We Asked ChatGPT What Every Newcomer Should Know About Canada & It Had A Lot To Say

"Don't underestimate the cost of living." 👀

Associate Editor
The Canadian flag. Right: A street in Ottawa.

The Canadian flag. Right: A street in Ottawa.

Moving to Canada can be an overwhelming experience for a lot of reasons, from adapting to the weather to finding that first job.

So, to make things a little easier for newcomers to Canada, we decided to ask ChatGPT about some things that they should know, and the AI system was surprisingly insightful.

In response to the question, "What should newcomers to Canada know about the country?" ChatGPT listed out 10 points beginning with Canada's multiculturalism.

"Canada is home to people from all over the world, and diversity is celebrated. Newcomers should feel welcome and embraced by the multiculturalism of the country," it stated, which seems like a positive way to begin the conversation.

Other things that it highlighted were Canada's official languages (English and French), the kind of weather to expect during all four distinct seasons, the "high-quality" education, our publicly-funded healthcare system, and the "strict" immigration laws.

It also offered some cautionary advice by saying, "Finding a job in Canada can be challenging, especially for newcomers. It's important to research the job market."

Other things it thought newcomers to Canada should research are the cost of living, cultural norms, and even safety.

"Canada is generally a safe country but it is important to take precautions to ensure your personal safety," is how it put the last point.

"Familiarize yourself with emergency services and make sure you have a plan in case of an emergency." Honestly, that's not bad advice for anyone living in the country.

It looks like we're not the only ones asking AI for advice either. When we asked it about questions newcomers often have, it said it had "interacted with many people who have questions about Canada when they are planning to visit, study or immigrate."

Some common questions people seem to have included, "What is the climate like in Canada?", "What's the food like in Canada?" and "How do I find a job in Canada?"

Regarding the answers to those questions, it called Canadian cuisine "diverse" as it's "influenced by its multicultural population" and listed poutine, maple syrup, and seafood as popular dishes.

It also recommended many different ways to find a job in Canada including online job boards, networking, and working with recruitment agencies.

"You will need a work permit to work in Canada as a foreigner," it said.

We pushed things further and asked ChatGPT about the biggest mistakes newcomers make in Canada, and its top point was "underestimating the cost of living."

"Many newcomers to Canada underestimate the cost of living, especially in larger cities such as Toronto and Vancouver. They may not realize the high cost of rent, groceries, and other expenses which can lead to financial difficulties," it noted. Ouch.

Another mistake, according to the AI is "not taking advantage of settlement services."

"Canada offers a range of settlement services to help newcomers with things like language training, job search, and housing. Newcomers who do not take advantage of these services may miss out on important support," it said.

Finally, to sum up, we asked the AI if it had any general advice for newcomers to Canada, and it was pretty helpful, recommending things like "learn the languages," "build a support network," and "seek our professional resources."

Its last point even had a little bit of motivation to it — "be patient and persistent."

In the wise words of ChatGPT, "adjusting to a new country and culture takes time, so be patient with yourself."

"It may take time to find your place in your new community and to feel comfortable in your new home. Stay persistent in your efforts to make connections and build a life in Canada."

That's some pretty good advice. Best of luck out there, newcomers!

Janice Rodrigues
Associate Editor
Janice Rodrigues was an Associate Editor for Narcity Media focused on Canadian immigration and passports, and is based in Scarborough, Ontario.