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Expat Groups in Canada

Submitted: October 2013

Canada is a vast country and many expats have made the country their home. There are a number of websites dedicated to expats in Canada. Online expat groups and forums can prove a very useful source of information.

Expats blog (https://www.expatsblog.com/portal/english/in/canada) is an English language blog where expats share their stories and experiences of coming to and living in Canada. There are a number of interviews with individuals who have moved to the country. There is also a guide on the various types of visas available to certain individuals.

Expatbriefing.com (https://www.expatbriefing.com) covers a wide variety of topics and is a valuable source of information.

A comprehensive list of a range of forums and activities open to everyone living in Canada can be found here: https://www.meetup.com, the websites covers a number of cities and areas in Canada. There is a fairly large German meetup group in Toronto. Although predominantly for German nationals, all meetups are advertised in English and there is no reason why an English speaking individual with an interest in meeting other expats from different countries cannot join one of these groups. For those who would prefer to join an English meetup group, there is a group in Toronto which has been going for many years and welcomes anyone who speaks English and has either lived or worked in the UK at some point in the past. The group holds pub quiz nights every other month and organises get-togethers every two weeks.

There are websites dedicated to speakers of various other European languages such as French, Italian, Dutch etc. where expats as well as natives who are fluent in one of these languages are invited to meet up in order to practice their language skills.

Expatwomen.com is a website dedicated to females who have either come to work in Canada or have accompanied their spouses and now need to build up their own circle of friends and connect with women in the same situation. The site provides links to various other websites predominantly catering for women and/or parents new to life in Canada.

Generally, it has to be said that the expat groups in Canada are not as widespread as they are in many other countries but the established groups do nevertheless provide a great starting point for the newly arrived expat or someone thinking of moving to Canada.

Many expat groups across the globe offer a wide range of activities, with something for everyone. This appears to not be the case in Canada where the groups seem to concentrate on general get togethers over a few drinks. Perhaps this is because Canada is so welcoming to individuals from other countries that it is easier for an expat to settle and make new friends without needing to lean too heavily on other expats. Expat groups in Canada therefore appear to be just a way for expats to maintain a tangible link to their country of origin or their mother tongue – but not a vital means to help them feel at ease in their new country of residence.

 

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