“Sanctions imposed on Russia led to the cancellation of my IELTS exam, it was truly a challenging time for me”- Elvin, Student, Canada

In our exclusive interview series, “Between the Worlds,” we unveil the remarkable stories of immigrants who have transcended borders, cultures, and aspirations. One particularly captivating narrative is that of Elvin, who journeyed from Russia to Canada in pursuit of a brighter life and future.

Choosing between Canada and Turkey

“I was born in Russia and spent the greater part of my life there. After completing my bachelor’s degree in economics, I found myself at a crossroads, contemplating a move to another country. Initially, Turkey held a strong allure for me, and I was genuinely excited about the prospect of living there. Then, I started with my research to explore the opportunities it offered.”

Moving to another country is a life-altering decision, one that can be both exciting and daunting. It’s a journey filled with possibilities, but also many challenges. That’s where the importance of research comes into play. Before taking the decision, it’s crucial to do deep research of your prospective country. It helps you understand the culture, legal requirements, job market, cost of living, and numerous other factors that can impact your experience abroad. It empowers you to make informed choices, anticipate potential obstacles, and set realistic expectations. 

What did Elvin choose after his thorough research?

“As I delved deeper into my research, I couldn’t help but feel uncertain about my long-term prospects in Turkey. It was during this process that I stumbled upon Canada as a potential destination. Canada has a reputation for being incredibly welcoming to students and for being an excellent place to start a new life. The more I learned about Canada, the more it seemed like the ideal choice for me. So I came here, and today I can confidently say that choosing to come to Canada was a wise and beneficial choice for my future.”


“All glitters is not gold”- Challenges during the immigration process 

I ask Elvin about the challenges he faced during his immigration process

“In 2022, I faced numerous challenges, primarily a significant delay where I had to patiently wait for seven months to secure my visa. Moreover, due to the sanctions imposed on Russia amidst the ongoing conflict, my  IELTS exam was canceled. Consequently, I had to opt for the Duolingo test, which, fortunately, I passed. The entire process, from waiting in Turkey to finally arriving in Canada, was incredibly frustrating.”

Elvin also hired a consultant to make the process seamless but in the end it”s all about patience.

“Despite having an agent to assist with document gathering and course applications, there were moments when it felt like there was no progress. It became a test of endurance and hope, as this entire process demanded an extensive amount of time. There were times when my patience was lost , and I thought of  returning to Russia rather than waiting in Turkey. However, just when I was on the verge of making that decision, I received a notification that my application had been approved.”

Waiting for your immigration process can be really hard. Sometimes, it takes a long time, and you might feel like giving up. But it is very important to be patient and not lose hope. Even when things seem tough, holding onto your dream of moving to a new country is crucial. Those who stay patient and keep believing in their dreams are the ones who make it in the end.

Elvin made it to the end and is currently pursuing his post graduate diploma in Business Management from Georgian College. 

How living abroad changes you

I ask Elvin about how this entire process and living alone in a new country changed him as a person. 

“I don’t have any family here so it’s very tough living without them. But, I’ve transformed into a better person in a positive manner. I’ve taken on responsibilities for everything – managing things independently, understanding how the system operates in Canada, and how to interact with people. It did come with its fair share of stress, but I’ve grown stronger in handling it. I’ve learned to accept whatever life throws my way and keep moving forward, in a much improved way than before.”

Living in a foreign country changes you. Without family around, you learn to take care of yourself. You also figure out how things work and how to interact with people in this new place. It’s not always easy, and sometimes you feel stressed. But dealing with stress makes you stronger. You start accepting whatever life throws your way and move forward better than before.

Next, Elvin offered some guidance for those starting their journey to Canada.

“Prepare yourself in advance. Grow patience. Keep your expectations realistic, and remember, everyone here comes from diverse corners of the world, so be prepared for that. Canada offers plenty of opportunities, but it’s not without its challenges. You need to be cautious, resilient, and courageous to make this journey solo. People often believe the grass is greener on the other side, but when you arrive here, you truly understand the real picture.”

Elvin’s aspiration for the future 

I ask Elvin about his dreams and goals for his future in Canada, and whether he intends to make it his permanent home.

“I’ve applied to a big data analytics course, so I’ll be moving to Barrie, and after that, yes, I’m planning to get a work permit and get PR, hopefully, but then I don’t have any plans, but hopefully, I’ll get citizenship. So after that, I hope to travel around the world. That’s my other dream.”

When people move to a different country, they usually have dreams and goals. These can include things like getting more education, getting permission to work, and eventually becoming a permanent resident or citizen of that country. But it’s not just about paperwork – it’s also about building a good life, finding a job, and making a home. Many also dream of exploring their new country and traveling the world. These dreams are what keep them going and help them adjust to their new life.

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