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Interview with Micha – an Israeli expat living in Newfoundland

Updated 12 Jun 2024

Micha's journey to Newfoundland began when he worked for a company that designed a facility there. With Covid-19 limitations on travel, Canada shut down the gates, and in order for him to visit a client as a support engineer, he needed a special work permit given only to essential industries.

This started Micha's process of getting a work permit. He visited several times and made himself familiar with the people. Then, an offer came, and he moved.

If you enjoy this interview and would like to find out more about Micha's expat experience, send him a connect on LinkedIn.

About Micha

Q: Where are you originally from?
A: Israel

Q: What country and city did you move to?
A: Marystown, Newfoundland, Canada

Q: When did you move?
A: July 2022

Q: Is this your first expat experience?
A: Yes

Q: Did you move here alone or with a spouse/partner or family?
A: Alone

Q: Reason for moving?
A: Work, political system where I left

Living in Newfoundland

Q: What do you enjoy most about Newfoundland and Canada in general?
A: It's relaxed and peaceful. Canadians stand out as one rare nation with generally good manners and a helpful nature, making them known for their niceness and public courtesy. Newfoundland is even more so with extremely friendly people.

Q: Have you had any low points? What do you miss most about Israel?
A: This place is remote, and difficult to get into and out of. Newfoundland is closer to Europe than any other part of North America – but to get there, you must first take a long flight westward, only then fly back east… Maybe some direct flights to Europe will resume this summer.

Q: What misconceptions about Newfoundland, if any, have you learned were not true?
A: That it's expensive and that people are cold. Untrue.

Q: What are the biggest adjustments you had to make when settling into expat life in Newfoundland? Did you experience culture shock at all?
A: They don't have a single coffee house where you can just sit and have coffee, maybe pull out a laptop. Ways of spending time off are also different.

I'm still trying to get acquainted with the local dialect, 'Newfie', which has its own vocabulary and that many Canadians also find challenging.

Q: What are your favourite things to do on the weekend? Any particular places or experiences you’d recommend to fellow expats?
A: Hiking, reading, swimming at the YMCA.

Q: What's the cost of living in Newfoundland compared to Israel? Are there specific things that are especially expensive or cheap there?
A: The cost of living is much higher where I came from.

Q: What’s public transport like in Newfoundland and across Canada?
A: No public transport. The only bus is the school bus.

Q: What do you think of the healthcare available in Newfoundland? What should expats expect from local doctors and hospitals?
A: Healthcare is not very good, but it could be related to this very specific place in Canada.

Q: What’s the standard of housing like in Newfoundland? What different options are available?
A: Housing is cheaper here than anywhere else.

Q: Are there any areas or suburbs you’d recommend for expats to live in?
A: I live in a remote community. People move here for work.

Meeting people and making friends in Newfoundland

Q: Was meeting people and making friends in Newfoundland easy? How did you go about meeting new people?
A: It is a little dfficult for me, so I'm still looking for ways to get to know people.

Q: Have you made friends with locals, or do you mix mainly with other expats? What advice would you give to new expats looking to make friends with the locals?
A: Mainly from work.

Working in Newfoundland

Q: How easy or difficult was getting a work permit or visa? Did you tackle the visa process yourself, or did you enlist the services of an immigration consultant?
A: It was not easy, and the consultants were not very good.

Q: What is the economic climate in Newfoundland like?
A: Getting better, still many people move to western Canada for work.

Q: How does the work culture in Newfoundland differ from Israel?
A: It's more relaxed and more safe.

Final thoughts

Q: Any advice you'd like to offer to new arrivals in Newfoundland?
A: Come with your spouse.

►Interviewed on 3 April 2024

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