My name is Jihyun Lee. I’m a Youth Pastor at the Comox Valley Korean Baptist Church.
I immigrated to Canada in 2018 with my wife and my son. I left behind my mother, and that was the most difficult part of leaving my own country.
English as a second language is one of my biggest challenges, especially when I need to talk on the phone. Lots of services, for example from the Government, are offered by phone and it’s difficult for me to explain myself and understand what the other person says. Also, there’s always a long waiting time!
I’m glad my son is learning English as it will be easier for him to integrate into Canadian society. We are also teaching him Korean.
I love nature here on Vancouver Island, it’s a great source of comfort. I also love seeing families’ smiles! Another thing I love about Canada is the opportunities that are offered: even when you get older, you can still find a job, go back to school and change your career.
After we settled in the Comox Valley, we needed help filling out the applications for becoming permanent residents. There were parts that we needed help with, we tried to contact the Immigration office but we were not able to, so we contacted an immigration lawyer, and he didn’t know what to do either! We couldn’t apply for permanent residency until this issue was resolved.
Then we contacted the Immigrant Welcome Centre and they contacted the Immigration office through the M.P. We got a clear answer to our questions and we were able to submit our application and get our Permanent Resident cards.
I think that many immigrants want to be good citizens and contribute to Canadian society, they want to help and are always willing to donate. One piece of advice that I’d give to immigrants it’s to volunteer because it’s good for meeting new people. Another piece of advice would be to go to the Immigrant Welcome Centre to get information about the settlement, education, and socializing. I like to give other immigrants hope!