This blog was co-authored by Next Stop Canada Intern, Rheign Morales and updated by Tyson Dimayuga, Community Engagement & Content Specialist (2022)
We’ve asked newcomer youth who’ve arrived to Canada what some of their questions, comments and concerns were before they arrived. Here were some of their frequently asked questions and responses:
“Every season is unique, but spring would be my favourite season. I love that fashion trends change from dark, winter clothes to colourful and bright spring patterns. Also, in early spring (April or May), I often go to High Park to admire the cherry blossoms in full bloom.” Summertime gives way to more outdoor activities, make sure you wear sunscreen and hydrate!
“There is no certain “dress code” or “style” Canadians go by. Trends can influence the way people dress, but people tend to express themselves through fashion in any way they want.” And make sure you dress up for the weather! Canadian weather is unpredictable, check the weather forecast each day.
“On weekends from 9 pm, teens have free access to the gym, swimming pool, and exercise equipment and could participate in workshops provided by the YMCA of Greater Toronto staff. The goal of Teen Nights is to get youth involved in the community, meet new friends, and have fun! Remember to bring a photo ID to get access to Teen Nights.” Check it out with this link.
In order for a student to successfully graduate from an Ontario high school, these requirements must be fulfilled:
- Pass the literacy test (done in grade 10)
- Complete 40 hours of community involvement
- Earn 30 credits required for graduation (18 compulsory and 12 optional):
- 4 English, one per grade level.
- Research your arrival city. See what is offered in your community before you move.
- Be sure to pack and wear appropriate clothing for Canadian seasons. Winter can be very cold depending on the region. Read our Winter Clothing blog for more information!
- Register for the Next Stop Canada Youth program and you will be matched with a newcomer youth mentor who can give you more information about school in Canada, volunteering opportunities, tips on how to balance school with extracurricular activities, and more!
- Join school clubs and sports
- Joining clubs and teams will not only make you an active member of your school community, but it will help you meet people with the same interests as you.
- Step out of your comfort zone
- Start conversations, make new friends, and participate in school and community activities!
- Prepare for the change
- Be proactive in finding ways to adapt to your new community and learn new things. Read here for more tips on Ways to Adapt to Change as a Newcomer Youth
Volunteering is a great way to connect with your new community. You can start by getting involved at your own school, local organization, or local library. As a newcomer myself, I became a part of the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s Newcomer Youth Leadership Development (NYLD) program. Here, I was able to complete 40 hours of community service (a requirement to graduate high school) and be given the opportunity to develop my leadership and public speaking skills. Be sure to check it out as it is a great opportunity for newcomer youth.