On the Way to Perfect English

Is this ‘gorilla warfare?’ Scene from the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

    Laughter: now part of a well-balanced classroom experience. A toastmaster reflects on a language learned.   By Gerrie Ying   It’s been a long time since I began to learn the English alphabet in China, to now competing in a toastmaster’s contest in Canada. On the way to perfect my English, I have


Getting a Social Insurance Number


    If you want to work in Canada, you’ll need to apply for a SIN.   By Aurora Tejeida   The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits. If you are a Canadian citizen, a newcomer to


Four Myths About Credit in Canada

  Most newcomers miss these important credit facts. An Asian Pacific Post report.   More than half (56 per cent) of newcomers to Canada mistakenly believe that you need a credit history to qualify for a mortgage, according to a recent poll by the Royal Bank of Canada. The poll asked newcomers a series of


Tips on mental health

Photo by Gerd Altmann / pixabay

      As a newcomer to BC, it’s natural to have a long list of questions about life in your new country. That’s why Guidbook would like to dedicate this space to answering the questions of our readers. If you have a question about finding housing, applying to schools, applying for visas, saving money


Spotlight: UBC’s International Scholarships

  As an international student applying to Vancouver schools, awards and scholarships may be low on your priority list—behind choosing your program or finding a place to live. But each year, the University of British Columbia makes $10 million available to international undergraduate students who excel in their studies and extra curriculars.   Some of


Tips on Tipping

  Q: I am coming to Vancouver to study in September. I’ve heard that every culture is different when it comes to service gratuities. What is expected with regards to tipping in Canada?   A: With most service industry jobs in Canada, a gratuity or “tip” is expected in addition to charges for a service.


Canadian drinks

    Q: Hi, I’m new to Vancouver, and I don’t like to drink beer. Is there something even more Canadian than beer I can drink? If so, how do I make it at home?   By Abeer Yusuf   I’m with you on this. I dont drink beer either, but I hear that Vancouver


How to Talk to a Vancouverite


By Abeer Yusuf   In a new city, it can sometimes be challenging to make small talk. As a newbie, you may not be familiar with the shared Vancouver-y experiences that come up frequently in locals’ conversation.   In this issue, Guidebook’s got you covered with some disturbingly common small talk topics. Practice these and


Your Questions, Answered: the road rules

Traffic signal in Vancouver

  Your Questions, Answered   As a newcomer to BC, it’s natural to have a long list of questions about life in your new country. That’s why Guidbook would like to dedicate this space to answering the questions of our readers. If you have a question about finding housing, applying to schools, applying for visas,


Strath? DTES? Kits? The Drive?

High Diver

      Sound like a native Vancouverite with these neighbourhood nicknames.     By Valentina Ruiz Leotaud   Scanning the headlines in local newspapers, magazines, or websites, you’re likely to encounter these acronyms and abbreviations used to name some of Vancouver’s most talked-about neighbourhoods. In this issue we hope to make sense of those


Reading in English

Reding English-1

    Are you new to reading in English? Whether you are a beginner or advanced student looking for a new challenge, Guidebook has a book recommendation just for you.   By Alice Sejin Lim   Reading is not only entertaining, but it grows your mind and makes your English much more fluent. Libraries and


Five stages you’ll go through when adjusting to your new life in Canada

  By Sean Celi, Vancouver Immigrant Youth Blog     [Editor’s note: Sean is the founder of a website for immigrant youth bloggers. If you are a current high school student who would like to share your migration experience with an active online community, visit www.vanimmigrantyouth.blogspot.ca to learn how to get involved. The following is


First time filing taxes? Get it right from the start


    There are so many firsts in life?first steps, first word, first day of school, first job… you get the idea.   There’s also the first time you file income tax and benefit return with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Whether you’ve just landed your first part-time job and need to pay taxes or


Discovering Vancouver with Airbnb.com

airbnb homepage

    By Margarete Hernandez   Anyone familiar with the housing situation in Vancouver knows that affordability is an ongoing issue in the city. Reports of empty condominiums, homelessness, and high rent prices have come up in the recent years. Thus, citizens have been increasingly resourceful in dealing with this issue through various communal living


English Practice Outside the Classroom


  School can be a stressful place to learn a new language. While instructors may know the best techniques, fellow learners make better friends and companions. Guidebook contributor Sejin Lim investigates one of Vancouver’s many English Language Meet-ups.   By Sejin Lim   Did you know: A club named “Conversational English” meets every day from


Talking taxes with Gabrielle Loren

GML Head Shot_web

  You don’t have to be a certified accountant to feel prepared for tax season. If you think about it clearly, all you have to do is fill out a few forms. But for newcomers to Canada, the task of declaring income or claiming credits can feel impossibly difficult. We chatted with North Vancouver tax


BC’s Health Insurance Plan: Medical Services Plan

  By Euihyeon Nam (UBC Intern)   It is already March. Some might expect the warm spring weather to arrive by now, but but the cold and the rain are not gone yet in Vancouver. Many people tend to catch a cold during this period, so it is the right time for people, especially newcomers,