How to Thrive in Toronto: Advice for Canadian Newcomers from Former International Students 

How to Thrive in Toronto: Advice for Canadian Newcomers from Former International Students 


Many of Fleming College Toronto’s (FCT) staff used to be international students in Canada or other countries. There is a lot to learn from their combined experience of studying abroad, adapting to new cultures, and finding career success after graduation. What does it take to succeed in another country? When asked, they answered with three common points: be open-minded, be a life-long learner, and be active in your community. Read on to find out more.  


Be Open Minded

By far the most common point of advice received from former international students was to be open-minded. Being an open-minded person will help you learn, grow, and experience things you never thought possible.  


“If you embrace everything with an open mind, you are going to have a great experience.” 

— Damien Holland, Campus Director, Fleming College Toronto 


“Be open to opportunities. Be open to new weather. Be open to new foods! After a while, everything will come together, and you will adapt to Canada.” 

— Juliana Kojima, Student Services Officer, Fleming College Toronto 


“Try new cultures, new foods, new everything. An open mind will give you better opportunities.” 

— Sasha-Gaye, Human Resources Coordinator, Fleming College Toronto 

Be a Lifelong Learner 

In the modern workplace, continuous learning is essential. Being a lifelong learner will ensure that you adapt to trends, technological developments, and workplace changes.  


“I believe in continuous learning. In this day and age, you have to keep upgrading to unlock your potential and have a successful career. There are always new ways to solve problems and complete tasks.”  

— Hesham Fouad, Supply Chain Program Coordinator, Fleming College Toronto  


“Remember that the learning never ends and that you have to constantly be paying attention to changes in the world.” 

— Tao Ye, Student Support Coordinator, Fleming College Toronto  


“Never stop learning about the diverse cultures around you, and their different ways of working. You need to be aware of that because it can affect your work environment.”  

— Gianfranco Molfino, Project Management Program Coordinator, Fleming College Toronto 


Be Active in Your Community

Whether it’s volunteering, playing sports, or enjoying hobbies with others, getting involved in community activities will help you adapt to new environments. You’ll learn new things and make new friends, some of whom might be important for your career development.   


“Branch out and get to know others because you never know when your next opportunity will arrive, whether it’s fun events, housing, or employment. There are so many opportunities here, not just for careers, but for life. Every single day you can go and experience something new.” 

— Varsha Scolia, Career Services Facilitator, Fleming College Toronto 


“The GTA has so much to offer! There is a great education system, many sports teams, landmarks, and convenient public transportation. Apply for part-time jobs, meet your coworkers, and get involved with activities!” 

— Victoria Gonidis, Student Engagement Lead, Fleming College Toronto  


“Meeting so many different people from so many different backgrounds has helped me grow and be a better person. I have met people from Australia, Taiwan, Ukraine, the Philippines, and more. They always open my eyes to something new.” 

— Rodrigo Ojanguren, Senior Academic Advisor  


To learn more about living in Toronto, email  



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