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VideoCast Episode 7: What It’s Like To Study and Work in Canada

In this episode, we have Kaori Obi, who’s currently on a Co-Op work program in Tamwood Careers’ Digital Marketing Course & Program in Vancouver. We also talked about how it’s like to study and work in Canada, how it’s like getting to know Canadians, the cultural differences working in Japan compared to Canada, and so much more.

– After come here. I really like this worldwide environment. So now I’m thinking about to get PR. I wanna live here as much as possible.


– This is Study and Work in Canada. Tamwood’s podcast. On all things international students want to know about co-op education programs in Canada. I’m Tamsin Plaxton. Tamwood’s Founder and President. And an avid member of the Canadian private education sector.


– Welcome back to Study and Work in Canada. I’m so excited to be joined today by Kaori Obi and she’s joining us from Vancouver. Where she’s currently on a work term as part of her study and work program at Tamwood Careers College. Welcome Kaori.


– Nice to meet you.


– Thank you. Nice to meet you too. So Kaori, your currently on a co-op term and you’re part of a program of study at Tamwood in Digital Marketing, is that correct?


– Yes.


– And where are you from originally?


– I’m Japanese. I was born and raised in Chiba, Japan, that famous for Narita International Airport and Tokyo Disney Resort.


– Okay. And coming to Tamwood was this your first coming to Canada?


– Yes, it’s my first time to study abroad.


– Oh, wow.


– Yeah!


– that’s great!


– Yeah!


– And what made you choose Canada and and specifically Vancouver? Why, why, why this location?


– Because first of all, the Canada have core program. That very unique system. I couldn’t find any other country like with studying time and working time. And also why I choose Vancouver is because the temperature is milder the other countries. like a Toronto or Alberta or something. Yeah


– That’s true. Right? Yeah. I moved, I moved from Toronto to Vancouver when I finished university and I, one of the reasons I chose Vancouver was the winters are so mild. And then you chose Tamwood. And can you tell me a little bit about your experience during your study term?


– Okay.


– How was that for You?


– Yeah, it’s very excited. The program, it is include six modules, like a a paid advertisement and marketing fundamentals or study web design. And this module we organized and provide the buzz eye view about digital marketing is all about.


– Yeah, that’s a very complete program.


– Yeah!


– And during that program were you able to find part-time work?


– Yes.


– To support yourself?


– Yes. About part-time job at first I choose Japanese restaurant because I wanna practice my English to deal a local customer in my field, like Japanese food. And also after that I take part-time at boutique.


– At boutique


– Boutique. Yeah.


– Great serving customers as well.


– Yes.


– Well that’s great for your English. And then along the way you would’ve had to secure the co-op job that you have now. How did you come to get this job?


– The core program directors they found me, my current job. And before I get this job, I learned how to organize my resume and LinkedIn page and also cover letters from the a workshop that was conducted by the school Tamwood.


– And did they introduce you to the employer and arrange this placement for you?


– Yes.


– Tell me a little bit about the job that you’re in now for your co-op term.


– Okay.


– What’s the company and what do you do?


– I keep working as a marketing assistant at the boutique at Kitsilano area. It’s very cute. It’s very adorable. And we import import some clothes from Montreal, UK, Japan and also we local small local product by produced produced by local artist. Yes, I work as digital marketer and I create some strategy. And also it’s mainly I created content calendar because I need to create this from scratch because they have Instagram account but there are no strategy that attract customer more. So first I create this one and also I’m trying to create a landing page for specific product. That’s called WBSJ rain boots. It’s a Japanese product that non Japanese NPO created it. And I found it’s really popular for the local people. So I wanna exposure that product more around the Canada. So I created.


– So that’s a product that the the boutique you’re the store you’re working for is starting to sell.


– Yes. Yes.


– And you mentioned that they sell Canadian clothing, Canadian Canadian designed clothing.


– Yes.


– That’s interesting. Yeah. And, and is it a is it a physical store that people can enter and buy? Or is it an online business?


– Both. We have a physical store and online Shopify store. So at first I used to get how to use Shopify online store and also created some campaign with that. And also I do email marketing. So yeah, it’s the, I would say the program co-op program study time is really helpful for me to catch up that technology, that CRM system.


– So you’ve, you’ve learned things on the co-op term.


– Yeah.


– Like to, for you being from Japan what would you say is the difference between working in Canada and working in Japan? Have you had did you have experience first of all, working in Japan?


– Yeah!


– Yeah. Yeah.


– I should ask that question.


– Before I come here I work as travel consultant in travel, big travel agency. And my main job is the tailor big conference and some incentive to and big event like Olympics for conducted companies. It’s really interesting with work with a team, other people we have a lot of team members and but I would say the work way here is more independence and more specify because I’d say the Japanese work way that’s people expected to be all around. I sometimes tailor company tour but also sometimes I have to book hotel and air ticket myself and myself for the company. And also sometimes I attend company tour with customer. Yeah. But here I focus on the marketing things. Of course I sometimes do the tour things like, like a leading customer communicate customer and nurture the nurture customer’s experience. But yeah, I’d say I can focus on of my proficiency as a marketer. Yeah.


– Can you tell me a little bit about what is the kind of routine that you follow at work? I think people listening to this podcast would be curious about what is life like in a Canadian company? Like what kind of hours of work do people work? And you know, is it similar to life in another country? And obviously you can only compare it to life in Japan but what, what, what would you say the sort of culture is like working in a Canadian company? And I know that you have have Japanese I think you have a Canadian Japanese boss. Is that right?


– Yeah.


– Yes.


– Yeah. I guess the it’s a Canadian company and it’s in a Canadian location, but, and presumably there’s some other employees that you’re working with who are not Japanese.


– Yeah.


– But I guess this, this culture must be a little bit unique and it is a Canadian Japanese employer, but what but, but, but she would’ve be running a company by Canadian sort of standards. So do you, you know can you describe a little bit, what’s that experience like


– It’s totally different about my working condition because I work as a, a office in Japan, but now I work for some more adorable boutiques, so yeah. It’s totally different. But the most thing is people is more like enjoy to work more like a human. Yeah. I feel


– Where here in Canada or in Japan?


– In Canada, Canada is more people enjoy to work. I think. Yeah.


– Yeah


– Because in Japan we expected to be very discipling.


– Did you get disciplined?


– Disciplined?


– Disciplined I, here is I can talk with customer like more friendly and also, Hmm. The working hour is very flexible. Even I work full time, but I can ask the boss, my working about what my working hours, basically I work 12 to 6 but sometimes I need to do marketing things more. So at that time I ask I ask my boss to expand my working hours. So I’d say it’s very flexible.


– Oh, that’s great.


– Yeah.


– And what’s your experience been like getting to know Canadians, I guess initially at Tamwood you would’ve met international students in your classes.


– Yeah.


– How was that experience and how has it been also getting to know Canadians?


– I, I can learn from them like a small talk and also even the strangers people who walking around the city I can learn from them. Like people say, so people sometimes people say for me to me, oh, I like your dress. I like your boots. It’s very friendly. Yeah.


– And have you made friends in school?


– Yes. A lot for me, it’s very, the biggest thing for my life that I, I can have friends came from lots of country and lot have lots of backgrounds. I really enjoy to talk to them.


– I mean, I think that’s a big part of the experience.


– Yeah. Yeah.


– Going abroad.


– Yeah.


– It’s about the people who meet and the connections that you make.


– hmm


– So, you know, I think that’s a, you know, I think for me I know when I was a student and I went abroad making new friends in other countries was I think the highlight


– Yes


– Absolutely. Cause doing things without people is, is kind of pointless. So the people you meet and the connections you make are very important. So has that been easy for you at Tamwood and in Canada?


– Yes. Easy, easy.


– Yeah. Easy for you.


– Yeah


– But I feel really relax with the school and my, my friends and the environment and also teachers and the Eva, I really like Eva.


– Laughs


– Oh! Great.


– Yeah


– That’s great. So what were your plans when you when you first came to Canada, were you thinking that you would do this program and then go back to Japan?


– Well, I don’t have any plan because it’s my first time to study abroad. So I couldn’t expect, expected then what’s happened in here and how I like here I can stand the rainy season or not, or yeah. The food is good or something like that. So yeah. I don’t have any problems before I come here. But after I come here. I really like this worldwide environment. So now I’m thinking about to get PR I wanna live here as much as possible.


– Have you taken can any steps to explore how you might immigrate?


– I just, now I started to consult immigrant agency and also I tried to find some some workplace that can support visa work, work permit. Yes. That’s one thing. Yeah. I applied working holiday visa. That’s open work permit


– Yeah


– and I’m waiting to approve it. So yeah. At least I, I think I expect I at least one year I can stay here.


– They another year after this.


– Yeah. Yeah.


– That’s great. That’s great. Now, what do you do for fun when you’re not working? What, what kind of things do you enjoy here in Vancouver?


– I’m gonna talk about summertime. It’s awesome. It’s awesome. Because Vancouver surrounded rich nature. So I can go hiking with public transportation. It takes 20 minutes to go the mountain, Grouse Mountain my from my house. And also I went to Tofino.


– You went to Tofino?


– Tofino and Victoria, Victoria, Victoria. It’s very beautiful. Surrounded by flowers. I really like it. And I do to, I, I do something in Tofino and also I do extreme hiking in Tofino. It was really fun.


– Wow


– Yeah. I will. I will try again. And yeah, it winter time is a little bit too much rain, too much rain.


– Yeah.


– So, but I just walking around and find some good cafe. And also, I I really like to go consignment store to get a house decor because my, my room is very tiny, small, but I I wanna make it comfy as much as possible. So sometimes I walk around and go enter the consignment store and find some good stuff produced by local people. So yeah. Even the rainy day, I can find a lot of fun.


– Yeah. Oh, that’s good.


– Yeah.


– Tofino for the people listening Tofino and watching this, the Tofino is a small town on the west coast of Vancouver Island. So if you had very good eyes and you looked out from Tofino you could see Japan it’s across the Pacific. It’s the most Western part of Canada on the Pacific ocean. Yeah. And, and you know you probably learned Tofino is famous for the big waves that it gets. People go to do storm watching in Tofino because they, the in the winter, when there are storms on the ocean it creates beautiful waves. And it’s a very popular place as well for surfing. What month did you go to Tofino?


– I went in July and August twice.


– Oh, the summer. Oh, you went twice.


– Twice. Oh, you must. Yeah. It’s a beautiful, oh, that’s, that’s wonderful. So what would be your advice to listeners who are thinking about coming to Canada for a work and study program?


– I’d say enjoy everything because if you enjoy it and you can be more take action. So it’s, I think it’s important to important to be more open minded so, so you can get like a lot of experience. Sometimes even I feel fear to do a new things like this podcast recording, but if, if I try I always find, find it’s really fun. So yeah. Don’t worry. Just enjoy. I’d say


– That’s a great piece of advice to keep an open mind and try things. Right? Life happens when you are trying things. It doesn’t happen when you’re staying at home being conservative or careful, so good for you. And, and yeah. And thank you for joining me today on this show. It’s, it’s been really nice to get to know you and and good luck with the rest of your study and your co-op term. And of course, hopefully you get the working holiday visa


– Yes and you’re, you’re here for another year.


– Yes.


– And yeah. And thank you again for your time.


– So thank you for, thank you


– You. That’s all for this week’s episode of work study in Canada brought to you by Tamwood careers. Tamwood is a private education company operating career colleges in Toronto, Vancouver and Whistler Canada. Tamwood offers popular work and study programs in fields like business, hospitality and tourism digital marketing, web design, UX, UI, and entrepreneurship. International students who study with Tamwood gained valuable work experience in Canada and start on a pathway to a successful career and immigration in Canada. If you’d like more information about Tamwood and its programs, visit our website, You can also check out our videos on YouTube and connect with us on social at Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.