Moon Living Abroad in Canada
by Carolyn B. Heller
Paperback, Avalon Travel
Reviewed by Living Abroad Contributing Editor Volker Poelzl
Author Carolyn Heller has accomplished what I have heard a growing number of Americans fantasize and talk about over the past decade: she moved from the U.S. to Canada. In her book “Living Abroad in Canada”—published by Avalon Publishing--Heller covers all the essential aspects of moving to and living in Canada. “Living Abroad in Canada” reflects Heller’s own experiences and knowledge of this northern neighbor of the U.S., who according to her, “is familiar yet just a bit different.” It is often easier to describe a country and culture that is vastly different form our own, but the author succeeds in pointing out the subtle differences in culture, worldviews, and daily life that distinguish Canada from the rest of North America. She describes in detail the differences in government and political systems, tax and labor laws, health insurance coverage, and educational systems. She also talks about the unique make-up of Canada’s multi-cultural society, which in addition to French-speaking Québec and the Native American “First Nations,” includes large immigrant communities from India, China, and other countries. To dispel any misinformation about Canadian immigration law right away, Heller points out in the book’s introduction that Americans can stay in Canada as a visitor for up to six months, but that they still need a work or residency permit to legally reside in Canada.
The book’s material is presented in an easily readable format and covers all the important aspects of daily life in Canada. Following the general structure of Moon’s “Living Abroad” series, the book’s opening chapter introduces readers to Canadian history, government, economy, and culture. This chapter also covers important issues that need to be addressed before settling abroad, such as “Planning Your Fact-finding Trip,” and “Making the Move”, which provide important information about the logistics of moving to Canada. In the “Daily Life” section of the book she described in detail the various visa options for Americans interested in moving to Canada and also covers other important aspects related to moving abroad, such as housing, obtaining a social security number and driver’s license, the national health system and health insurance, education, employment, finance and banking, communications, and transportation.
The section titled “Prime Living Locations” provides a concise introduction to the culture, infrastructure, climate, etc. of the most popular destinations for expatriates, such as Vancouver, Toronto, Québec, Montreal, Ottawa, and several other cities and regions. The “Resources” section includes useful contact information for banks, government offices and embassies, education, moving companies, housing, health, communications, employment agencies, transportation, prime living locations, etc. For anyone interested in living in Canada, “Living Abroad in Canada” is a well-researched and practical companion that provides all the information and resources you need to make a successful move.
For more information visit the author’s blog and companion website to “Living Abroad in Canada”at www.livingabroadincanada.com.
You can also visit the publisher’s “Living Abroad in Canada” web page at moon.com/books/living-abroad/moon-living-abroad-canada-first-edition.