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5 Essential Steps for Your First Year in Canada: A Newcomer's Guide to Success

Updated: Jan 24

Adjusting to a new country goes beyond the basics of getting a SIM card or a Social Insurance Number. In your first year in Canada, it's vital to focus on actions that set you up for long-term success and significant financial savings. This guide delves deep beneath the surface, offering practical steps that every newcomer to Canada should consider.


"This is what you should do in the first year in Canada" - Max Medyk

Step #1 - Expand Beyond Your Cultural Comfort Zone

One key to success in Canada is building a diverse professional network. While connecting with people from your home country is comforting, integrating with a broader international community, including Canadians, opens doors to better job opportunities and the path to permanent residency. Engaging with a diverse group enhances your professional circle and increases your chances of success in the Canadian job market.

Step #2 - Optimize Your Phone Plan

A good phone plan is crucial, especially as you start attending networking events and building your personal brand. Consider upgrading your initial plan to get more data at a better price. Strategies like switching providers and negotiating with customer service can lead to significant savings. For example, transitioning from a $40 plan for 4 GB to a $50 plan for 40 GB of data is possible through smart deal-hunting and negotiation.

Step #3 - Choose a Rewarding Credit Card

Initially, you might start with a basic student credit card to build your credit history. After achieving a credit score of around 700, consider applying for a semi-premium card like AMEX Cobalt. Such cards offer rewards for everyday expenses and protections like tech insurance, which can be invaluable for new tech purchases. These cards not only reward you for spending but also offer financial safety nets.

Step #4 - Learn French for Improved PR Prospects

Investing time in learning French can significantly boost your chances of obtaining permanent residency. Even with a busy schedule, dedicating a few hours weekly to learning French is feasible. Look for organizations like Alliance Française, which offer flexible and affordable language programs. This step is particularly advantageous for newcomers aiming for PR in Canada.

Step #5 - Save on Rent through Strategic Housing Choices

After settling in for a few months, consider ways to save on housing costs. For instance, renting a larger apartment and subletting rooms can reduce your living expenses. Families might opt for a duplex, living in one unit and renting out the other. Use platforms like to compare the costs of larger apartments against individual rooms to find the best deals in your area.


Your first year in Canada is crucial for setting the foundation for future success. By expanding your cultural horizons, optimizing your expenses, and making strategic choices, you can save money and open up new opportunities. These steps are just the beginning of a rewarding journey in Canada.

Further guidance

To make the most of your Canadian journey, including legal support, visit I'm Canada Immigrate. Equip yourself with the right tools and knowledge for a successful life in Canada.


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