For many newcomers, the most remarkable (shocking, in some cases) experience when they move to Prince Edward Island is the weather in winter. For Fei Wang, that wasn’t really an issue.
“I come from Northern China, close to Beijing, so the weather is very similar. But I wasn’t expecting so much snow,” she laughs.
All of us were shocked and awed by the more than 17 feet of snow we received this year, so her horror is perfectly understandable.
For Fei, 36, the biggest surprise was how friendly the people here are.
“The people are so nice and helpful,” she says.
Fei’s journey to Canada was a journey of transformation. If she had stayed in China, she explains, nothing would have changed. She worked in the Human Resources department of a marketing firm, and would have been expected to continue to work in that capacity for the rest of her life. Instead, she says, she saw the opportunity to change the path of her life by emigrating.
So Fei, her husband Zhi Tao Wu, and their 9-year-old son, William came to Prince Edward Island about a year and a half ago.
“I followed my heart,” she says.
It was a bold move, but not one that she regrets. Now she is working as a translator for PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada and as a customer service representative for Air Canada. For both of these tasks, the ability to communicate is vital.
Fei says that her training in Holland College’s language training program, including a stint at Andrew’s Lodge for on the job training, has helped her develop her English skills.
“It has made a big difference. If your English is better, you can communicate what you are thinking more clearly. Holland College has been very important to me.”
Aside from the friendliness of Islanders, Fei say the biggest surprises when they arrived here were the lack of pollution and the slower pace.
She said that with the technology available now, she can keep in touch with her friends and family in China through Skype and by email. What she misses the most, she says, is the food.
She offers two pieces of advice to other newcomers:
“Take it easy and don’t rush, and learn English,” she says. “Life here is beautiful.”
For more information, please contact:
Sara Underwood, Media and Communications Officer
Date: June 22, 2015