obvious with whichever country you moved to, a few of Canada’s larger cities such as Toronto and Vancouver have incredibly high costs of living. Again, depending on your situation this may be bearable or it may be quite the deal-breaker. If affordability is a major issue for you, once again I recommend cities like Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton and if your French is good, Montreal and Quebec City would also be intriguing options to look at.
Whatever city you decide on, keep all of your needs in mind. If money is no concern and you crave a warmer climate to escape the cold, then head to the West Coast. If your chief goal is to hit the ground running and pinch pennies while doing it, think of cities with cheaper housing markets and costs of living. If surrounding yourself with as much Nigerian culture as possible is a non-negotiable stay away from the smaller towns. Most cities in Canada with 500k+ will have a reasonably sized Nigerian community. If making as much money as your skills will allow for is what you’re coming for, again you’ll find more opportunity in the larger metro areas. Whatever you’re here for, I wish you good luck. 🙂