Naman’s fun-loving and laidback nature are hallmarks of his Youtube videos. His channel showcases different aspects of life in Canada and contains a wealth of helpful advice for students and prospective immigrants.
The advice generally comes from experience. Naman knows what it takes to move to Canada, the sacrifices involved, and the ground realities.
The Business student who entered Canada during the height of the pandemic in 2020 has faced his share of ups and downs- from false promises to mental and financial challenges. He hopes to share this unique perspective with thousands who dream of immigrating to Canada.
How it began
The journey began in 2020. Naman says the idea of moving abroad for higher studies was first floated around by his friends. Even then, he admits Canada was not his first option. It took some persuading, and he was eventually convinced by word of Canada’s more straightforward immigration process compared to other destinations.
He followed up on an advertisement offering admissions to Canadian Universities. This resulted in his first big obstacle- Soon after getting admitted into a University, the agent abandoned him, leaving him to obtain a Canadian visa and figure out the immigration process on his own. It is an all-too-common issue with many advertisers luring students with big promises.
In hindsight, Naman says he should have known better. He’d never met the agents in person; they had taken advantage of his unfamiliarity with the process.
Taking the advice of his friends, he contacted other reliable consultants and was able to finalize his Canadian visa on time.
Naman notes that immigration is a stressful process that requires careful planning to come out unscathed. He remembers filing documents, rushing paperwork, and the general wait and uncertainty surrounding his application as the biggest headaches.
He advises students following in his footsteps to plan and strategize before jumping headlong into immigration.
On IELTS and Language tests
As for language tests, Naman says they are not as daunting as some rumors make them out to be. In his opinion, an average English-medium student in India can easily ace it with some preparation. He personally devoted two hours to his three-day preparation: Acing the IELTS with a 7-band score.
The process requires a significant sacrifice for most middle to lower-middle-class families in India.
In Naman’s estimation, the figure can reach anywhere over 60,000 CAD or 25-30 lakh INR.
Dealing with immigration officials
Naman immigrated as a student in March 2020, just as Canadian borders were closing up. He recalls the skeletal aircraft cabin on his flight to Canada and attributes the relaxed atmosphere to helping him get through immigration with ease. Despite what he’d heard about the strict questioning process, the only questions asked were to verify his University and course.
Challenges of student life in Canada
The cost of living can also be a burden for students who don’t have financial backing during their first few years in Canada. It’s common to take up part-time jobs as a student to make ends meet. Speaking from personal experience, Naman says there is no lack of part-time jobs for students in Canada. Many jobs, including those of a physical nature, have many vacancies.
These part-time jobs usually pay enough for sustenance but can be inadequate for emergencies. The problem is also exacerbated by Canada’s current inflation problems, with costs of basic amenities, housing, groceries, bank loans, insurance payments, etc., all rising.
However, the situation is not all gloomy. Naman still regularly sends remittances back home and quickly points out that even part-time jobs allow him to support his family in India due to the favorable exchange rates.
Finding the right accommodation at the right price can also be challenging in Canada. Depending on your location, rent payments can quickly burn through your savings. Naman recommends sharing accommodation with roommates as an effective way to reduce expenses.
Another challenge is maintaining mental health. Student life in Canada can quickly become overwhelming, and without a proper plan to fall back on, life can quickly turn chaotic and aimless. Loneliness is the reality of student life as the busy work and class schedules leave little time for socialization. The time difference also complicates communicating with people back home and contributes to this alienation.
Plans for the future
Naman currently resides in Ontario on a work permit. He has upcoming plans for a startup while also managing his personal Youtube channel. When questioned about the prospect of applying for permanent residency in the future, he answers with casual humor that after investing more than 60k on immigration and enduring the challenging journey, he might as well go for it.