Palestinian family reunited in Halifax

Last week we were part of a happy family reunion through private refugee sponsorship. Omela and her family were awaiting the arrival of her parents and brother whom she had not seen in 11 years. They are Palestinian refugees privately sponsored by the Anglican diocese of Nova Scotia and PEI.

Check out the photos below of their long awaited reunion at Halifax airport…

Why Do You Volunteer With Us?

This week is National Volunteer Week in Canada! We asked a few of our volunteers:

Why do you volunteer with ISANS?

“Because I enjoy helping others, because being an immigrant I understand the need, pain and frustrations of building a new life in a new country, in a new culture. Why not to lend a helping hand and help enrich the Canadian fabrics. I believe that most emigrants are hardworking, motivated people looking for the opportunity to build a successful life for themselves and their love ones. ISANS is the right organization to collaborate…

ECE Centre: First Group Experience for Newcomer Children

The Early Childhood Education (ECE) Centre at ISANS provides care for newcomer children from different countries and backgrounds. Here, children aged 6 months to 5 years are exposed to their first group experience, while their parents attend language and skills classes.

Children from across the world with different languages, culture and experiences arrive at the ECE Centre to share the same language and culture. This is a first for them – everything is new and they have little to no information on what to expect…

The Challenges of English in the Workplace

Nova Scotians are outgoing and friendly and love to make small talk at work, but what if you come from a country where this isn’t the norm? What about technical jargon and expressions that you don’t understand? You feel like a fish out of water!

Choosing to move and then adapting to life in a new country is challenging. Finding employment, housing, and establishing yourself in a community are just a few of the first big considerations you face upon arrival. When you find work, there are more challenges still – you need to adapt to a new business culture, learn the workplace etiquette, and adjust to the job specific language.

Language issues and misunderstanding social cues can affect your self confidence – even if you have years of experience in your field. Support is essential to all immigrants, regardless of their language abilities. In fact, most of the time language is not the major stumbling block…

Dragon Kings – The challenges of Bhutanese youth in NS

From CBC Maritime Magazine

In 2007 the federal government started bringing over thousands of refugees from U.N-led camps in Nepal.

The refugees are from Bhutan, and they were forced out of that country in the early 1990s, meaning some of them spent their entire lives in the camps until they came to Canada.

In Halifax, about 350 or so Nepali-speaking Bhutanese are quietly settling into the community, but they’re carrying a huge burden, and it’s falling partly on the shoulders of the young people…

Notice! English as an Additional Language

Please note: We have decided to make the move from using the term ESL (English as a Second Language) to EAL (English as an Additional Language). We are doing this for the following reasons:

  1. To recognize and respect the fact that newcomers who are learning English may already speak two or more languages. English is not always the second language.
  2. To keep current with the trend across the country of organizations who are recognizing and respecting this fact.

Jan Sheppard Kutcher receives Diamond Jubilee Medal

A big congratulations to Jan Sheppard Kutcher who has been recognized for her work at ISANS! Jan is one of 30 recipients chosen to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Each Member of Parliament was given 30 medals to present to constituents who have made significant contributions to their communities. Megan Leslie will be awarding the medals to the recipients in a ceremony at Government House with the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia J. J. Grant on Tuesday, November 13th…

Hiring Immigrant Engineers: From Risk to Opportunity

The following is an article by Jan Sheppard Kutcher which appears in the Fall 2012 issue of The Engineer.

No employer likes to take risks in hiring. Whether you run your own firm, or are responsible for hiring staff for a medium or large engineering firm, mitigating risk, makes sense. But what appears as due diligence, unfortunately, can mean you miss gigantic opportunities to bring talented, experienced and hard-working engineers on board, simply because they seem like risky hires…