Distance & Online
We are advancing the application of technology to all aspects of the settlement process. ISANS applies technology to enhance existing services to make them more accessible and convenient. Programs are available on-demand, in person and by distance. We offer flexible and accessible online programs and services to both pre- and post-arrival immigrants to Nova Scotia.
Last year, ISANS worked with 298 newcomers in over 85 Nova Scotia communities.
We served 1,632 pre-arrival online clients and continued to work with 2,375 clients through SettlementOnline.ca.
Since 2005, ISANS has been leading the way in Canada in online learning and online settlement services. This year, with the support of the Government of Canada, we entered a 4 year commitment to continue to provide Settlement Online Pre Arrival (SOPA) programs. SOPA offers customized orientation, courses and counselling, delivered by six settlement organizations, spread across Canada. SOPA provides unique pre-arrival, employment-focused support to prepare newcomers for the Canadian workplace with local expertise, knowledge, resources and networks. This program ensures that newcomers arrive prepared.
After a very few weeks in Halifax, Shreya Talwar talks about “growing roots.” In late March, she and her husband, Narbir, moved here to a country they respect and a city that meets their criteria for a quality place to live. “It’s amazing. This feeling of being relaxed and settled comes hugely because of ISANS. My husband and I came here with four bags; that’s it. You don’t know anyone or belong to anything. If there was no ISANS, we’d have a very different experience here.”
Shreya participated in the Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA) program where she worked with an in-take counsellor and an employment specialist, and participated in the Job Search Strategies workshop which included how to tailor her resume for the Canadian job market. Resettling isn’t new, as she grew up in a military family that moved every three years. She earned her undergrad degree in journalism in India, worked in Istanbul, and then completed her Master’s in Education at the University of Edinburgh. She traveled throughout Europe and Australia before returning to India.
“I always wanted to work for myself in something I could believe in,” says Shreya, who established a learning and development firm to empower organizations and individuals throughout India to deal successfully with different cultures and countries. As a diversity and inclusion consultant specializing in intercultural management and communication, she facilitated workshops, consulted, and coached people in the business, education, and military sectors.
Shreya and Narbir chose Canada because it has a growing economy and encourages skilled multicultural professionals. “Our lives in India were good, but we came here to make our lives better.” Their list of 12 qualities they wanted in a city included community values, support of entrepreneurship, a social scene, and a place where you can “find time to stand and stare.” Halifax was it.
“In whatever form it comes, I will work towards making Nova Scotia more diverse, inclusive, and equitable. What is most important is to do what I’m passionate about and add value to the community.”
After only two weeks here, she began a six-week placement at the Nova Scotia Community College, IT campus, in the office of Diversity and Inclusion through ISANS’ Professional Practice Program. “It’s been an amazing experience; everyone is so warm and welcoming.” She says her skill set has been appreciated. “Knowing that is good for me; it’s been a great place for me to grow.” Shortly after her placement, Shreya accepted a short-term instructor position at Dalhousie University.
Shreya attended Welcome Ambassador training and now volunteers with that program as well as Canada Connects and the annual Walk with Refugees. Her husband meets with an employment specialist at ISANS as he is an entrepreneur with businesses in sport management and infrastructure, and business consulting. As their work lives fall into place, so do their personal lives. “Every evening we walk along the waterfront; that’s a luxury we didn’t have in our city in India.” Shreya is optimistic about her contribution. “In whatever form it comes, I will work towards making Nova Scotia more diverse, inclusive, and equitable. What is most important is to do what I’m passionate about and add value to the community.”