The New to Canada Podcast

The New To Canada Podcast is a collection of honest and inspiring real-life stories from internationals living in Canada.
Each episode, join Kate Johnson as she chats with fellow newcomers about what to expect when moving to Canada, the mistakes to avoid, which experts to trust, and how to build a Canadian life that you love one ‘Timbit’ at a time.

New Episodes Every Tuesday
Listen on Apple Podcasts and more!

Episode 20

Happy New Year and thank you to everyone who voted for their favourite guest from Series 1! In this episode, host Kate reunites with poll winners Ashleigh from Australia (ep. 4), Karla from Mexico (ep. 5), and Adobea from Ghana (ep. 8) for a fun end of Series 1 get together. Get ready to laugh along with us as we share 2 truths, 1 lie about our native countries, who we’d invite to our perfect dinner party, and of course, further lessons and advice for other newcomers to Canada.

Episode 19

For many, 2020 has been a year for major career reevaluation. We spend a significant chunk of our lives working and we are now increasingly striving for that perfect marriage between what we love doing, what the world needs, and what can be monetized. Enter this episode’s guest: Nada Buhendi, a career coach originally from Bahrain who moved to Ontario 19 years ago. She shares her story of growing up in a dysfunctional family and how she broke the cycle to pursue education abroad as a free woman. We chat about how career passion cannot be ‘found’ but instead ‘developed’, and Nada inspires us to confront childhood trauma and build a solid career path to fulfilment.

Episode 18

The COVID-19 global pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to people around the world. The ways in which it has affected individuals and families are countless; but one way is leaving Canada’s international newcomers isolated, unsupported, and in a state of the complete unknown. This episode’s guest, Raquel Dias, arrived in Toronto one month before the pandemic announcement. With her Embassy telling her to flee back to Portugal before borders shut, she decided to stay and has since found a job and settled here against all odds. We discuss how the pandemic has been both her biggest struggle and biggest win; and she offers us a refreshing, much-needed, optimistic outlook for the days ahead.

Episode 17

(BONUS 11 minute episode) It’s the most wonderful time of the year – But spending this family-oriented holiday season abroad away from our loved ones and familiar surroundings can be really challenging… In this shorter episode, podcast host, Kate @thehomewanderers, shares 5 mistakes to avoid over the next few weeks that may increase your homesickness and sabotage the joy of the season.

Episode 16

Food has the power to unite people, cross language barriers and bond us between cultures. This episode’s guest @kaorifromtakoyaki6ix moved from Japan to Canada 13 years ago. She shares her unique journey from reggae dancer who had never picked up a knife(!) to becoming a successful sous-chef in downtown Toronto. We cover Kaori’s best recommendations for Japanese cuisine, Toronto’s culinary hotspots, and her struggle to learn English. Her story is one of perseverance and the ultimate career pivot

Episode 15

After working as nurses in Lebanon during the 1st wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Diala Sharab and her husband were given the opportunity to bypass travel restrictions and immigrate to Canada as skilled refugees. In this episode, Diala sheds light on the refugee crisis in Lebanon and what it means for the people who are directly affected. She then shares an honest account of the ups and downs since moving here and her unwavering gratitude for Toronto’s multiculturalism and the organisations who made her move possible.

Episode 14

Wondering how to tell your kids that the family is moving abroad? Worried about how you can prepare them or how they will settle into their new school? You asked, we listened! In this episode, we cover this topic from all angles with Terence Chee from Malaysia. He shares his experience as a parent moving his family of 4 to Canada from Kuala Lumpur. Then, podcast host, Kate shares the child’s point of view after moving from England to France when she was 12 years old.

Episode 13

Moving abroad is the perfect chance to reflect on who you want to be and to refine your personal branding. This episode’s guest is Nina Bader, founder of Creative Kommunikation who is originally from Switzerland and has lived in Vancouver since 2016. In just ONE month, Nina graduated, moved to Canada with only 2 suitcases, started her first job and moved in with her boyfriend(!) In this episode, she inspires us to shake up our personal branding, confidently stand out from the crowd and grab new opportunities with both hands.

Episode 12

A positive mindset and a productive plan of action can seriously make or break your move abroad. This week’s guest is Progressholic podcast host, Devesh Tilokani. He’s an international student who moved solo from Dubai to London ON, 3 years ago when he was only 18 years old. Devesh shares his passion for personal growth and the different tactics he uses to bounce back when feeling low, in a rut or demotivated. We then chat about his experience growing up in Dubai and bust some popular myths about UAE.

Episode 11

Networking is often plugged as the “must-do” activity in order to achieve success as a newcomer in Canada (no pressure, right?) But what if the idea of networking sends you into a cold-sweaty panic? This week’s guest, Mahlena-Rae Johnson, @Mahlenasguide, is a speaker, writer, and comedian who recently moved to Ontario from Los Angeles. She teaches ambitious introverts how to build solid communities and how to pivot to virtual networking now that our lives have moved online.

Episode 10

Ollie & Shonagh (Backpacking Craic) from Kilkenny, Ireland, share their experiences travelling together through 31 countries and how they ended up living long-term in Vancouver. Their honest account of the ups and downs is delivered alongside hilarious stories and lessons learnt along the way. We cover key relationships tips and how to support each other through big life changes, the struggle to find work and make friends in Canada, and the best areas to research before you move.

Episode 9

Express Entry is the most common pathway chosen by skilled internationals in the quest for Canadian Permanent Residency. In this episode, Veronica Wilson from Roots Immigration Law breaks down the application process step-by-step and shares some frequent mistakes she sees that we should avoid. Veronica is an inspirational lawyer who has dedicated her time to changing the narrative around immigration and helping talented refugees to fill labour shortages in Canada.

Episode 8

Have you been told that you “lack Canadian work experience” after applying for a job in Canada?
This episode’s guest, Adobea Foli from Start Grow Pivot moved from Ghana, Africa to Vancouver 5 years ago. She explains what employers actually mean when they give this rejection reason and what newcomers can do to boost their credibility and improve their hiring chances in Canada. We also chat about her life growing up in Ghana, her jet-set childhood visiting family around the world and what she thinks of daily life in Vancouver as a nature-avoiding city girl!

Episode 7

Canada’s beautiful nature and multi-cultural inclusivity OR the American dream? This episode’s guest, Surya Dhulipala, has lived, studied and worked in both countries! Originally from Mumbai, India, Surya earned his PhD in Texas before moving to Canada to pursue a career in Environmental Science. We talk about his experiences as an immigrant in both Canada and the US, and he shares some important advice on climate change and what we can do in our day-to-day lives to help.

Episode 6

Packing up and shipping your belongings overseas… Where to even begin? This episode’s guest (expat YouTuber Andrea van Niekerk) shares her experience sending a 40ft container from South Africa to Canada and runs through her best tips for saving money and making the process as quick and painless as possible. We also chat about making new friends as an adult and the challenges parents face when helping your children adjust to the move. Andrea’s passion for her country and helping newcomers is astounding.

Episode 5

Starting a business in Canada is a goal that many immigrants strive towards. Sometimes, you just need someone to remind you that it IS achievable. Enter this episode’s guest: @karlabriones. Karla is a serial immigrant entrepreneur who helps other newcomers launch and grow successful businesses of their own. In this episode, we learn where her passion came from as she shares her family’s immigration story. Leaving instability and drug cartel violence behind, Karla and her family drove for 5 days in a U-Haul from Mexico to Canada. Their resulting journey of relentless setbacks and unbreakable ambition will leave you in awe.

Episode 4

Culture Shock is that disorientating feeling that you don’t quite “fit in” with the customs, attitudes or daily life in your new home. In this episode, @ashleighkatebaker, an Australian expat living in Vancouver, shares her personal experience with culture shock in her career; and runs through the different ways that it could be manifesting itself for you. We then chat about reverse culture shock: When you go back to your native country and suddenly feel like a foreigner! Yet another crazy symptom of moving abroad…

Episode 3

Learning English by moving to an English-speaking country? That’s what this episode’s guest did!
Astrid Moulin is a French blogger (@fringinto) & Digital Marketing Expert. In this episode, she shares her story of moving to Toronto without any English language skills and how she threw herself into the challenge. Now, 6 years later and fluent in 3 languages, she’s giving back to other newcomers like her and offering advice on how you can adjust, integrate and build a life that you love.

Episode 2

Building a career and network in Canada can feel like a huge challenge. The biggest struggles can be your lack of connections as well as resume & interview expectations. In Episode 2, we sit down with David Mendoza, Director of Orbit 5, who has 10 years of experience helping internationals discover their career path and transition successfully into Canadian life. David shares his inspiring journey from Colombia to the UK, and then eventually to Canada, in search of career fulfillment and happiness – and how you can find it too!

Episode 1

Homesickness sucks – and it’s more common than you think! In this 1st introductory episode, get to know your host @thehomewanderers as she shares her best tips to help you feel better when you miss your loved ones and the country you left behind. She also shares the adventure-packed story behind her move to Canada (Hint: It involves a paradise island in Thailand and a tanned Canadian backpacker…)