First of all, as a Nigerian living in Canada, you’ll notice that there is a huge difference between your life back home and here in Canada.
Everything, from public transit to health care has a well defined system. Having said that, I think it’s best to highlight a few points for you below:
- Climate: The climate is completely different! If you know that you cannot survive in sometimes -40 degree Celsius weather (Edmonton, Alberta), then you might want to reconsider your options. You need to learn how to adapt quickly by with the aid of thermal wears and fleece-lined jackets.
- 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 & dinner with your co-workers or classmates. Night life is also pretty much a thing here (most especially in the major cities).
- Culture: Diversity is highly encouraged here. This means that you will 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!!!).
- 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 (PS: you might not “easily” find an African store except you are living in one of the Major cities).
- PAY YOUR 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%).
- 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 (as long as that particular treatment is covered under the provincial health care bill).
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.
UPDATE: As Ikenna pointed out to me in the answer section, Nova Scotia has the highest sales tax in Canada (15%).
UPDATE: As Bill stated in the comment section, healthcare is not free. It is paid for by the taxes we pay, hence another important reason for you to pay your taxes.
By Tobi Oyewunmi