What do immigrants think of Quebec?


Sephora Aké

Immigrants have a multitude of reasons to come in Quebec but the challenges they face make their integration difficult.

Quebec is a huge province and can offer a lot of opportunities for people that choose to immigrate. But it’s not easy to live here because of the seasons, mostly winter and summer. Also, the school system is different and so is the society in general.

“It is so new when you leave a country where it’s almost the summer every day with at least 30°C and you come there, with -20°C and all you see is the snow.” said a 2016 immigrant.

An immigrant must adapt to this life-changing experience. About the education system, most of the children have to go back to the class that they already did in their country and most have difficulties with this.

“I was really sad when they told me the class I was supposed to do because I did the same class 2 years ago in my country. It’s really disappointing.” said a sec.3 students.

Adults should return to school to have their diploma and start to work again. Most of them were among the influent people in their country and here, some are taxi drivers or cashiers in a fast food.

“It was like they didn’t accept all the hard work that we did because we need to do it again if we want to work here.” said a 2016 immigrant.

“In my country, I was in charge of delivering the pharmaceutical products to the whole country, but when I came here, I started to work as a cashier at McDonald’s because my position didn’t count here anymore.” said a 2015 immigrant.

Immigrants have also a problem with the culture, mainly with language. They have a hard time to express themselves properly because of their various accents.

There is also some kind of food that immigrants can’t find in the local stores. Furthermore, they are quite surprised with what locals eat.

“The first time I try the poutine, I was really shocked because it’s kind of weird the french fries with the sauce and the cheese.” said a 2015 immigrant.

In brief, immigrants do a lot of sacrifices to start a new life here and deserve respect.

(Written by Sephora Aké; Editing by Chelsia Kamdem and Fernanda Zeve)

Since the people that were interviewed did not feel comfortable being identified, we chose to refer to them with their date of arrival in Canada.