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Jul 10, 2013

Working in Alberta.
Another Happy Migrate Abroad Client

Who are you are where are you from? Hi, I’m Niall Moran, 34, from Dunboyne, Co Meath!

Occupation Warehousing

Where do you live now? Drayton Valley, Alberta. Why did you want to live in Canada? There’s no work in Ireland, I worked in Canada for the Vancouver Olympics back in 2009, loved it, loved the lifestyle, sport, the people, everything. It was on my mind to come back sometime. Also my brother is working in Red Deer and is really settled and happy here in Canada.

What is your story from when you first left to where you are now? contacted me about jobs in Alberta. I was working security at home, not really what I wanted to be doing but there was no other work, so thought why not! Sent in the CV, interview was organized in Kilkenny office. We Skype called the employer and had a real good chat about the position, where the job was. It was really clear what the offer was. I was offered position within 2 days, contracts were signed and applied for my work permit. The permit took about 5 weeks. Myself and another lad James were offered jobs at the same time. Employer paid for our permits and flights! Then employer met us in the airport and drove us to accommodation that he had arranged for us. To be honest we were really well looked after. When we go here the employer even sorted out our health care! Is the healthcare good? Super all expenses are covered including doctor visits.. have to have health care, its compulsory.

How did you finance your migration? 
I was lucky, there was no cost. found me a job, arranged the interview and the employer agreed to pay my visa fees and flights, it was super. I know that I am an exception to the rule - said that most employers will pay for the work permit, flights- no so much.

What preparations did you make before you emigrated?
Well, I was caught a little off-guard when I actually got the job offer, it happened so fast from the call – didn’t seem real. But I got loads of winter clothes and fleeces- rented out my apartment in Chapelizod, I had no problem renting it so that was pretty much it.

What’s rent like in Alberta? Again, our employer has been super, he had a 2 bed apartment fully furnished for us and I pay only CAD500 a month! It is nothing. I do know that rent in the cities is a lot higher. What Drayton like? What are amenities? Its only a short drive to Edmonton if you need clothes you’d need to head there but in Drayton we have our cinema, pub, bowling alley, golf course, snow hill, retail shops all the usual. Haven’t noticed any service that I’d miss.

What was the most stressful part about migrating
? Being homesick, I missed the folks. I’m the baby in the house! But I do call often and when I last worked here I made Canadian friends and have met them all again. It is important to keep up contact, I really value them now.

Have you left close family at home? Yes my parents and my sister. I had planned to travel home next Christmas but my parents have already begun plans to come see myself and my brother. It is great, my Dad is talking about retiring out here some day. I call on Skype 2-3 times a week. Did you/will you take citizenship? Definitely.. I plan to go back home some day but here is where my life and work are so I am going to stay and earn while the going is good and while I’m enjoying it.

Was it difficult to get settled in to your new job? It was a little different, I worked on a line I had never worked on before, it took a month or two but wasn’t a problem. Myself and James did a refresher course on forklift driving, also because we drive on other side of the road, we would have been overseen on first deliveries, but to be honest there was no massive change I can think of. Was it difficult to drive on the other side of the road? No, it instinctive, you just pick it up.

Have you your own vehicle? Are they good value in Canada?
As you say it I’m saving for a truck. Everyone drives big trucks here. Hoping to get a Ford or Dodger for about CAD4-5000. I should get a good 10 years out of it. Diesel is a lot cheaper here too.

What’s the weather like? Well, we get a few months of snow but it doesn’t bother me, I love the outdoors and love snowboarding. Summer months we actually get days of sunshine. I love the outdoors hiking, fishing and biking.. there is just so much to do here, really suits me.

How has the move changed your life? The move is definitely a big change for the better, work and money are really good here. Back in Ireland I had to move back home, work and money were really poor. My Canadian employer has already discussed my opportunities to move forward get promoted, we have also discussed permanent residence so it really been a positive career and life move for me.

What do you miss about the Ireland? Black & white pudding, and rashers, you cant get decent bacon over here, its all streaky rashers. The bread is totally different too, no home made brown bread, Ill have to get my Mom to show me how to make home made bread when she comes over for Christmas! I have hardly eaten bread since I got here.. Nothing like a home made Irish stew either, you don’t get that here.

What are your plans for the future? Buy a truck, play, get promoted at work, apply for residence, I am young so playing it by ear and making best of opportunities as they come up.

What’s your advice for other Irish/British people wanting to move to Canada? If you get homesick stick at it.. you’d regret it if you do go home.. There is no work at home.

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