Alumni Spotlight: Patricia Yerden

Patricia is a 26 year old living in Canada for the first time. She moved to Canada to live with her fiancé and is very excited to start working and expand her resumé.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because last year I moved to Canada and was here on a visitor visa, but I wanted to do something else, as well as extend my time here before my fiancé and I could get married and apply for a spousal sponsorship. I also really wanted to do something with my spare time other than just waiting and I wanted to get a job to help with finances, so we were introduced to this program and applied right away.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The program provider was very helpful with answering any questions that I had about the visa and the process leading up to the activation. They were very clear about all of their instructions and were very quick to get back to us as soon as possible. I had to work on my resumé on my own, as well as submitting the documents that were required to submit to the government, as well as to make an account on their website on my own. The things that I had to do alone were very easy and straightforward, nothing that was confusing, and if I was lost on anything, I could simply just ask and they were happy to help.

We also had to go to a border crossing and activate my visa ourselves; since I was already in Canada, we had to drive 6 hours down to a land crossing to circle back around and activate it.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Be very, very organized. Triple check everything that you have; this will make your process as fast and painless as mine was.

Don't try to skimp out, and if you think even for a moment that you'll need a document but aren't 100% sure, bring it anyway. My fiancé and I had a binder for all of my paperwork that I need that we organized and made very neat and easy to find any paperwork that was asked for right away. You're never too organized or too careful when it comes to these things.

I didn't think I was going to need my divorce papers because I didn't think they would matter, but I brought them anyway when we went to activate my visa, and I ended up needing them, so bring whatever you think you might need.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

It doesn't look any different than a normal person's week/day. I'm sure others in this program would say differently, but their headquarters are based out of Vancouver and Toronto, which I'm sure, if you were there, you'd have more to do with their scheduled meet ups and what not, but I live in Edmonton, Alberta and am nowhere near there, so I don't participate in those. Other than that, life is pretty much the same for me since I already lived here before I'm just able to work now.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear has and always will be the border. The people who work there can be pretty intimidating at times, but that's because it's their job to be: they're trying to catch you off balance to make sure you're not lying about something. I overcame it because it had to be done and we were so organized and ready that I wasn't really that scared of them and they were pretty nice and quick this time, so we were in and out fairly quickly.