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Many stories are created every day and some make important chapters in people’s lives that create a strong impact in another’s. Immigration is a common subject that hovers around us.

The year of 2016 has been a very busy year with regards to immigration, starting with the huge exodus of the Syrian refugees. Many countries are dealing with emigration crisis due to reasons such as war, natural disasters, violence, corruption, drug trafficking, development projects and much more that create a bad quality of life for the people who must flee their countries. The immigrants that enter Canada come in as political refugees, seek for asylum, permanent residents or are internally displaced. There are many stories and reasons behind the people who decide to leave their countries.

Canada takes the seventh place among the top 10 countries that receive the most migrants from around the world. Due to the Syrian civil war (2012-Now) our country opened the doors to 40,081 Syrian refugees recorded on January 29, 2017, per a research conducted by the Government of Canada.

Migrants have to face many challenges beyond the process of leaving their country of residence, their families and their jobs. They also have to face many difficulties to adapt themselves to the new environment. Barriers are surpassed throughout this new transition such as learning a new language, adapting to the culture and lifestyle of the welcoming country. Adding to their process, most have to wait approximately three years to become a permanent resident.

I decided to conduct some interviews with twenty-two students here at Vanier College that have or had someone in their family immigrate here. For a few students, Montreal was not their first stop; some arrived at other Canadian cities and some arrived in the United States first. The main reason amongst those students to leave their country was to improve their quality of life and find better opportunities for their future. Many felt a cultural shock in their first years in Montreal. “People here are more cold and little less friendly as for people in Colombia and California are more warm and friendly”-Carolina Alvarez. I concluded that most of these students faced similar challenges even if some of them are second generation and some immigrated here with their families.

All though the process of immigration is hard, there are many good things that come out of it: like the mix of cultures here in Montreal and the acceptance of these cultures. There are much more than just papers and statuses, it is restarting a new life and leaving everything behind, with the hopes to be accepted in the new country and create a better life for your family. “At the end of the day we are all human and we have to learn to live amongst ourselves” –Kristian Clemens Armel Alexandre

Written By: Paola Lopez Velasco

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