Immigration: Making Dreams Come True

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Miriam Sanchez had a dream to come to Canada with her husband and two children to start a new life full of new opportunities. She applied as a skilled worker in 2005 from El Salvador, and after 9 months, her application was approved. By the end of 2006, her family’s passports and visas had arrived and they were on their way to their new home.

Leaving El Salvador with high expectations and hope for a brighter future, Miriam did not realize how adjusting to a new culture and way of life could be such a challenge. She knew she had made the right decision for her and her family, but upon her arrival, she also realized that in order for her dream to fully come true, it was going to take her time. She learned to be patient and remain focused on her career.

When she first arrived in London, Ontario, she attended ESL classes where she improved her English and learn how to adapt to a new culture. She began attending workshops, hosted by various community agencies in London that helped her increased her job search skills and supported her through her search for a career. Miriam then worked in part-time positions to gain experience and knowledge of the Canadian workplace. In 2008, she was confident and ready to begin her first job through a temp agency as office support staff at Fanshawe College.

While working there, many more opportunities presented themselves. Miriam became aware of the Occupation Specific Language Training (OSLT) program that was being offered through the Academic Access department. She realized that she was a perfect fit as a permanent resident with a language benchmark between 6 to 8 and educational background in business from El Salvador. Miriam enrolled in the business OSLT program in September 2009, and graduated with a Letter of Recognition from Fanshawe College in December.

Through the OSLT course, Miriam gained confidence and was able to express herself professionally in her second language. Gradually, she began to understand the Canadian business workplace culture and realized that she simply needed to transfer her skills to a new context. The OSLT program helped Miriam to realize her full potential for success in business.

Miriam now works directly with newcomers who were once in the same situation as her. She is a full-time Project Officer for the OSLT program at Fanshawe College and truly enjoys assisting participants through the process, as she knows that, with a little help and persistence, the outcomes can be very positive and self-fulfilling. Miriam has learned to see small opportunities in life as big steps towards success in the future. Miriam Sanchez is finally living her dream.

This OSLT program is funded by CIC.

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