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Shubhendu Tripathi is a software engineer and the founder of AWSAP Consultancy Services in Kitchener, Canada. Originally from India, Shubhendu landed a tech internship through AIESEC and moved to Quebec in October 2014. Before starting his own consulting company, Shubhendu worked as a SAP ABAP Developer for Leclerc Foods and co-founded MealSurfers, a platform for those looking to earn an additional income with their cooking.
What made you decide to relocate to Canada? How long have you been here?
I am lucky to have grown up in an era of disruption. Whether it was Apple or Facebook from the USA or BlackBerry from Canada, these new companies were changing the way business worked. However, it really made me think that what was so special about the culture of North America that all the leading tech companies were coming from the region. And when I got accepted for an international internship in Canada, I decided to come see it for myself. It was more than 5 and a half years ago, and I still surprise myself with the innovative companies and people that I meet here on a daily basis.
How did you search for a job in Canada? Any tips for those seeking similar work?
I was a part of AIESEC, a leading student organization. It was this organization which helped me secure an internship in Canada.
There are many ways to find work in Canada. Apart from AIESEC, one can also check out Canada.ca. They have a lot of information if you are looking to get work. Always remember, Canada is a very welcoming country especially if you are talented in your field and are really passionate about it.
What was the visa process like? What type of visa did you apply for?
Overall, the visa process took me two months or three. As to the visa type, I applied for the W2 worker visa. To obtain it, you should provide your education history, a job offer letter, CAQ, Labour Market Opinion number (now called LMIA – Labour Market Impact Assessment). As I remember, the visa cost me about 170-200 CAD.
Did you have to apply for another type of visa to keep on working in Canada after the internship?
It was for the same kind of work permit but with extended dates.
If you could travel back in time, would you change anything?
I have had many adventures in Canada. From learning to speak in French to failing miserably in alpine skiing. Each experience has only made me feel more alive. I wouldn’t want to change any of it.
What are the best things about living and working in Canada?
There are all kinds of jobs and companies. If you want a normal 9-5 corporate job or want to work with an innovative startup, there is something for everyone. Quality of life is very good. Irrespective of your background and your country of origin, you will always feel at home.
What have been some of the most challenging moments so far?
The winter ;)
According to Numbeo, the average cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Toronto is C$1,708. Is it true?
Yes. The rents have increased in the last few years. While Toronto and Vancouver stay on the expensive side, Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton have decent rental rates considering the salaries in those cities.
Is it affordable to buy a flat in Toronto?
This depends on a lot of factors:
A few words about public transport in Toronto. Is it essential to have a car?
If you have to commute within Toronto, you have a lot of options in Subway, buses, streetcars, cheap uberPOOL. If you live in the suburbs and want to commute to Toronto for work, there is efficient and not so expensive Go trains and buses.
If you live in/around Toronto and your work is in the Suburbs or outside 50km radius, you really need to have a car. Owning a car while living and working in Toronto is both expensive and not worth it.
Do you have any advice for tech people considering job relocation to Canada?
Always keep yourself updated with the latest technology trends. Especially in the following – AR, VR, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Another important thing to do is to make sure that your skillset is not concentrated in one direction. Employers would normally prefer a Full Stack developer anytime over a backend or frontend programmer.
More stories are coming soon!
More stories are coming soon!
A minimum base salary for relocation starts at $ 58000 per year, while more leading roles (architects, team leads) can bring you gross annual income of $ 90000, without bonuses.
*The figures are imprecise and reflect the approximate salary range in this country. Keep in mind that the salaries you’re offered when relocating may differ from those you can get already living in the country.
Toronto, as a provincial capital of Ontario, is the most populous city in Canada. This city is well-known for music, theater, motion picture and television production. As a global city, Toronto is an international business and commercial center. Furthermore, this city is remarkably safe. Generally, the crime rate in Canada is much lower than in the United States. There are two official languages in Canada – English, and French, but French is the 12th most spoken language in this city. Another interesting fact is that 50% of the population of Toronto was born outside of Canada.
largest city in North America
of the population is foreign-born
of Toronto's workforce possesses university degree or college diploma
most business-friendly city in the world after Hong Kong
Toronto has 20 public hospitals and some medical research universities. For instance, there is a Discovery District in Toronto — a center of research in biomedicine. Here's the list of hospitals in Toronto. As English is an official language, it is very comfortable to communicate with doctors in Toronto without any trouble for expats.
Medications are provided by pharmacies and medication counseling in Toronto and can be found easily. Here's the list of Toronto pharmacies that work 24 hours.
Everybody, who lives in Canada has to apply for public health insurance. If you have it, you don't have to pay for basic services, because healthcare is paid through taxes. Furthermore, it is publicly funded and administered on a provincial basis. However, private insurance, which is usually offered by employers, includes more services. For instance, dental services, which are not included in public healthcare. Individually, Canadians spend about $3,300 per capita on health care.
There is one interesting fact that in Canada the constitutional responsibility for higher education rests with the provinces of Canada. This means that there are different rules in higher education in every province. However, the organization of study programs is similar. There is the only difference between Quebec and rest Canada. In Quebec college is a pre-university programme and in rest on Canada college is a community college or technical school, where students can get a diploma, certificate or associate's degree. Moreover, universities offer Bachelor's, Master's and doctoral programs in different science fields.
Canadians pay about $5,040 for undergraduate and postgraduate courses, international undergraduate students pay about $11,920 and international postgraduate students pay near $35,550.
Toronto, as a city with a humid continental climate, is considered as a place with warm, humid summers and cold winters with frequent snow. The average temperature in summer is 25°C (77°F) and in winter -3°C (28°F). Toronto experiences 4 seasons with different lengths.
average summer temperature
average winter temperature
of measurable sunshine
Toronto, as a safe city, has a safety level of 64% safe according to Numbeo's rating. This city is in top 10 Safest Cities in the World according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. However, it is recommended to avoid the following areas: Jane & Finch area, St. Jamestown, Regent Park & Moss Park, Cabbagetown (after dark), Kipling & Albion area, Neilson & Finch, and the Malvern area. And about crime, Toronto is also very safe for residents.
Numbeo Safety Index
Toronto, as a city with a large economy, is considered as a financial capital of Canada. For instance, five largest financial institutions of Canada (the Big Five) are headquartered in Toronto. There is one interesting fact that the economy of Toronto is the largest contributor to the Canadian economy. The unemployment rate in this city is only 6,7%. That's why there are a lot of expats in Toronto.
Minimum monthly salary
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