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Cape Breton, NS

Temporary Foreign Worker





Originally from Georgia, Maia landed in Canada in 2021 as a temporary foreign worker doing research at Cape Breton University.

Trying to look like “local”. Decorated the house for Halloween. Even though we have never celebrated it before, we did our best not to be an “exception” on the street.


When snow can’t stop your desire to learn. Going to school in snowy weather. Not used to wearing ski pants anywhere else rather than at a ski resort. But, when you move to Canada, you need to get used to putting them on even on the way to school. Feels strange, awkward and something new.

New chapter in life. First day at a new school in a new country. Nervous but excited. Don’t know what to expect, how culturally different new classmates will be. Will we be able to make friends? Lots of thoughts in mind. Generally, school is much more formal in our country, teachers have more power and the interaction between teacher-students is very hierarchical. The class is very competition based, while the kids experienced a totally different setting in Canada.

That’s how our new school looks like. Completely different compared to the one we were used to. Different ways of teaching, communicating with kids, no uniforms, allowed to even wear pajamas to school.

Trying to look like “local”. Decorated the house for Halloween. Even though we have never celebrated it before, we did our best not to be an “exception” on the street.

Clear example of how “being adapted and integrated in local culture” looks like in real life. Enjoy hockey and ice skating, although has never skated before. Generally, the community offers hokey classes at extra costs, the gear is expensive too.

We used to see snow only on ski resorts. Feels very strange to see your backyard fully covered with snow, it looks amazing though. It felt strange to wear ski pants to go to school. Extra work for parents and takes more time to get prepared for school.

I Had not heard of “Elf on the Shelf” before moving to Canada. It seems that Elf comes to visit the houses on the 1st of December and leaves on the 24th. His/her mission is to tell Santa whether the kids deserve the presents or not. Elf is naughty and thinks of new adventures every day. Kids enjoy it a lot. We have never heard of such a story in our country, and it was unusual to see an Elf in our house in Canada. But the experience was exciting for kids.

Our breakfast in our home country in the yard of our house. Looks delicious, particularly in that beautiful scenery. I can make similar breakfast in Canada too, all ingredients are available, but sometimes the smell of your home country makes the food different.

Our front yard in our home country. We used to spend a lot of time taking care of plants. Particularly nice in quiet summer evenings. We spent on average 4 months every year in this house. It was built by our grandparents and has a lot of memories and sweet childhood moments for us.

One of the creepiest decorations on the street for Halloween. As we have never celebrated Halloween, the kids were excited seeing this well-decorated house.

The first trip to the beach in Canada since our arrival. Enjoying the scenery, the water and painting. That’s how heaven looks like for her.

When you continue making your favorite dessert even in Canada. We love raspberry cheesecake, and it has the same taste here as well.

Decorated our Canadian house for Christmas. Even though holidays make you homesick, being with family even in foreign country helps you feel like home.

Found a way to entertain kids in Canada. Enjoying skating and scootering in the skate park near our house in Nova Scotia. They used to do similar things in our home country and they were excited to get the chance to do the same in Canada too.

“Trick or treating” for the first time in his life. At first, he was scared to knock on strangers’ doors, but he got better after the first house and made us knock on every single house on the whole street. It was fun experience.

Enjoying snow in the backyard. Never had a similar experience. They could only play in the snow at the ski resort.

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