Thinking of Immigrating?

Kodjoe had arrived in Canada, from Accra, Ghana, in December 2011. The flight from Accra, Ghana had taken off on a warm 25ºC blissful day. At the arrival terminal and without mittens, he struggled to keep his hands warm while his wife and two kids - with 5 suitcases in tow - struggled to keep it all together.

Thinly clad, Kodjoe tried to keep his mind on the task- finding a taxi that would take him, his wife and their brood to the backpacker’s hotel he had found online. With his mind numb with the cold - one he did not expect - Kodjoe managed to herd his family and all their luggage into the warm cab.

In his head, 1,001 thoughts hovered;

“I hope we will all like it here."

"I wonder what the people are like ... I heard there are lots of high paying jobs here."

"With a Master's degree in Geology from the University of Ghana, I can get a good job in 2-3 months."

"We will send the kids to a daycare so that Nana can begin working on her law articles. The sooner she becomes a lawyer the better for her career and our finances…”

Kodjoe was sure Canada would soon be home away from home and he was happy with his decision to relocate his family. He closed his eyes and took in a deep breath as the taxi drove into the streets of Regina, Saskatchewan. Certainly, this was the start of something new and good.

Fast forward two years and some months.

Kodjoe - who now goes by KJ (“it is easy for everyone to pronounce", he says) - has still not found that dream job, despite trying his hardest. He has since commenced studies in a doctorate degree in Geology at the University of Regina.

Some of his fellow Ghanians have counselled him that he mustn’t keep all his professional eggs in one basket if he wanted to succeed here. So, on the side, he is working towards a Health and Safety certification.

To support his family financially, he works part time at a warehouse and when he is not in the laboratory in the University, he is at home taking care of the kids so that Nana can work. Meanwhile, Nana has completed her qualifying law exams but is yet to find a law firm that is willing to offer her an articling spot.

Like Kodjoe, Nana works part-time as an administrative assistant and spends the rest of her hours caring for the kids.  

In Kodjoe’s words: “I wish I had more information before coming out. I would have been better prepared, I think."

"Well, my family is here now ... I am optimistic that I will find a better job once I complete my doctorate. I am also optimistic that Nana will get an articling position soon. Hopefully, things will turn out right for my family. We have worked really hard developing our careers and we deserve a chance … one chance …”

Kodjoe's experience could have been better if only he had some pre-arrival tips to help his preparations. 

What was your experience as a new immigrant like? Leave a comment below; also, if you would like to share your experience in a more detailed fashion, send an email to

Look out for's 10 Pre-Arrival Tips for would-be immigrants.



Interesting read, sounds just like me.

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