Grant came to Canada with his wife in 2007 after she received a job offer from the National Research Council. The plan was to stay here for only a couple of years before returning to their home in China. Three years later, they decided that Canada was right for them and they applied for Permanent Residency status and brought their son from China to join them.
Grant says that there were many factors that influenced their decision. In particular, though, it was the better opportunities available to their son that had the greatest impact. Grant likes the education system in Canada and how it places much less pressure on students while offering richer educational resources. Students have less homework and the competition isn’t as intense. There are also many extra-curricular activities that children can take part in, things like swimming, soccer, and skating.
Upon his arrival, Grant’s impressive educational background helped him to secure a job as a research assistant at the University of Saskatchewan. He worked there for about six years, but found that the job offered very few opportunities for improving his English speaking and listening skills. Although his ability to read and write English was very strong, he found his strong Chinese accent and inaccurate pronunciation to be discouraging. This led him to seek out GGP and the Coffee and Conversation program.
Grant appreciates how much he was able to improve his pronunciation and fluency as a result of attending GGP’s programs. His language ability is much, much better now and he appreciates everything else he gained from GGP’s programs, particularly from Coffee and Conversation and Family, Fun, and Fit. It was wonderful too that his son was included in some of the weekend activities like mini golfing and swimming.
Grant and his family really like Canada and they have decided to make it their forever home. They have applied for Canadian citizenship and look forward to becoming more involved in their community. They want to be able to vote and to have a say in the decisions that shape this country. They also look forward to continuing to enjoy some of Canada’s simpler pleasures. For example, the fact that there are so many green spaces open to the public is something they love. In China, with its much higher and denser population, lawns must be protected from people. Grant remembers how impressed he was the first time he saw children and families playing sports or enjoying other activities on one of Saskatoon’s many grassy spaces.
Grant hopes to build his career, either in the finance industry or at a university doing research work. He holds a PhD in Mathematical Finance and is looking into completing his Masters of Quantitative Finance. He is also very close to achieving a designation in the financial field with the Canadian Institute of Actuaries. He hopes that a Canadian degree and Canadian credentials will open up wider career opportunities. He would also like to meet and become friends with more local people.
Whatever he decides and wherever he finds himself, we wish him the greatest of success.