13 November 2017

Christina Waschko - Expat in Canada

Christina Waschko - Expat in Canada

We’ve had the chance to talk to Christina Waschko, 50, a German expat who has moved to Canada with her family. Mrs Waschko, who has been living there for seven years, now works as a Videographer. Read more about her experiences in the full interview below.


Q: Where are you from originally?
A: Germany


Q: What made you move out of Germany?
A: Since I learned English at school (at the age of 12) I wanted to live in London. I fall in love with the language. From an early age onward I knew Germany isn’t for me-


Q: Where are you living now? How did you come to choose this new country of residence?
A: BC Canada. Canda is my 7th country to live in, and it was more a matter of “Where else do they speak English?” We lived in Holland for 12 years previously, and we needed to show our three boys a different way of living! Plus, my American husband isn’t very good with languages- aka, he lived his Dutch life in an English speaking bubble. Unlike his wife (aka, moi), who is fluent in Dutch…ha, ha


Q: How long have you been living in Canada?
A: This is year, 7


Q: Are you living alone or with your family? If yes, how are they adjusting to the Expat Lifestyle?
A: Of course, our three boys and their parents live happily ever after. Our boys spoke English before we arrived- however, the biggest surprise and revelation for them was:
Here in Canada, you are celebrated for being different.
Whereas in Holland you need to fit in to get accepted!!!!
That was huge!


Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes? How do you cope with homesickness?
A: Nope!
I visit my parents perhaps once a year or at least every two years. I love them, but living in Germany is not for me. We’re citizens of the world and have friends/acquaintances scattered around the globe.
The things I get homesick for are perfectly made fries, currywurst, Nordsee Insel Sylt, or sauces made by Knorr + Maggi. But then my “Mama” will send off a care package- all is good!


Q: What do you think about the locals?
A: Lovely! The friendliest people on earth? I truly believe so. At times a bit too polite. None of the arrogant Frenchness or direct Germaness,


Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialise with other expats in Canada? How did you manage to find a social circle there?
A: Super easy to meet locals. Especially when your kids go to elementary school. You start talking with the moms on the playground- as I said, super easy!
Nope, I don’t know any other Germans here.
All our new friends are locals or other immigrants from all over the world. That’s Canada for you!
At the beginning of our stay, I did a lot of networking in and around our area. Some people became friends; others left- all good.


Q: How does the cost of living in Canada compare to your home?
A: I earn Canadian Dollars here and spend Canadian Dollars. In Europe, I spend Euro which sucks at the moment. In general, if you know how to shop (aka find bargains), costs of living are similar.
Eating out here is more expensive.

Q: How much is a cup of coffee?
A: Tim Horton’s: $2.00

Q: How much is a meal in an inexpensive restaurant?
A: $15.00

Q: How much is a meal in an expensive restaurant?
A: $150.00

Q: How much is a bottle of wine? How about a pack of cigarettes?
A: $10.00, + $12.00 respectively (don’t smoke!)


Q: Do you have any tips for future expats when it comes to opening a bank account in Canada?
A: Do your research, banks offer great deals on bank/credit cards. Don’t be shy to ask around. They need you and your business more than you need them


Q: How will you describe your experience with government paperwork such as applications for Visa and work permits? Why is that so?
A: Very extensive. But once you’re in the system it’s easy peasy.


Q: Would you say that healthcare in Canada is reliable? Any preferred clinics or advice for expats?
A: Yes, it is. Fortunately we’re a healthy, non-accident prone family. Basic check ups and minor injuries, ER treatments are covered for most parts. Dental is expensive if you don’t have a dental plan- which is expensive too! Not fun! Keep your gum and teeth healthy or work for somebody who offers medical/dental plans.


Q: Did you secure a health insurance in Germany or Canada? What should be the essentials in the coverage for expats, in your opinion?
A: Yes. It’s mandatory and very affordable. Remember, dental is extra.


Q: What was the most memorable about the packing and moving process to Canada? Which was the mover you chose and how was your experience with them?
A: After interviewing 6 Dutch movers we’ve chosen the cheapest one, and it was fantastic: No fuss or drama on either end.
Most memorable: Upon arrival to our new home in Canada our real estate agent and mortgage lady welcomed us with their presence, a fridge full of food, two extra air mattresses and lots of bedding for all of us. Now, this is first class service! So caring and so unexpected!!!


Q: What is the biggest challenge that you have faced as a new expat?
A: None- all is good. We’ve done this quite a few times already.


Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Canada?
A: Lovely people
Destruction of the beautiful areas for new housing complexes!


Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Any particular recommendations for future expats?
A: Tubing down Alouette river, Kayaking, swimming in lake Alouette, hiking trails, running trails, the dykes for walking, cycling, running, weekly farmers market, lots of free activities


Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future?
A: Yes, we’re moving again but not back to Germany-


Q: What tips will you give to expats living in the country?
A: Canada BC= Bring Cash
Don’t be surprised to see lots of homelessness despite the wealth of this province
Everybody wants you to volunteer!
Or you get asked for a donation for each and everything. Be careful!


Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about Canada?
A: No