How much opprotunity would an international studies major have in St.John's Canada?
As I've stated in other questions, I'm beginning to think about moving outside of the United States and have paid particular attention to both canada and ireland and a wise person told me that I should try to find an area in canada that has a high percentage of irish decent living in the city and I believe that St.John's is one of the cities that I could find that is both multicultural, yet still has many irish influence tied into the city and yet is closer to home than ireland. I've heard horror stories about how expensive some of the areas of Canada can get, such as Vancouver and Montreal and I'm wondering if that's still an issue in St. John. I also would like to know whether an international studies major would find many job opps in St.John, because i intend on working in my given field of study. So, if anyone could help me with my search on finding the perfect place to move to, that would be great!
Asked By: hippygurl89 - 6/29/2007
I'm glad to see that someone somewhere has an interest in our fair city!! I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have about St. John's.
It is an extremely Irish city - not just the kitschy Irish music with fiddles and accordions, but a large segment of the population is of Irish descent, the eastern Newfoundland accent is very similar to western Ireland's, and the Irish culture still plays a big role in Newfoundland life to this day. Heck, Newfoundland kind of looks like Ireland, too. Though colder and foggier.
Multicultural ... not so much. I believe that somewhere around 97-98?f the population is white and anglophone, either of Irish or English descent. What minorities there are in Newfoundland are professionals: doctors and university professors mainly, plus foreign university students. In that regard, Newfoundland is surprisingly progressive in racial terms - many Newfoundlanders have only ever known people of colour as medical professionals or scholars, versus overt racism and discrimination.So although there's not a lot of diversity, there's no outright hostility. (Of course, that's a generalisation, I'm sure there are some bad seeds out there, but they're the exception.)
As for expensive, housing here is very affordable, ESPECIALLY compared to Vancouver or Montreal! If you're looking to buy a home, there's more than enough available, and it truly is a buyer's market at this time. Renting is a whole other matter though, because Memorial University of Newfoundland has 20,000+ students, and many of them are from outside of the city and have to rent apartments. So in that area, there is some demand. Gasoline is higher than the Canadian average (currently 116.1$ per litre, you can convert that into American ;) ), as is car insurance. I never really understood why that is, though - according to something I read on the Saskatchewan Government Insurance (the public auto insurer of Sask.) website, Newfoundland has the second-highest rate of car insurance in the country. Your hydro (electricity) bill would also be a bit high, again because St. John's' energy comes from a diesel power plant outside of town. But these are pretty negligable costs, as long as you're sensible about your spending. You don't even really need a car around here (though used cars can be surprisingly cheap), as the public transit provider Metrobus will take you most anywhere you need to go in the city.
As for job opportunities, it's hard to say. The Government of Canada job bank (jobbank.gc.ca) is a good place to start ... what is it you specifically had in mind for employment, or would like to work? I believe the Dept. of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT, a federal government office) maintains an office in St. John's, so there may be some opportunities there, or perhaps at the university. You're not going to find the same opportunities as you would in a larger government centre, such as Halifax or Ottawa, but that's not to say that there are none, either. The province has been experience a sort of labour shortage - between retirements and people leaving for higher wages in other provinces, there are increasingly jobs becoming available. It would be hard to say specifically for your field, though.
If you have any further questions about anything relating to St. John's, I'll leave you my e-mail, and I'd be happy to help you out! (email@example.com)
Answered By: Greg - 6/30/2007