Once I was in Canada, I didn’t know how to go back to being myself. I didn’t know how to go back to a professional environment and I wasn’t sure of how or where to start. Many of the people I saw around me were thinking there was no way for them to revalidate their professional credentials, their degrees or their careers, but there is always a way.

For me the first step was to learn english, making sure that I was able to communicate fluently and  efficiently. I had to  push myself to the limit; there was no way for me to give up having  gotten that far. Then I found out that there are many different ways to  improve yourself and to build a bright future in this country. One is to  get your Education Credentials Assessment (ECA) to see if/how Canada recognizes your education. This is done through different organizations like IQAS or WES, just to name a couple. Another way, one of my favourites, is to take on the great opportunity to reinvent yourself. To become a new person, to change everything and start fresh with a different career. 

After coming to Canada I decided that I needed something different. Due to the  years apart from my children and the separation with my husband (which is a separate story), it was hard for me to think of enjoying life as a tourist guide traveling back and forth from the Canadian Rockies and other touristic spots around the province. All I wanted to do was to be at home getting ready to receive my boys after school to have dinner together, to learn about their day, help them with their homework and have nice conversations in the evenings. Then, I found this fabulous program at CIWA (Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association) for Translation and Interpretation, and in that moment I felt as if I was in a movie. Everything seemed almost magical, it felt as if everything had gone dark and a ray of light guided me to the brochure. My heart was pounding so fast with a mix of feelings, I had found my new career, I was going to become a Translator and Interpreter.

I applied right away and changed my life forever. I was very happy to have the opportunity of working from home translating documents and spending time with my  family while also meeting great people at the Calgary Board of Education and the Calgary Catholic School District. Once again I felt lucky, I was welcomed to work with these amazing  and devoted Boards from whom I learned a lot and for the 5 years I interpreted for them I always felt at home.

In the meantime I noticed among my clients who required my translation services that they were lacking information about how to apply for permanent residence. I felt helpless not being able to  give advice because I lacked the knowledge to help them and they felt lost as I personally did before, suffering the consequences of inadequate and inaccurate advice as it happened to me. I figured I had to do something, so I decided to spend two years studying Immigration Law so I could finally help those people. With this, I have started a new chapter in my life, one where hopefully I can prevent stories like mine from happening again.

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