Many dreams of moving abroad and the United States is one of those countries that many has been eyeing on. The US has reached a record of 44.8 million emigrants since 2018. In this episode, Arnaldo, who originally lived in Brazil, shares how he landed in the land of opportunities with zero knowledge of speaking English. His exemplary journey shows how humbling it is to experience starting from none till you slowly climb up the mountain’s peak and reach victory. From being a pizza delivery man, Arnaldo persistently made ways for him to excel in communicating and English, which led him to become an English teacher as he returned home.
Although he has seen promising results from his career, Arnaldo knew that staying in Brazil wasn’t his destiny. When he met her partner Aline, they decided to pursue immigrating to Canada, where they have successfully established their own business – teaching English. With Aline’s 22 years of experience teaching English, she has helped Arnaldo establish a program that continuously assists other people in learning English, the world’s universal language.
Aline Mehedin; I was born in Joinville, in the south of Brazil. I started studying at an English school when I was around 13-14 years old, but before that, I studied some English on my own at home from when I was 9-10 years old. I have always been fascinated by English.
When I was 16 years old, I started teaching at the same school where I had been studying. At that time, I was finishing my B2-C1 English level education. I’ve been teaching English for 22 years now, and I have taught kids, teenagers, and adults in many different schools in my city. In 2007, I met Arnaldo, we got married in 2010, and in the same year, we officially opened our school. Together, we have become a powerhouse.
We have studied a lot and improved our own education regarding English and other skills we needed to learn to run our business. We are very happy doing what we do, especially because we can really help make people’s dreams come true, at least the ones that require learning English.
Arnaldo Mehedin; I was born in Osasco, located in the Great São Paulo area. When I was around 20-21, I decided to go to the USA as some family members lived there. I spent more than 6 years in the USA, living in Chicago and a short period in Florida.
I went back to Brazil in 2007 and started working as an English teacher. After some time, I met Aline, and we started our own school. In 2015, we decided to move abroad, so we started considering different possibilities.
We have been Permanent Residents in Canada since 2018, and we have been living in Calgary since June 2020. Here, we have our business that provides online courses of ESL, IELTS, and CELPIP preparation. We also offer private English classes. The majority of our student is Brazilians, but everyone is welcome.
Aline & Arnaldo 0:03
We knew we would have to take some risks. But we didn't want to do anything stupid, because Arnaldo had suffered a lot in the USA. Yeah. And he went to a country where he said he had to go back to Brazil. And we didn't want to go to a place in which we would always have this kind of shadow behind us. Yeah, we didn't want to go to a place where it would not be possible for us to immigrate to become permanent residents.
Daniel De Biasi 0:41
Hi everyone, and welcome to episode number 60 of the Emigrant's Life podcast, where we share stories of people who left their country to chase our better life. And through these inspiring stories, you can find ideas, resources, and motivation to do the same. And also understanding what it really means to start a new life abroad. I'm Daniel De Biasi and in this episode, I had the pleasure of chatting with Aline and Arnaldo, who relocated from Brazil to Canada. Aline and Arnaldo are both English teachers. Elaine's interest in the English language started when she was nine years old, and decided to learn English on her own. Arnaldo, on the other end, moved to the United States at 23 without knowing a single word of English. I shared in the podcast before that I left Italy without speaking English as well. But the reality is I learned English at school. Even though I was a bad student, I never spoke English prior my landing in New Zealand, at least I knew how to say my name and order beer at the pub. But Arnaldo couldn't even count to 10. The basic things we do every day working, going grocery, communicating with others were a monumental task for him. But despite the language barrier, his desire to live away from Brazil made it possible. Six years later, Arnaldo was forced to leave the US because his visa had run out. He went back to Brazil and became an English teacher, a career path he never thought of taking. This path led him to his now wife and business partner Aline. After years of challenges and sacrifices, Elaine and Armando opened an English school in Brazil. When everything seemed to be working out, they had a successful business, a nice house. But they both knew Brazil wasn't the place they wanted to be. In fact, in 2020, after five years of planning, they move their life and business to Canada. So without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Aline and Arnaldo.
Hey, guys, thanks for being on the show.
Aline & Arnaldo 2:38
Nice to be here.
Yeah. Thank you for the invitation.
Daniel De Biasi 2:41
Oh, it's my pleasure. It's my pleasure. So you guys are both from Brazil. And now you move to Canada. So actually, now you live in Canada. But let's start maybe from the beginning like with you Arnaldo because the story actually starts with you. Because you left Brazil back in 2001 to move to the US. And my question is like anybody else I asked, why did you decide to leave Brazil? Why did you decide to leave Brazil and move to the US?
Aline & Arnaldo 3:06
Oh, I mean, as we we have talked about that actually earlier. But this is, is my second immigration, let's say I immigrated to the US when I was 23. This was in 2001. And I lived in the US until 2007, early 2007. And the reason being is that I don't know, I think I just decided to take a shot at another venture, I think. Because I came from a very, very poor background. So I didn't have a lot of opportunities. So I didn't even speak English when I went to the US. And due to the fact that I have some relatives in the United States, and that I was really stuck in a dead end job in Brazil. I didn't have the money to go to college. I actually had I started I think I had to leave my my course. I abandoned my course twice because I didn't have money to finish my studies. So I was really stuck. And I think this is a situation that is very common with a lot of people who wanted to immigrate. And I was really stuck. So I didn't know what to do. And one of my relatives who have been in the United States since 1960 something, one of my aunts there. She offered me the opportunity she wanted me to go and I could stay with her for a while. So I decided to just abandon everything that wasn't much to begin with. So I just left everything behind. And by everything I mean, almost nothing. And I took a chance and I think this is going to be your next question about the English issue.
Daniel De Biasi 4:45
Aline & Arnaldo 4:46
Yeah, I couldn't count to 10 when I got there.
Daniel De Biasi 4:49
Oh, wow. So that's what kind of like I want to know because you moved to the US, moved to another country without even speaking the language and I guess as of my perspective, like moving to another country like the most challenging part, for me at least was to try to find a job and pay the bills. If you don't speak the language, sometimes it's hard to find a job and pay the bills. What was your experience when you move to the US with no English?
Aline & Arnaldo 5:14
My idea personally I had, I had no idea the challenges that I was going to face. Probably say did I wouldn't have done it, I think. But as soon as you put this, this whole thing in motion, I mean, I didn't want to go back, you know. So but it was pretty difficult. My problems started actually in my interview with the immigration officer. It had to be in Spanish, which I also didn't speak, I don't speak Spanish, I can understand a bit and can communicate a bit, but because of the similarities with Portuguese, I was able to communicate a bit. It's one of those moments like, oh, shit, yeah. And my idea was not really to stay that long. But just to stay a bit to try to find a job, etc, etc. But it was virtually, I'm not gonna say impossible. But when you try to work in like in the United States, where English is the is the mother tongue. It is extremely difficult to get around. It didn't sound bad to me. I mean I knew let's say I knew what I had before going to the US. And yeah, that's what when you tell people nowadays that you need to study a certain set. Yeah, no, no, no, no, they don't. You don't. I did. I thought I did but I didn't. So I couldn't do like, basic things. But any sort of phone was a nightmare. I couldn't even pick up the phone because I didn't understand what people said. And a friend of mine helped me to get a job at a restaurant, at a pizza restaurant. And I started working there as a delivery driver. So and I didn't know how to drive in the United States. So I had to take the driving test. Here in Canada, we normally go to the registry and do a little test. In the US, it's a pretty similar procedure. So I had to do my driving test, and without speaking English. And I had to go into the registry there alone at the DMV without speaking English with some, you know, phrases written on a piece of paper, because my friend couldn't go with me, he could go up to the door. It was very stressful. I got so stressed that day that I think I had a headache for a couple of days after that. Because there were- even simple questions. So you go to the registry, then they start asking questions, where do you live, address, etc. And I couldn't answer. I just had a piece of paper. And I managed to pass the written test. The oral hearing kind of they called the knowledge test in Spanish, although I don't know. Yeah, my Spanish yeah, it was the only language either Spanish or English. And I passed somehow. And after that, I had to do the driving test, I have to take the driving test. And I remember that was I think the first word that I learned in English, because I just said that, you know how how examiners are in Canada, they are actually quite nice, but in the US they were they are traditionally rude. So these guys sat next to me and the first thing he said what I just told him, sir, no English. And he was not very happy to hear that as you could see by his green face. Yeah. All right. Straight. What? Straight? What and he just pointed, straight. Oh, okay, straight. So that was the first I think the first word that I remember learning,
You will never forget this word.
Yeah, I mean, he was so pissed that I think he cut test short because we just drove for like five minutes and at the first stop sign I just stopped. We stopped left using his hand left, left. Okay. I was like, Okay, it was the first word. And I was able to get my driver's license and I started working in a in a restaurant, but it was extremely stressful. When you work in a restaurant it's normally stressful, but without speaking the language, they could be speaking, I don't know, like Chinese. I didn't understand anything. And the situation started to become more stressful by the day. It was a dreadful thing to just stop the guy from the restaurant and I couldn't say anything. And I started to try to I started to communicate a bit with a couple of people there by using, you know translation and say like very basic words. And one of the guys who work there he was from his I do not remember exactly where's he's from Latvia. It was one of those of former Soviet republics. He was from a Rosemont contractor. And he's in fourth grade. You could I could tell I mean, the communication was insanely funny topic. We talked a bit and I asked him how I've managed to ask with my awesome level zero English, how long would he had been in the US at that time? And he had been there for less than a year. And I thought that if he's studying English or not, and he said he had that struggle with how did you learn to speak like that fast, fluently. And then he told me about this program at a local college. And I decided to check out, it turns out that for those of you who are listening here, the program that I eventually registered when I was able to change my visa from tourists to F1 international students, is very similar to the best way program here in Canada. It was basically an English course for people who are going to go to college. And I started studying basically 22 hours a week between 18 in 2012 week, depending on the week. So it was a full time study. And I was working in the afternoon and at night. And I had a very difficult learning curve initially. It was very flat. It only took like two, three months, at least. And eventually it snowballed from there. And after six months of that study, four hours a day, and I started practicing. From reading magazines, from reading books, watching series subtitles, listening to the radio in English. And for those of you young listeners if, if you guys are not aware, the smartphones were invented in 2007. So there was no there were no smartphones, there were no apps, there are no iPads, like nothing but that sword back in 2001 or 2002. So we everything that I had to go to Hollywood video or what's the name of the other one?
Like Blockbuster blockbuster, Blockbuster, so I would get like DVDs, three, four DVDs on the weekend. So I could watch with subtitles, we could get a bit of vocabulary, like paper dictionaries, etc, etc. And after after, I think I know eight months, nine months of that, and then things just start flowing. And I never stopped practicing.
So it took you roughly like eight months before you were able to have a conversation.
Well, I was having conversation from very early on. You know, I was working basically.
You were trying.
I was trying though. I work as a delivery driver. People think it's easy, but it's not. It's not like people do it nowadays with skip the dishes or Uber that you just drop this stuff in front of people who have a GPS. No, no, I had to actually go to the, to the restaurant. I was working there, so I had to read this stuff and get the address, write on a piece of paper. Get a flashlight. There were no GPSs and I had to talk to people telling them how much it was. I didn't I didn't know number. So I had a dictionary in the car. So I had to check how to say this number. And they wouldn't understand sometimes I had to show them the paper. Oh, okay. Basically counting and go back there and talk to the manager. And basically, that was my first couple of years in the US.
Daniel De Biasi 13:07
I like to ask you, was it easier for you to understand English or to speak it? Was it easier for you to hearing the conversation, was able to understand the conversation first or actually be able to talk to person first? What was the thing that came first and what was the most challenging thing?
Aline & Arnaldo 13:21
Normally, the first thing that we develop. And this is a general thing for most people, especially now that it's now easier for us to note that as we deal with students from a daily basis. Listening comes first, by far. Listening is different, but you started to understand. So initially, when the first three, four months, you don't understand anything, they're talking like nothing and you can't stop it. And as you start to notice, balance and you try to mimic phrases, you'll know what they're saying, Oh, that's very good. Great. Okay, so great. And then you you started to repeat. And if you did not understand, you change the intonation and speaking normally comes later. So we will listen. Yes, that was the first thing that I developed.
Daniel De Biasi 14:10
Okay, because for me, I think the listening comes second just because of the accent, I was able to like I did like you, watching TV shows and movies with subtitles. And usually, TV shows and movies are usually American with American accent. I remember being able to understand the movie or a TV show. And then I will go out in the real world and like I was in New Zealand so people were speaking differently with a different accent. I remember like, not being able to understand I think like what's going on? I could understand English in my room and I get out in the real world and I can't understand a thing. And like I was able to communicate first then actually understanding what people were saying.
Aline & Arnaldo 14:46
I think the reason behind that might be you probably study a bit of English before you start to attempt to speak. I didn't. For my first contact with English was through listening.
Daniel De Biasi 14:58
Aline & Arnaldo 14:59
Right? It was through listening, so I started to listen to the radio to my cousin, I have cousins in the US. They were speaking English when we would go out. Like nothing. And little by little, I started to pick up words, I didn't even know how the words were written. I didn't know the spelling. And as you would say some, they will try to copy and say something. Okay, I'll see you tomorrow. Tomorrow. Okay, so, little by little, I started picking up. So my reading, my reading comprehension came later. Yeah, but the thing with, like the United States, right, we will talk about that in more detail soon. But in Canada, people are much more forgiving. Let's say with the accent issue, by the fact that we are having this conversation here that is proof of that. But in the US, people are much less forgiving regarding the accent. So I had some very weird situations. I was pulled over by the police on my second day there delivering pizzas. I didn't understand the word what did they say? But in the US was something like that. If you don't speak the Standard American English, some they don't understand you or others they will I had an impression that they pretend that they don't understand you to make you feel more uncomfortable.
Daniel De Biasi 16:20
Aline & Arnaldo 16:21
That has happened to me a bunch of times, for example. Sometimes, yes, intonation plays a great role in communication, for example, as a simple word like copy. I need a copy of this key, right? A situation that was very uncomfortable when I had to go to Home Depot, right? I had to make a copy of a key. I mean, I didn't know a lot of words on how to say, can I have a copy, please? But you know, I had the key in my hand. I need a keymaker. Okay, I read the dictionary, keymaker, okay, so I went to the keymaker, there are people there and you tell people that, Oh, I need a copy. The intonation is wrong, right? They stress copy, copy. I was holding the key. I was showing the key to the key maker and I needed a copy. I know it isn't copy. What? And he called another person they started looking at each other kind of with a smirk. Oh, a copy? Oh, you need a copy? Yes. They will do that. This is not something that normally in Canada happens. It had never happened to us actually.
Because here English as a second language is almost the language of a country. That's the point.
Yeah. And the people are much more forgiving.
And open. Yeah.
I mean, they are more open, they are more distinct. They try to understand you. Right. And it isn't in the US. So I had to adapt, so I had to practice my pronunciation a lot. Because if you don't speak English, like in the way that I'm speaking now, for some people, they don't understand you or they pretended that they don't understand. They do that quite a lot. So it was very, very difficult. This particular part and I made a couple of- I made a couple of friends. One of them he's still my friend to this day. He's from India. But his English is flawless. He is an American citizen. So he's, he taught me a lot of intonation. So I used to practice with him. So he always say like, I couldn't tell the difference between numbers like 8, 80, 85. I couldn't say it. They sounded all the same. A lot of students have that probably, and I understand that 80, 18, 80, 18. And for them, well, but it sounds the same. I know. I remember, it does. So it take a few months, a few years until you start to actually tune your ear to the nuances of the pronunciation. So this was the it was like a safe six years English boot camp.
Daniel De Biasi 18:54
Sometimes a uncomfortable situation makes you understand the pronunciation real quickly. So you don't make the mistake again, like, I don't know, there's so many example in the English language that a word say like slightly different can mean something completely different and completely inappropriate.
Aline & Arnaldo 19:13
Yes. Lots of them. Yes.
Daniel De Biasi 19:16
Yeah. So I I've read through so many of those mistakes. So many those like uncomfortable situation like no, that's not what I mean. No, even like I realize that you're making the mistake. You don't even know that what you're saying because that's in your head sounds exactly the same. Like yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying. But sounds completely different, completely inappropriate.
Aline & Arnaldo 19:38
But yeah, but yeah, this is a but it takes time to we adjust or listening to in the speaking as well the intonation part. I think this is a bigger problem for people who started learning English when they were older. Because a lot of the muscles that we need for certain sounds they were never activated. So especially older people when they started learning at 40. When they were 40, 50, 60 years old, it happens. The best they can do is sometimes you strive to emulate the sounds, but sometimes it's just, it doesn't happen. But you can emulate well enough. That's at least to be understood.
Yeah. Because actually our FRL for speaking, were equipment for speaking and when we think about children and teenagers, actually, in children and teenagers, the muscles, and even the the bone tissue, they are still more flexible. So for children and for teenagers, young teenagers is much easier for them to get to used to producing some sounds. So the older you are, and when you start studying a language, the harder it is for you to imitate some specific sounds. Yeah, because it's like you're not able to adapt your equipment anymore. Yeah. So you have to you really struggle harder in order to produce some specific sounds because is not flexible anymore, that tissue is already settled, let's say yeah.
It can improve. For example, a standard for Brazilians is very difficult, because we don't have that sound in Portuguese phonetics, let's say the th, there are two sounds for the th that the one from "Thank you" the "th". This is extremely difficult for people to learn. And a lot of times, let's say it's impossible, there are some sounds that sometimes we don't have the skills, we don't have the muscle, we don't have sometimes patience. Because it would take sometimes for a person that has a lot of difficulty to "th, th, th"and one year, two years to improve that. And it's just not working. It depends on the type of job or the work that you do. As long as you can be understood, that's not a big issue. My aunt, for example, only knows about that. She came from a very poor background as well. So they were in Europe during World War II. Before that, actually. So they move with the family moved from the Ukraine, in the 1930s, to Germany, to Germany to Brazil. And so access to education set was not really a thing. Sebata she can communicate in six languages. She can communicate. She can speak Polish, Polish, German, Russian, Ukraine, Ukrainian, Romanian, she can speak a bit English, even a Portuguese and Spanish. So with accent, so English for her was always she never said that she learned by listening to people and the talking. So she cannot say the th she couldn't, right? So she instead of 30 she should say 30.
Daniel De Biasi 22:41
I can totally relate with that.
Aline & Arnaldo 22:42
It is incorrect. But the intonation is right.
Yeah, the intonation's right.
This is the thing the pronunciation not exactly correct, like 35. Or I need to 35. That's perfectly understand.
Daniel De Biasi 22:54
Especially if you know the situation.
Aline & Arnaldo 22:56
Yeah, I mean, maybe because it will take her I don't know, 1, 2, 3 of "th". People they understand now I know. And then they move on to other things. It's because speaking English perfectly was not really- I know her background. So it was not even like, top 10 priorities. She, they had a very difficult upbringing in Europe. And this is something that happens in Canada as well. This is a thing. A lot of people here did. Yeah, that's part of our conversation as well.
Daniel De Biasi 23:26
Okay. So you learning the language you talk you say it took like about eight months before you were able to actually wrap around your head like sound like speaking a little bit of English more like having more like a proper conversation. Did that change the way that you are able to work, finding a job or living your life just because you have a better level of English?
Aline & Arnaldo 23:47
Oh, definitely. Yeah. It's kind of you're almost let out of like this mental prison. Because this sensation that I had was I think, in a way, a type of a mental claustrophobia. Because we develop high levels of anxiety, right? But nowadays people say anxiety it was not even a thing back then. So you start to get agitated when you have to answer the phone or have to go into a supermarket. Or when you have to estimate. Nowadays, what people do to overcome that instead of facing the issue, let's go there and try to communicate, let's see if they understand me. If they don't, then I'll just put your face up there. And if they don't understand then they don't, so I had to get used to being uncomfortable. All the time. And nowadays, people they don't really do that much. They rely too much on apps, on cell phones. So they just try to buy things online where they just, they use the cell phone, which is cool, but the machines do the work. And if you remove the cellphone from their hands, they can't really communicate. But yeah, it improved everything. I mean, the my I think I got much more confident because it was something that I didn't think that I could learn.
Yeah, actually it's related to life quality.
Yeah. No, because you gain access to knowledge, you gain access to books, magazines, talking to people like answering the phones, calling people sometimes to ask for things and, you know, things just took off from there.
Daniel De Biasi 25:18
Yeah, I remember, I think one of the best moments in my immigration journey, I think it was the time when I switch my Bluetooth headset on. Like, I remember, like, I go on to the point where I prefer talking to people. So I started using this Bluetooth headset, because I rather talk to people, call somebody actually texting. And before that, I remember it was- I was even, as you mentioned, I was scared to answer the phone, I hanged up, send it to the voicemail. So I could listen multiple times or going to my roommates. Like I say, like, can you translate this for me? Or can you explain this for me? Because I can't understand what they were saying. So going from that it were like a bit terrified to answer the phone because I felt like stupid because everything I will say it was like oh, sorry, can you repeat? Sorry? What? Sorry? Sorry, all the time.
Aline & Arnaldo 26:01
Yeah, we feel stupid.
Daniel De Biasi 26:03
Yeah, exactly. Absolutely. Completely stupid. So going from that point to prefer talking than messaging that was for me, it was one of the wow moment in my immigration journey.
Aline & Arnaldo 26:14
Now, it was a very interesting, interesting experience. But I mean, it took me a few years to process the whole thing, right, from beginning to end, even after the United States immigration failed plan ended. It took me years to process the whole thing. Because I went through all the processes of from the cultural shock, to the reverse culture shock to actually trying to get uncomfortable with the language and going to the learning process of English and all that. And it was just like overwhelming took me a few years to get my head around it.
Daniel De Biasi 26:49
You mentioned culture shock what was part of the culture shock. What's the part of the US that was shocking in a way for you?
Aline & Arnaldo 26:56
Daniel De Biasi 26:58
Is it so different from Brazil?
Aline & Arnaldo 27:00
Yeah, it's completely different. The culture is different, the habits are different, the food is different. The language is obviously different. And I think that what was shocking to me, and that is one of the reason that I think I ended up studying philosophy. After a few years, I finally had the condition to go to college, I was already 35. I started to try to understand the whole thing, because it is not only languagewise, culturewise, how I have conceptions about this place that have never been to, and how my a lot of my personality was conditioned to my culture. And something that happened in a much later on. For those of you who like soccer. I remember there's one moment that of course, I didn't realize then, I realized later that Brazil was going to play in 2000 tubers who played Germany, for the final of the World Cup. And Brazil won. A bunch of friends there they just rented this place downtown Chicago, and we went there we watch the game. Brazil won. In Brazil, soccer is religion. Like people talk about it about England, about the British, about the Argentinians about how Canadians like hockey, oh, no, it's not even close. You know, like the United States love for baseball and American football. You can get that and multiply by 1000. It's impossible to explain for someone who doesn't compensate for that, which really is that it's part of the culture is part of the the idiomatic expressions, the way that people communicate, it's part of the fabric of society soreally important. You know, in Britain, we just won the world cup. And we were out, we celebrated at certain. When we got out, a lot of people are walking on the streets, right? And remember this one guy was walking his dog, and we were all happy with the Brazilian, the Brazilian national team, jersey on and he spoke, what happened well, Brazil just won the world cup. Which sport? And what? Soccer. Right, good for you. And he got along. And the first thing that we you know, I was oh. I was 25 way to think. And the first thing that comes to mind you have Wow, they are so I think not stupid, what did how can they not know about that? It was and you know, as the years went by, I started to understand the how a lot of my habits, my culture, people they to this day they get here, like in Canada or the US and they get shocked how come they do this? They don't do that. How come they and we get into this thing. I went to the same phase and eventually we I think I came to realize that there is no better or worse there is no right or wrong in that regard. But a lot has to do with the context with the culture that were brought up as For people who immigrate when they are younger, when they are teenagers aged, they have an easier time than other than adults, but not that much. So people immigrate as children. They don't even go to that process. Because their personality is not yet for
Yeah, and they have very few memories.
Yeah, their memories, you know how memories are? Tricky? Yeah, we have episodic memories, we remember only, like certain things. The main the gist of it, we don't remember the whole thing is a movie, in certain ways. Yeah, we just remember like, the main lessons of it. And that this was short, like to adapt to the whole thing. So and I, at one point, I think a couple years after that, maybe, and I realized a couple things Oh. And I started kind of trying to insert myself more into the American culture and American way of life. So eating what they eat, read what you read, watch for the watch. So I really got into that a bit. Because it gives away it is a survival mechanism. It makes your life easier. And it's also a way to make my mind, I think, quite down a bit because it is a hell of a thing to go through. Because you were like, in a totally different culture, the values are different way that people communicate the body, like everything's different. And this was some that I had to go through. But the different part that is that Brazilian is they don't I think this is true for you know, for you probably because I was not Brazilian, let's see anymore. Because I ended up I mean, after we start to notice how a lot of what we like, it's actually dictated by from the media, to the news to the way that people talk to the companies, etc, marketing, even family, special family. And, oh, oh, swear, let go a lot of the shops and I started adapting things. It's not that I abandon who I was, what they know what they did, but this old me had to die in a way for the new one to, you know, to arise. So, and that happened. So And the funny thing is, and then breeziness They don't really like that much as they say to get Americanized those jobs that people make. Oh, and now you are in Americanize you don't do this anymore. You don't like that anymore, do it this anymore. And for Americans, they never accept you. Period. Right? If you are not wrong, or Johnson Johnson American, it doesn't matter how old you are, English is still never accepted. So you are not American, let's say you were you were not adapted in the United States and you went to Brazil. So you can't get stuck in these in this limbo, which is actually for me, it was very slightly shocking in the beginning. But I ended up actually enjoying that. Because this kind of gives you freedom to redefine lots of things.
Daniel De Biasi 32:46
Yeah, I heard that like from multiple guests. Same thing, like you're in this limbo, you're now either culture, not part of either culture or not, you're not like, you kind of like a different from the person you were back in your country, or you're not fully integrated in a new one. So still like you mentioned, like I say, in the limbo.
Aline & Arnaldo 33:06
This is one of the things that sometimes I tell people who are aspiring to be immigrants that this transformation has to happen. I don't think this option I don't think you get to choose, I'm not going to help people, they try to do that through leaving in neighborhoods where they can speak their languages or going to places in the west where they can speak their languages or eating the food watching their now this is much easier to do it, watching TV or watching movies and their languages. So because it gets more comfortable, because once people start feeling that they're losing grip, to what they consider to be their personality, their souls, let's say in a way, they start to get attached to things that will, let's say anchor them back to the original culture, because you kind of get into this chaotic phase that last is a ton of it varies from person to person from the last line or five or six years until we eventually wrap my mind around it. And I don't think this option, I don't think you can choose not to go through this face. And people they try. And as I tell people here we have students here in Canada. And we have met some immigrants and people is not something that you can sweep under the rug. You can try but you will spend your life you spend your life and is never going to happen. So because this is something that is a I think it's an obstacle, there are set sets of hurdles that you have to overcome. You have to. I don't think it's optional. Because I think people are afraid of what is on the other side.
Daniel De Biasi 34:47
But even then like embracing the difference of fingers make you more more easily. It makes your life easier because you're not trying to fight this like new culture. You actually embrace it and you're trying to put that in your life. It's No, in my case makes it so much easier to integrate with the people to understand the culture. And to be less frustrated, like you mentioned, like why people in this country don't need this kind of food, why they don't watch soccer, like, if you start understanding, embracing and go there, like as like a sponge, like absorbing everything, tried to understand trying to be open minded things makes your life so much easier. And in the long run, it makes you happy, even for people that are from that country, makes you more willing to open the door and get you in because you're seemed like you're trying to integrate, you're not trying to stay and bring your own culture into the country. They're trying to embrace and integrate with a culture. So even for them, it's easier to open the door and an hour going back to your story. Because you were at the point you decided to move back to Brazil was actually your decision to leave to Brazil or was it kind of like more the immigration kind of decision?
Aline & Arnaldo 35:52
Becasue of immigration limitation thing, because the student visa in the US doesn't evolve into something else into a path permanent residency as it happens in Canada. Basically, you as long as you are studying or taking courses that are approved by the immigration, you can stay there on your F1 visa. But there's actually unless you can find a company, which is a very difficult process to find a company to sponsor you to find, it's virtually impossible. So essentially, if your student visa in the US, for example, ends now. Now is October, late October now, I think you have 15 days back iI think in the past it was 50 or 20 days they call it "grace period." It's basically thanks for coming. Thanks for the money. Yeah. That's basically what it means. There is no path of vacation to permanent residency, there are no processes, there is nothing so it's basically, Okay. Thanks for coming. See you never. That's basically how it is. And there were some personal issues actually, that were around that I, I was married with a different person back in the day. And that was one of the reasons that I decided to come back.
Daniel De Biasi 37:07
So you were married in the US? Sorry?
Aline & Arnaldo 37:09
Yes, I was married to- Aline is my second wife. Okay. She is. Yeah. So I was married to somebody else back in the day.
But she is she was Brazilian.
I met her there. And we decided for a bunch of reasons to return to Brazil, because you know, nothing was actually happening there. You can't really evolve. You can't really open companies, you can't apply for anything, everything is extremely difficult. So at one point, I want to help. And we decided to come back on the first semester of 2007.
Daniel De Biasi 37:42
Because then when you moved to back to Brazil, you decided to teach English. So you went from not speaking English at all, to become an English teacher. How did that happen? And why did you decide to teach English?
Aline & Arnaldo 37:53
Well, to make a long story short, I had a bunch of ideas. I thought about opening a bunch of businesses of ideas and that, but nothing actually seemed to be to work. Actually, I had forgotten how Brazil was. Right. So my memory is over. So I know what Lynn was talking about. My memories of Brazil were tainted. So I could remember like, the good parts. And when we got there, when I got there, it wasn't the same thing. So and suddenly, the context is not that I had forgotten, but it was kind of an all the way in the back door of my mind. So as soon as I arrived in Brazil, everything came back. Oh, Oh, damn. And then the difficult to open business. So the difficult to do a to be difficult to find job, but the bureaucracy, everything that had motivated me to leave initially came back, but you know, just knocking on my door. And somebody offered me a job. Actually, before that. I actually I taught English to a couple of neighbors when we were leaving, because they squeezed sadly they were planning to come to Canada to I think on our two month vacation or something. So I started to that was my first contact with Canada. And somebody offered me a part time position. At think back. They were paying like Canadian dollars, some like $2 an hour. So yeah, no less than that. It was like $1 using today's exchange rate, like $1.25 an hour. It was a franchise like an English and ESL school. They were always looking for people. They had a turnover rate is high. And I went there and I totally I have no experience. Oh, but you don't need it. You can just follow the book. We have the material but it wasn't translation based method. It was portable. And I have always been very shy. Right. I'm still shy. It's easier. Nowadays it becomes difficult as you get older you don't you know, you start to get the loss of a loved one. And the thought of ain't Bring to a class from terrified me to a level that I cannot really put into words. Public speaking is what I think is even scarier than death to a lot of people only scale. So that's the bulk speaking. They're right there. They're competing for the situation that gives people the, the highest level of anxiety. And I had that level heart. So the thought of entering a classroom while and I in school, I couldn't, I was so shy that they couldn't even sometimes say my name. I couldn't even like answering the teacher. No, I could just raise my hand, they couldn't make presenter like nothing. So it was shocked to me that bendable one hour into it, and then the class will have chihuahuas blocks, and I thought like the first class, and then the second, and then very rapidly, it was like, oh, okay, I turned out to be good at it. I was able to explain it. As we talked about, I learned English in a very odd way. So I first started communicating and working, almost one year later started studying. So I learned English in a very strange way. So I think I was able to understand what the students were going through. So they're asking questions they're talking about if you do this, this, and this, how I develop my own way of learning certain things. And legally, and then one, and then two, when classes start getting bigger, and nobody was more surprised than I was to actually do it. Which is why to this day, like 35,000 classes later, they're still people that they don't believe. I have friends that I used to have to say, after you go back to your partner something, but people they don't believe that it's not possible. How can you do that who couldn't speak any like five years ago, six years ago, you couldn't say anything, you couldn't even say your name. So they don't really, they didn't get the whole transformative personal transformation thing. And I turned out to like it, I thought I was good at and some that when I got my first private students, they had no idea what I was doing, but they start asking for private classes. So I started to teach some of them and sometimes in my house and taught in their houses, so things started picking up from there. And two years and a half after that, I got my first English certification from Cambridge, the CP is a cabbage proficiency exam, which is the I think is the most difficult of the country test is a Situ test. And I go that was the first one. And in 2013, four years after that 4567 years after starting to teach English I got my actual teaching certification became the CELTA so as in and I shall talk about in a second. So basically, we went to San Paolo, we had to teach supervise classes the study luckily it was like 100 and the whole thing holding the self study it was like 150 60 hours of studying like four weeks we sell they sell the campus out. So the I got disappear. The certification two years, I've started studying six, seven years after starting teaching English, I got my first Deacon certificate. I didn't go to college, two years after that, and they didn't get my post graduation certificate in translation English, Portuguese, like two years after that. So I am a late bloomer, let's say. And during all this time, I just continued to study to practice I kept my habits for reading magazines, books, listen to podcasts eventually. And movies and soup. And eventually, and the thing is just went on from that. And I turned out to be good at teaching English as a second language that was I was nobody was more surprised than I was basically.
Daniel De Biasi 43:58
That's, that's interesting. Everything started as an opportunity that somebody offered to you. And that turned into your new career. And then Arnaldo, you went back to the virtual with your wife at the time. So Aline, how did you get into the picture?
Aline & Arnaldo 44:12
Yeah, how did I get into the picture?
Okay, oh, there was my first school, right?
No, not yet.
Okay, no the one that I was talking about earlier, this $1.50/hr school. And that was my first gig. My second one was somebody that I knew there I don't remember who it was new, the supervisor of another English school, ESL school that was bigger, paid a bit better. He had some training, etc, etc. The qualifications to the requirements were a bit higher. And then I went there one day talk to the guy and I told our former supervisor that I don't know exactly my teaching me I'm still learning. I have a couple classes at the military base here. I don't know what to do with and he told me something one of the one of the few things that made sense that he said was that he said that he had learned a lot of English and men of public speaking now by teaching, so it's like a kind of a hands on thing. And that turned out to be true. And now the more I did, the more confident I got, the more confident I got, the better the class become. And guess who was working there at the time?
Wow. Oh, yeah. So we met at his English school. I had been you entered in 2007?
I think. Yeah. Or late 7 something.
I guess I had entered the school in 2007. But I met around 2007 to 8 at the end of the year. And but at that time, he was married. I had a boyfriend soon to be fiance. We used to be falling eggs. Yeah, we used to talk during our lunch breaks. And then we worked in that school for two more youths to us, I left before I know for you maybe one year I stayed, I think one year, then two, three months. And then after that we parted ways. Like I hadn't seen him for a while. But then I started working in a number School. And in that school, they used to offer those kinds of certifications, Cambridge certifications, and Arnaldo had taken the CB. And one day he went to this school to pick up his certificate and I was working there. So I guess it was supposed to be there to pick up my certificate. I knew that she was working there. And I asked her to talk to her. I think I had lost by that time. We're doing kinsmen.
20 kilos. Yeah, you're locked in what's really thin, like, I got scared. Like, what the hell happened to you? Yeah.
Wanna know, in like, under normal circumstances when I'm fit, and by fit me fat. I am between 90 and 95. I think when I arrived in Brazil, I was 110 11. For reasons that stress, though. They don't even matter anymore. I was 110 I think and 11 Swiat. Last week, I think I got 9500 Maybe. And when I went there to get the certificate, I think it was 7076. Yeah, 75 was
really thin. And then we started talking about that. Like, are you okay, Has anything happened to you? I was not. Yeah. He was not. Yeah, he he learned that he had gotten divorced. They had separated from his wife and my relationship didn't go on. I didn't get engaged. And we broke up. And then we started like, going out for coffees to talk about our exes. Like, who has ever done that? Yeah.
Yeah, yeah. I mean, and the period wasn't a new apartment, you could call where I was leading after my divorce. Separation, let's say. And it was basically, you know, you went there. Yeah, it was basically like a mattress. I had an old desk, and my clothes and a garbage bag. So it was a very nice setting to bring a date. But, and I started disco, going back to all the talk will go back to that in a second dose, just to link the user. And I started teaching privately, almost out of necessity, because I had the desk there, and they stopped. And I didn't have a car, you know, divorce. So I had the best. So I started sending emails, I started contacting people I started really, like actively looking for my first real clients. And things picked up rapidly. Even though a lot of people a lot of the friends that they had the people that they knew in the business, they told me who will come to your house to have classes. The point of private classes is exactly that to go to a person's house. That was the idea. But nobody's going to come to your house, you're going to drive there who's going to do that? Well, we turned out a lot of people did. And things picked up rapidly. And at one point, I had a waiting list had more people than I could fit on my schedule. And I started to and then we but this is after a few months after. So we started going out and then things picked up for years. And then in December in 2009. We started living together some months after we got married and I was still working in that school then English school but then I was so stressed because I was working like a dog. Yeah, I had so many classes. I spent the whole day at the school. I had to teach children, teenagers adults. Yes, I was really Be really stressed. And then another study saying, why don't you get some private classes maybe leave the school because at that time he was already he had already been teaching private classes for a while. And then, in 2011, in the middle of 2011, I decided to leave the school where I worked. And then we started working together, offering private classes as we had a very, very, very small apartment, like it was tiny. We just had the like, the bedroom, the bathroom, a living room, slash kitchen, etc. And there was just this desk we used to, to split our schedule in a way that some classes I would teach at the apartment some classes, I went to my clients house, I used to teach just around the neighborhood because I could go walking. Yeah, I just put everything my backpack, my computer, books dictionary, and I went walking. And after some time, and I was able to we were able to buy a car, a very old car. And then some of the classes are now we used to give it companies. Yeah. So when he was out, I was in teaching when he was in I was out teaching. It was really, really hard. But then after that, we decided to save some money, try to save some money to go to San Paolo to do that course that he was talking about the CELTA, which is a very important certification for teachers. And it was something that was really, really expensive for us, because we had we study together. So you had to pay for the two courses, we had to stay 30 days in San Paulo. So we paid accommodation in some Paulo, we paid for the transport and we were still paying rent. In our city. Yeah, so for us, it was like, whoa. But it was like a turning page. For us. It was a really, really important couple years to pay for that. Yeah, we had some beds for a while until we were able to pay for everything. But it was a very important risk that we had to take because we didn't want just to teach English. I don't know if you know what I mean. We would like to become English teachers. Yes. Like to have any indication for that to have certificates for that. Because we know, I believe that this happens in Brazil and also in other countries that are many, many people who sometimes travel abroad leave leave abroad for a while and they start teaching English as an extra job. Yeah. But in a way this people who teach English as an extra way of making money. So of them, of course, they are very good. They do a good job. Yeah, but most of them, they see this as just a side gig. You know, they're not so professional. They're not so disciplined. They're not so punctual and the English teachers in Brazil, they tend to have a bad thing. Yeah, like, because people they usually put all of us in the same kind of bag. Yeah. Oh, you're teaching English. Oh, that's nice. That's cool. Well, you teach English.
And normally people do it as a hobby, which is why one of the most common questions we used to have was people that would just send an email or somebody recommended you. Are you still teaching it? Yeah, like because people they just do it as a hobby today find the theory.
And actually, some people don't even I you teach English, but you don't work? Yeah, that's yeah, this is so normal. No, people ask us this all the time. But you only teach English like you don't do anything else have your
Daniel De Biasi 53:53
Aline & Arnaldo 53:55
And then we decided to take this course in some Paulo. So it was a huge investment for us. But while we were in San Paulo, we we started receiving some emails. Yes. And then people looking for classes. It was like, the whole January. Yeah. So we spent the whole January in San Paulo. And while we were there, we received some emails from people walking for classes. And then we had to make a decision. Yeah, cuz either we would continue the way we were living in that very small apartment and having to split our schedule in order to work, or we would, as soon as we go back to join VD we would find a bigger apartment, and then go full schedule. Yeah. So we could really have would have my own office or now we'll have his own office. So we could start receiving more students. And this is what happened. Yeah, it was a leap of faith. It was a gigantic leap of faith. Yeah, because actually, we were raised came. Actually we were risking not everything we had. We were risking even things that we didn't have yet. Yeah. So we spent like, two, three years, like, very hard to three years. Like, it could have backfired. But we worked like crazy. Yeah, we didn't allow things to backfire, because we were working like, almost 24/7. Yeah, in order to pay all the investments that we had done in the course moving to bigger apartment and etc. but it paid off eventually. Yeah. So we lived in worked in that second apartment for five years. Yeah, no, three years, three years. So we stayed in that apartment for three years. And this is when, like, during that period, we started thinking like I school. Yeah, it was not like our now those private students, Salinas, private students, we started like, looking at what we were doing as No, now we have a school. Yeah. And in that period of time, we started to like, working on branding, like trying to organize things in a in a way that we had a standard. Yes, of course, we teach differently. Yeah, as English teachers, we, we have our style of teaching, but they students, if I get or now lose a student, they will know that the class will have the same quality, the same standard. Yeah. And vice versa. approach is different. Yeah, the approach is different. But the quality, everything we do in class follows a pattern, a standard, and we wanted to have that. Yeah. So we started like organizing everything, creating our own material, creating some specific things that only the two of us would use with the students to bring a little more unit. Yeah, to what we were doing. And then as things started getting better, or it's time to move again. So we rented a house actually, we were not looking for a house. Yeah, like the house appeared to us. It used to belong to a student of ours. And she said, My mom has a house. And I think it's just perfect for you. Because the house, we used to live in the front part of the house. And then in the back of the house. There were some separate rooms. Yeah. So the school would be totally separated from our house. Yeah. And that was really nice. So we moved to the house. And this is where our school really grew. Yeah, like, we had a school we had, each one of us had our own classrooms. We had a specific place for the students with a lounger library. So we really had this cool, like, in a more traditional way of speaking. Yeah. And that place like, we started teaching a lot. We became a little more known in the city, people were recommending us around. And then this is when we started thinking about moving over. I
was busy at the same time that Chautala 15,
we started looking at Yeah, we started leaving that house in 2015. And then we started looking like, wow, it would be nice if we started thinking about living abroad, maybe yeah, spend some time abroad in a different country. And this is when we started doing some research where it would be possible to go because we didn't like we knew we would have to take some risks. But we didn't want to do anything stupid, because Hernando had suffered a lot in the USA. And he went to a country where he said he had to go back to Brazil, because there was no way for him to continue there. If he hadn't been studying something. Yeah. So because of that he came back to Brazil when and we didn't want to go to a place in which we would always have this kind of shadow behind us. Yeah, we didn't want to go to a place where it would not be possible for us to immigrate to become permanent residents. So we started checking for countries in which would be possible for us to immigrate that there would be a process that we could follow steps. And then Canada appeared on our radar.
Yeah, we actually looked into two other places Australia I don't know exactly when I have no recollection of awareness actually Canada came into the picture. But it did eventually
Daniel De Biasi 59:46
sounds like you guys already like a your business running and you now got the good reputation. People still are like coming to you. You don't have to look for new new clients before coming to you. So soon like for like in a normal circumstances, people I will be happy. There are like an hour. They're stable. They call like a stable business and everything else. And now you guys is like, okay, everything is going well, let's move on your gantry and start all over. Why did you guys decide to leave everything? Because now like, now you say before you left everything behind, but you didn't have much. Now you guys have a business, you have clients and everything. So why did he decide this time to leave the situation and start all over in a new country? Well,
Aline & Arnaldo 1:00:28
when we were talking earlier about the culture shock, there are two things that happen. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of literature on the subject, but there is on the cultural shock, you can find about the reverse culture shock. There isn't. The literature is not there, I found only one book about that from, I think American psychology, etc. But it's very theoretical, right? Because they can't really know. Right? So my reverse culture shock towards worse than my cultural shock. So coming back to Brazil, for me was worse than going to the US, not for the reasons that people are here is better. Now, not in that way. The rehabilitation to my previous culture, let's say that occurred, according to the literature of the cultural shock, shouldn't have gone through phases, right? It's like a grading process, right? First, you denied and then accepted, and then eventually you go back to rekindle relationships, etc, etc. But as it turned out, it did not happen like that. So I didn't really readapt and I talked over the years, I've talked to a lot of people about that. And they tell me the same thing, that they never really, really adapted to Brazil, let's say they got used to it, because you do get used to it. But it's kind of a splinter in your mind to paraphrase a bit, the matrix is there. And I couldn't really get past that. So it was just something that I needed to leave again, I needed to get up. I cannot, I couldn't readapt to Brazil, I couldn't readapt to the way of life within readapted to the culture couldn't be adapted to the sport to the weather. So I had changed it to think too much more than I maybe should have in order to adapt was already gone, let's say in that way. And I started from very early on when we started dating, I was always talking a bit about you know, should move it should go to other countries, etc. But they didn't force you.
No, no, it was a forced at all because I I started studying English when I was very young. Yeah, like I was raised in a family. We didn't have much, but my father, he he loved music. And he used to listen to a lot of music in English. And we used to watch films in English all the time. And I was always so fascinated by that language. And I, I decided when I was eight or nine years old that I needed to learn English, I don't know why. But I wanted to learn English. I started imitating people on films like I didn't even know what I was reading to. But very early on, I decided that I wanted to learn English. And then at that time, I couldn't go to an English school or something. So I picked some books, I borrowed some books from some family members that had started studying but then gave up my father started studying at the company, but then give up and then I had some of his books. And then I studied by myself at home, like from nine to 13 years old, something like that. And then when I was 13 years old, my father sent me to an ESL school. He started learning English there like the right way, let's say but the kind of study that I did at home the way I could was really productive because when I went to school to study English, I started in the intermediate level. So that fear that I studied English at home was not like, was all worth it. Yeah, I learned a lot. And then I got to the intermediate level at the school. And then two years after that, when I was 16. I started teaching at a school. So I started teaching when I was 16 years old. But up until we got married and we traveled to Scotland in Scotland and England in 2014 to 1513 to 14. I had never been abroad before. And this was something that I've always wanted. I have always wanted to travel a lot specially to English speaking countries because like I had spent all my life studying English and I really wanted to put myself into tests like the real thing I want to talk to people like in real life not In the scenario of schoolwork class, yes, because we we can only put our English like to test here. Yeah. Because even though we speak English the whole day with our students, we are always leveling our English. Yeah, it's never the real thing. Yeah. And I always wanted to have this kind of experience like I really need to test if my English is good enough. Yeah, but the only way to do it would be like spending some time abroad. And then when we started dating or not, we used to talk a lot about leaving abroad, etc. In there, then I've always wanted that. Yeah, like, and then we started talking about something that was very clear in my mind. I'll just go if we can go the right way. Yeah, because my tension is not. I don't want to go back to Brazil. Yeah, like when we that's why we took such a long time to plan everything to make the decision. Like when we started thinking about Canada, it was 2015. We had just moved to that house. And we decided to come to Toronto to see okay, let's see how we feel. In Canada. Yeah. So it to really check if we can go on with the plan or not. So we came here. We spent two weeks in Toronto, like we explored the city. We walked a lot like there were some days on which we walked like 1520 25 kilometres because we really wanted to feel the city. Yeah, we talked to people. We stayed in Airbnb. We went to supermarkets to market. We wanted to leave the the Canadian way. Yeah. So after we went back to Brazil, after this trip, said, Wow, this is what we want. Yeah. And this is when we started really studying the possibilities really doing research what we could do in order to come. And this is a long process. Yeah. Because we we wanted to do things the right way. Because we don't have the intention to go back. Yeah, of course. We we cannot control everything regarding our destiny, like we do when we can but whatever we can do to stay here we will do. Yeah, because we came for good. We didn't come as a temporary adventure. Yeah, this is our home now. And you see, the stakes were really high. Yeah. So we wanted to do things the right way. And he didn't force me to anything. This was also a dream that I had. But it was hard work. Yeah. Especially thinking about okay, now that we have the school setup. Yeah, people are coming. People like our work. They recommend us to other people, we have a good reputation. But even though we were happy professionally speaking, let's say we were not having the sense of fulfillment. Yeah. Like, we wanted more. We want to be challenged. Yeah. And something they all that always bothered us about leaving there was like of safety. Yeah, we never felt safe. In our city in our house. Yeah, we used to live in a house. We had cameras all around the house. Yeah, we had an electronic gate. Very high gate. We never felt safe there. So okay, we were good, let's say, professionally speaking, but we were always like looking over our shoulders. Yeah, I was afraid to walk around by myself, especially at night. Yeah. So these kind of things, they started to bother us more and more and more, you know,
I've always got bothered by that. I mean, after leaving the US for so long. I mean, DDoS is not like a paramount of personal safety. But Brazil, there's it's impossible for virtually any medium and big cities for you'd like to take a walk at night, or in the afternoon, or with a cell phone or with a nice bike. And I think after I returned to Brazil, this started to bother me even more because now I we kind of know that this is not normal. Like we get used to it. Right? We I always joke with Linda. If they see like The Walking Dead happen in Brazil, the zombies wouldn't stand a chance. They would never get get past the gates they would never be able to get into the house. You'd never happen. Never happen unless they could jump like you know, electrified fences. And this started to bother those like really like a lot. Yeah, that was the beginning of the Canadian idea.
And then we wanted more we wanted to have like we used to live in a good place, you know, good neighborhood in our city, but we didn't have like places to go. Like parks we really are not deny we really love nature. Yeah, like going to a park doing a picnic, looking at these kind of places, and we didn't have this kind of opportunities there. Yeah. And education. And we wanted I think we got to an age. Yeah, like we had been married for seven, eight years. And then we had the school, the school was fine. And we had the students more and more clients. But I think we got to a point that we needed a challenge eventually. Yeah,
I think it's not that it's not possible to have a good life there. It's possible you can have a good life anywhere. And is not that is bad, because we should actually get better over the last 20 years or so. But for us it I think it was more the views a call to adventure. We had to do some depressed, but we were we talked about that a lot. I mean, if you don't do it, we will regret eventually, when we are like 5060 years old, we should have done that. Right. It was one of those pivotal moments that just said, okay, just let's do it.
Let's do it. And then we started looking at possibilities. Yes. And then in 2016. With Ukraine, we started our process, our immigration process, per se. Then in 2017, we got the result that our process had been approved. Then 2018. We did our first landing, but we didn't stay here in 2018. We did what they call soft landing. So we landed, we did everything we needed to do and then we took the opportunity to visit Toronto again. We explored Ottawa Alito Montreal Lido, because we still didn't know where we weren't going to leave. Yeah, so we were still not sure we would like to stay in Toronto. But later, we changed our minds. And then we came back, and then we came for good. Like last year, we were supposed to arrive here in April 2020. But because of the pandemic, everything our plans change, and we were only able to come in June 2020. But during that time, like a we, we really bet that this plan would work. But we had plan B plan C Plan D because we would come anyway, maybe not here, we will try another country. But this was something that we really, really, really needed to try. But okay, we continue working, we continue with our lives, we we didn't tell anyone in our families up to the moment that we had the confirmation, because I think that sometimes we shouldn't tell people everything we want to do. And it's like this if this was our plan, because some people they would like other people to understand why you do things like it's your journey. People don't need to understand why you do things enough. First in your question is is very good. Because a lot of people if we told them, okay, we want to move to another country, they would say Okay, but why you have such a good life here. You have your own business, you have a lot of students, why do you want to leave everything behind?
It's not about that for most people don't the sole reason to immigrate is because you want to to improve your life or to live in a place where you can buy iPhones for $500. That's what a lot of people think immigration is. And this is not the point this was is not because the situation was that bad is not because Canada is that good. It has more to do with our personal. Yeah, I mean, we purposely call to adventure basically, that's a better definition.
Daniel De Biasi 1:13:50
Okay. Aline, you mentioned that the soft landing and process of moving to Canada. Can you maybe explain like it was soft landing is? And also what was the process you guys were taking to move to Canada, I guess was like a permanent residency. So you guys were on the process, or you moved on with a permanent resident already? Right?
Aline & Arnaldo 1:14:09
Yeah. We entered the Express Entry through the Federal Skilled Worker. And we at that time, for us, it was like a big thing, because I was turning 34 to 35 very soon. So there's a kind of after you become 35 We start losing points. Yes. Because it's a point based system. Yes. And for us, even though we were a little old. Yeah. To apply through the Express Entry, our level of English was really high. So this was really gave us the extra points. Yeah. So we were approved through the Express Entry. We got our approval on October 2017. And we did our lane. Landing on February in February 2018. And the soft landing, they call it soft landing because you don't come to stay. Yeah, you do your landing you do get the documents you need. And then you can go back to your country. We did that because we had the school in Brazil, like, we had the house, we had everything going on, and we had our business going on. So we decided, as we have this time to organize things, we decided to do the soft landing so we could do what we had to do, and then go back to Brazil to little by little we start planning the moving per se. Yeah, like talking to students explaining everything that was going to happen very soon. Talk to family, like delivered the house, sell our things, yeah, really start the move to another country, because we didn't want to do things in a hurry. Yeah. And as we had a business, we had a lot of people involved in the business, we wanted to do things in a way that we wouldn't give them the impression that like, we don't care about you were moving to another country, we don't care about, you know, actually, we were very careful with everything. And so and so that we were able to move to Canada, with all the students, the difference is that the classes instead of the coming to our house, our school there, it started teaching online. Yeah, but they came with us, let's say I want
to clarify a bit about the process of the soft landing thing. The reason that we came in February is when you get approved, when your permanent residence is approved through the Express Entry, you will receive a visa is called exactly the Navy SEAL. Because like I am 112. It's like the immigrant visa. And this visa has a due date as a validation period, which is one the year after you do the medical. So there is a sort of a procedure and our visa would expire in March, I think in March or April, something like that. So to that date, we had to come to Canada and finalize the process, which is basically a rabid airport to tell the agent to better arrive here I'm doing my immigrant planning. So in the From there, the director of different artists and from there your process, you had another let's say a mini interview with another agent, we get your our cin number. And basically, you know, Welcome to Canada and regulations, you are now residence and they write on a piece of paper that your official we have the stamps now or residency starts to come and dig under Canadian law. A permanent president can stay out of Canada for up to two years within five. So we kind of play with that.
Yeah, this is extra time allowed us to really do things like quietly with traumatic, yes. And talking to people, you know, by lead or especially with our clients. Yeah. Because we wants to tell them like, Okay, we're going to Canada. They want to understand why like, Oh, come on. We have this conversation. Yeah, like are we very, very repeated the same story. But it was necessary because we respect our students. Yes. And it was nice for them to understand why. Why we were coming. Yeah. And most of the actually 99.9% of them. They jumped? Yeah, like Okay, so you will be able to teach just online. Okay. We will continue with your classes. Yeah. So okay, we will have to adapt, because after 2019 2020 like teaching online, it's the most basic thing. Yeah. But during that period, people didn't do that. We really had to talk to all the students teach them how to have class online, teach them how to use the software and yeah, how the classes would work. There were lots of testing, but almost 100% of them, they accepted the idea and they continue studying with us.
Daniel De Biasi 1:19:20
You guys kind of have like a two years of window to get ready. What was the step for the you guys talk like because you will enter the first time in Toronto, but now you live in Calgary. So even then, like how did you guys pick a city to live in or what was the process you guys went through to like a move?
Aline & Arnaldo 1:19:37
Is Elena mesh live on to the first half of your question there. We went around to me the the initial idea was from Toronto was the you know, we love Toronto. It was It is a great city. We loved it. But when we visit around for the first time, the cost of living there was much cheaper than it was now. People who didn't really don't follow the trends, the price, it's edited, we know how much the price have increased, they can show dollar 1516, you could rent an apartment in Toronto for 1.3 1.4 1.2. So that was the budget that we had in mind. Now there is like 2.5 2.7 3000 is difficult to find anything like, under 2k. And we started considering other options.
So in 2018, we came to Canada to do the landing. So we spent some more days in Toronto, and also to check the prices like personally Yeah. And we also decided to visit Ottawa, Richmond Hill, I have a friend who lives there. And also we went to montrail. But we didn't fall in love in any of those cities. So we came back to Brazil, we're still thinking, Okay, we haven't decided where to leave. Yeah, because Toronto was too expensive in 2018. If we compare it to 2015, when we had been there, like the prices they almost doubled, was a spike in the prices. And then we started looking around and I had a student and a long time ago, he said that he had been to Calgary studying. Yeah, he did an exchange program here to study English. He stayed here for three months. He lives in a with a family, a Canadian family. So he was in love with Calgary. Yeah, like and he was always talking about Calgary. Why don't you visit calgary? Calgary is a possibility. And then we started like, doing some research. Yeah, checking other possible cities, mostly in Ontario. Yeah, like would like to continue in Ontario. But then we started looking at other places, some lists of best cities to live in Canada, etc. And then Calgary always appeared in our researches, yes and no. Okay. So we have this little time. We don't want to make a decision in a hurry. So in 2019, we decided to come to Calgary for a few days to see what the city was like. And we spent nine days here we rented an Airbnb, we walked around the same we did in, in Toronto when we were there. And we just like fell in love with the city. The vibe here was what we were looking for. Because the city has a lot of nature, a lot of nature, lots of parks everywhere. And Calgary is I don't know if one of the most but maybe it is the sunniest city in Canada. So we had very good weather when we were here. It was summer, but it was not that hot. Because in Brazil, we used to live in a very hot city. And we didn't want to, to have that kind of experience again. Oh, yeah. So we like cold. Yeah. So we came in the summer, but it was bearable. Yeah. It was not, because here's dry is not very humid. So you don't feel the heat so much. Yeah. So we spent some days here. We love the city. And then when we went back to join Bailey, we had already decided, but
we made the decision, like the same day or the secondaries.
Here. Yeah, this is where we want to leave for sure. Mm hmm.
Daniel De Biasi 1:23:23
And was there anything else that you guys were planning or things that you went through the things that you might recommend for people to move to Canada to do the same way?
Aline & Arnaldo 1:23:33
Oh, I mean, it depends on how people are planning to come. So nowadays, I mean, this is now we are in October 2021. Here, the regular express entry, and by revelry I mean the federal skilled work stream at the moment is not an option, because it seems the pandemic starts. The Canadian government has not really issued any invitations for the Federal Skilled Worker, only for people who are here. Like work, they have a student permit or they have a job offer or they have a job. So there are different processes now. But my advice, My piece of advice for people to be to try to research where you want to live. Because Canada is is an enormous country. So in the provinces, the cities are very different. The weather is very different. The way that people receive immigrants, I think it's different. So it is at least a good idea because the prices if you come here to study, which is I think most people come here through the student visa. The prices are similar in other provinces. So you need to check which province has a better job market. If it's easier to find a job if you use a freeway area, if you like the quadrilateral if you don't, if you don't like the cold weather. I don't think Canada is for you. So even places that have mild weather like British Columbia, it is still cold. So Canada is now Not a tropical country, that's people that they need to have in mind, like now is very sunny. Really, really soon. I think if you're watching this video, now you can see that really sunny, but the temperature now is zero, it was minus five in one. And it's going to be like minus 10 tonight. And it's going to be like that minus 10 by 15 minus 20 into next year.
Now bear in mind, it will be like by the peers,
but it's cool. So when this is like the temperature, the weather really bothers us, it affects your lifestyle, I cannot stand the cold. Yes, like for example. Well, you can go to other places like not aware, don't come to where because you have a miserable time. So then we have to look for places that have like better and for other people. They like to stay near demand things for the audit, or they like to stay near the United States, which is why we wanted to go to Ontario in the first place of her family and the Chicago area. So we called her really close, middle godly West. For some people, the proximity to the United States is a thing for people they want to stay near. Because they speak French, they want to stay near the French promises. Some people want to stay near the mountains. That's why we decided to come here we can see the mountains almost from condominium here. Some people want to stay near a ski station or they want to stay near the beach. And you know, Vancouver is an option.
There. Yes, yeah.
So this is another lots of things that need to be taken into consideration before people make a decision. But what is is paramount, obviously, is studying English speaking English, because this is going to save you time. Because if you do make something stupid like I did, when I immigrated for the first time, don't follow my, my path, or I'm going to learn English when they get there. Odds are that you want or at least not for six months, one year or a year and a half, you're gonna have our time. Yeah, I didn't come here to study is very expensive. So you needed to actually hit the ground running. So as you get here, at least having like enough English to work in a supermarket work in a restaurant, but to do plenty of research, and there are 80 different programs to immigrate to Canada.
Daniel De Biasi 1:27:13
So I'll tell you now lived in Canada and the US, even though they're similar. They're like a similar culture and similar country they got, especially in Canada has got influenced a lot by the US. But under you live in both country, what's the difference that you saw within the two countries?
Aline & Arnaldo 1:27:29
Let me know, culturally speaking how I have the opinion that Canada is completely different. They share some traits, I mean, the language is the same, some values, they're the same. But for immigrants, for example, for us, I think Canada is much more welcoming, because like in in Canada, immigrants, they are part of the fabric of society. The fact that we are having this conversation here and people will listen to it is proven that if you try to do that, for example, it's you can do. But in the United in the American context, for example, if we make fun of you, but you don't even speak American English, or or you'd like people talk before you don't speak American, like Americans language, they make fun of you, they are not immigrants are not really well accepted in the United States. They're just not. So it is like you are never really part of the, let's say, the mainstream culture. So you will always be in the eyes of lots of people a second rate citizen, let's say even if they have a documents or because you speak with an accent like we do, or because you have a different color or because you have a different religion or because you have different habits, you know, anything, there is a reason for you to be ostracized. So the, in the US the vibe special for the immigrant community is much less accepting. And this is not a thing in Canada In Canada, we feel really welcome. Because in the United States, for example, let me give a practical example. Right, if you will, for example, the police in the United States, if the what what do you think is the ethnicity or the nationality of the people who work there at this police department 100% or 90, A will be in the 2% will be the people who do the clean. Not all the police officers, the investigators are American. If you go to place like public schools, they stay who works there, the American if you go to any higher position, there is almost a 100% certainty that the people who work there and they are American American while in Canada, this is something a bit difficult for people to believe. Especially a lot of people think I have friends in the United States to people who when they live in the West. They don't believe that it is not possible. But to hear the people that work out in the grass they were actually throwing salt because it's starting to snow here. You could hear the snow blowers you could hear the machines etc in As you will hear that, in 99% of cases, there will be more Brazilians or Mexicans or some immigrants working there. Or maybe there'll be one American driving the car. And now they will come to work in so either these what Americans consider to be like, low jobs, low level jobs, entry level jobs in the US, like almost 100%. They are immigrants, garbage collectors, bus drivers, delivery drivers, people like gardeners, immigrants, so is there is a type of a glass ceiling. That of course you can break. I mean, you you can do what the music is a great country. A lot of us half of my family lives there. But I think Canada, the immigrants here, they're part of society. They are everywhere. So people think that I have found that Oh, you guys have an accent? It's parently. You have not you have not been to Canada in it. So the people who work in the building department here in Calgary, like 6% of people there they speak English worse than us. Right? The police, a lot of police, they are visually from a different ethnicity. You can tell you can tell by the color of the skin. You can tell sometimes they were something from their culture. They were like a piece of you can tell so a lot of the police force in Calgary, for example. They are not Canadian, or if they are his first generation. The mayor of the Capitol burn Edmonton. He is He immigrated to Canada. Very interesting story in 2004. I think he was a bus driver until a few years ago, he decided to run for city council he won and now he ran for mayor and he won. And, you know, immigrants in this we are we immigrants We are part of the Canadian fabric. And this is not necessary. Specially first generation. So the doctors Yeah, I don't know no target exactly how it is. But the doctors really, I haven't met one single Canadian doctors. They are ours is from Libya, great doctor. There. His Baltic is from India, of most of World War, they're from India or from Libya. There's one or two from Brazil. The same thing with dentists. The same thing with bank managers, real estate agents. So all these are water, they're considered to be, let's say, hi, jobs, let's say you know, business owners, investment managers, bank managers, they think the United States there, like 99% of Americans here is occupied by immigrants, you find Canadians, driving food trucks, driving trucks, driving buses, cutting the grass also in hypothesis. So it's kind of a there is a mix, there is not really this immigrant segregation that it was very visible in the United States. This is one of the things that I think I like the most.
Daniel De Biasi 1:32:52
Yeah, I completely agree with you. Absolutely. I can see even in Vancouver, there's like a so many mix of cultures. And if you're an immigrant, as you mentioned, as a part of this normal part of the society or not, somebody else is just part of it. And I know this question, and I might know the answer, but I'll ask you anyway, because I asked this question to all my guests. Do you have any regrets about leaving Brazil? No,
Aline & Arnaldo 1:33:14
no, not at all? Of course, I miss family. I miss friends. Yes, I miss Brazilian food. But I can cook Brazilian food here, but not at all.
And maybe no, no. Maybe I wish I had done sooner. But that's it. There's no not at all. It was a very well thought decision. And even if she What if it doesn't work? What if he had to come back? That doesn't matter. That doesn't change the fact that the decision was taken and we will stand by it even if we change paths. But not there is nothing Canada is a great country takes preparation takes resiliency takes you need to willingly open the door to adventure and so on. But it is worth it.
Daniel De Biasi 1:34:02
I was the best thing about moving to Canada.
Aline & Arnaldo 1:34:05
For me, I guess it was the huge door of opportunities that we have opened here. Because for me, first of all the language. As I said before, I have always wanted to live in a country where I could speak English because I like English. I love this language. So the language for me is really important. And thinking about the English and the country where I'm leaving today. We have so many possibilities when it comes to studies. Yeah, different areas of expertise. We have access Yeah, like for me, I have a very, like loving relationship with education. And here there are so many possibilities, so many different courses like even the the library like in our city, we hardly ever had the library. And here we have so many we have 20 You want public libraries, they have so much material. And they have so many programs like the the access that we have here to knowledge, to experiences, and even different cultures, yes, because we live in a multicultural country, the opportunity to know more about the Canadian lifestyle, the Indian lifestyle, the Chinese lifestyle, we are in a place where everything and everybody's welcome. And we have this possibility of really exchanging ideas to a lot of people from a very different, like walk of life from a different country with different experiences. And I think that it's like Einstein used to say, yeah, once your mind opens to new possibilities, you can ever go back to what you were before. Yeah, like, our mind has expanded here in a way that we imagined it would be like that, but not exactly like that. And I cannot see myself going back to where I was before, physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically speaking. So. And I think that we the struggle was really important, because he also made us grow. Yeah, we're stronger now. And that are like a very few things that we are afraid of, because we know we can do it.
Oh, I mean, I mean, he just mentioned the, let's say, the subjective reasons. Being a bit more practical, right. I think in a way for us, like when we talk about the call to adventure, I think in a way we have to become is not only a matter of get diplomatic presence, you will get the documents for getting out, we needed to be the kind of person that goes through the process of immigrating goes through a process of learning the language goes to the process of adapting to a new culture, we need to go through the process, we need to overcome the challenges to try to see what we are made of that's the thing. I think immigration has poses so many hurdles, that we are able to do things that we never thought we could and be a bit more practical. Brazil is a very violent country, but it's redefined. We used to for example, hide yourself at home when we would go for a walk if you have a bike the bike has to be like low quality because nobody would pull a gun pull a gun on you to steal your car cannot be like very new or cannot be very I mean, you can do what is not that you cannot do it. And we live in a very nice place for living standards. And I think out of the island maybe 80 houses there 70 house there I think our house and the florist shop that it was a friend at work the only place that hadn't been invaded. I mean that literally invaded is not a burglary like people think and cannot be without somebody going to a house they just speak the law. They just know people actually go into the house with you willing guns and you know, machine guns and said we actually happen to to have our neighbors and when you have your neighbors like 10 meters from your cross the street having like gangs that like seven eight people invading his house with machine guns can killing the Dickey's cattle when those damn things happen. And Brazil has become, unfortunately a kleptocracy. I mean, I'm not going to go into politics, but Brazil doesn't have a democracy, we have a kleptocracy. And we didn't really see, I still don't actually, unfortunately, politically and economically speaking, a lot of progress, at least over the next 20 years. So there were like practical reasons. And let's see our own philosophical reasons for immigrating.
Yeah. And we think about, for example, here, you have life quality, and like life quality for us is to feel safe, is to have a place to go on the weekend is to be able to go hiking in the mountains. And we know that the most dangerous thing that could have done was, would be to see a bear, which actually happened, but not somebody would attack us or something. In Brazil, we had never thought about starting a family having children zactly because of the violence and that sense of not being safe all the time. Here is a possibility. Yeah, we can see this happening. So there are many practical reasons why we don't regret this decision that are many psychological reasons, emotional reasons. So as an upset even if one day something happens, and we have to go back, at least we did it. We risked it and we we realized, okay, there's this other possibility that there's this other kind of life because we feel so limited, we felt so limited there. I just
don't want to give you the impression that I know people they tend to feel hurt when they hear that. I mean, the press the thing that doesn't say if it's hard to tell everybody knows that, right? We know actually better than most people. But that was not me was not the main reason was actually we wanted to open the door to adventure. Something that we felt that if you don't do this, we will regret when you are 70 years old, we will we should have immigrated when we quit. We we should, then then, you know we started kind of overthinking this and to eventually did
Daniel De Biasi 1:40:43
you guys share a lot of information, a lot of things that you guys done, but is there any other advice you guys want to give to the listeners? They want to move to Ghana? They want to move abroad?
Aline & Arnaldo 1:40:53
Well, I will say first of all, of course, you are English teachers. But that's not the point. Yeah, like learning English, of course. I guess, knowing exactly what you want. This helps a lot because that are in most of all, I think knowing why you want to come there. Because as Arnold was saying, like we didn't come because we wanted to leave Brazil. We came because we wanted the challenge. We wanted to know what it's like to live in another country. That was the means for now. Yeah. And a lot of people they know No, I have to leave my country. Yeah, no. And usually this is not good reason enough to go through all the process, because it's a long process is an expensive process is hard. And if you don't know exactly why you are doing this, you might give up. Because there are so many steps that we needed to take, you need to study a lot about the process, you need to sacrifice time, sacrifice, relationships, sacrifice, money, sacrifice health sometimes. So you really, really need to want this. Yeah. And you know, you have to know why you want this.
And when we come here, we have to understand one thing, we are visitors, the people who are here before us, they built this counter on their values, and it works. So I think what we needed to do is to swallow a humble pill, and just adapt and keep our stupid opinions like I had, they still have probably to ourselves until we actually understand the complexities of the Canadian society. So and we needed to adapt and we need to be humble. That I don't know why they do this. So it's going to take probably years until we actually realize why they do something why they don't do some things. Why they can either go founders This is why they do that why people do this, why they behave like that, why they educate children like that? Why they don't so everything is different than the I think probably we have to be humble
Daniel De Biasi 1:43:04
be humble and open minded. Let's leave it like that like be humble and an open mind and when you move to Canada or any other country just basically if the people wants to get in touch with you want to know more about the work you guys doing or want to learn English with you guys. How can people can find you
Aline & Arnaldo 1:43:21
they can find us especially on Instagram is at I am in Canada or together dot English. They can get in contact with us there. We have a lot of posts. Yeah, we usually post mostly for Brazilians, because most of our students are Brazilians. But everybody's welcome because we speak English in the class sense. But maybe they will see that 80% of the posts are in Portuguese, but if they want to connect with us feel free. Yeah, actually, we welcome you. And we want to thank you for this opportunity. It was really nice. And we really like your work. Your podcasts are very special and very different specially because you bring some truths and especially some hard truth sometimes. Yeah. Because people as Arnold said, they imagine what leaving Canada will be like, but the real life is always different. Yeah, either for the better for worse is or not said to Yeah. So it's nice, because as you bring stories of real immigrants, yeah, people can have different points of view, different opinions, because everybody has a different story. Yeah. And everybody has been through a different process. Yeah. So my process of adaptation is never going to be like your process of adaptation. And I think this is a very nice idea. So very good service you're providing.
Daniel De Biasi 1:44:51
Oh, thank you very much for the kind words I Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, because, as you mentioned, like everybody is different and also Like, even though we're going through all these challenges, like you guys just explain all the challenges you guys go through and how hard it is to move to a new country learn the language. But that's why I asked you the same question to every guest. Do you have any regrets by leaving your country and usually, always the questions is now, like, because even though you're going through all these challenges, all these obstacles all of this still, like, there's no regrets about this. Now, there's still like the grass is greener side, even if it's like, really hard to get over the fence. And there's gonna be some traps on the other side before you actually enjoy the grass. But still, like it's always morphing. And I just want to show people that yes, it's not going to be easy. It's going to be challenging is going to be this, but it's totally worth it. For most people. It's totally worth it. So thank you guys for for sharing your story. I really, really, really appreciate it.
Aline & Arnaldo 1:45:51
Thank you very much. Very nice to be here.
Daniel De Biasi 1:45:53
Oh, thank you. Thanks. Bye bye. Thank you so much for tuning in this week. If you enjoyed this episode, a wants to support the show, you can share this episode with your friends, or you can leave us a review on Apple podcasts or pod chaser. You can find the links of all the resources mentioned in this episode in the show notes by visiting Amy grants life.com/episode 60. If you want to follow us on social media, you can find us on Instagram and Twitter at Amy Grant's life in Facebook at Amy Grant's life podcast. Thanks again for listening. Talk to you next one Cheerio.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Aeron's story proves that your circumstances don't determine your future.