(Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Can I find a partner for practicing my second language?

Yes! Canadian Connections partners ESL learners and volunteer tutors. It is free for all eligible clients. Some English learners are willing to give other language lessons in return, but this is not guaranteed. Call us or drop in for more information.

2. Can I come to English classes?

We offer English Language Services for Adults (ELSA) that are free to many eligible newcomers. We will need to see your immigration documents to apply for classes. Each class is allowed one member who does not fit the eligibility criteria and therefore is required to pay for service ($20 per class / $60 per week / $160 per month). The classes are offered Monday to Thursday mornings.

3. What volunteer opportunities are there?

Whether you are a newcomer or have lived here a long time, there are so many valuable ways to volunteer. Some jobs are: ESL Tutoring, receptionist, clerical, computer support, fundraising, helping with special events, repair/maintenance, phoning, working with youth, advocacy. We even have ways that your whole family can volunteer together. Call or drop in to find out more.

4. I am so frustrated with the Immigration website and toll-free number. How can I get help with immigration problems like renewing my documents or bringing a relative to Canada?

We understand that the immigration process can sometimes be complicated and confusing. Our Settlement Coordinators have many years of experience and can help explain the different processes and even filling out forms. Please call our office or drop in to make an appointment with our Settlement Coordinators.

5. I have a problem, but it’s not really about immigration. I don’t know where to get help. What should I do?

Although we are not able to help immigrants with all concerns or issues, we are part of a community network that includes a variety of organizations and agencies that offer many programs, support and services. Our Settlement Coordinators can meet with you to discuss your needs and can refer you to the appropriate place for the help you need. Please call us or drop by the office to make an appointment to meet with our Settlement Coordinators.

6. I’m curious about diversity. Can you answer my questions?

We have over 25 years experience in helping immigrants to have a positive settlement in the Cowichan Valley and in Canada. In this time, our Society and staff have gained considerable experience and knowledge. Please contact our office for specific questions. If we do not know the answer we will do our best to find out or refer you to someone who can.

7. What do you do at Cowichan Intercultural Society?

Explore this website for more detailed information about programs and services that we offer. Members of the Society receive our newsletter that provides regular updates about programs, services and a calendar of events. Call, drop in, or e-mail to ask your questions.

8. What community events are offered by CIS?

Creating a welcoming and inclusive community is a two-way street. We hope that participation by our whole community will bring newcomers and Canadians together to embrace multiculturalism and aid in successful integration. Find out more through our online calendar or our members’ newsletter.

9. How can I become a member of the Cowichan Intercultural Society?

You can print an application from our website or pick one up at our office. We are also happy to mail or fax you an application. Annual memberships are affordable at $10 per person, $15 per family or $20 for an organization. There are many reasons to become a member of CIS. Members have a say by voting at our Annual General Meeting; receive newsletters of upcoming events and other information; attend our International Nights at no cost. Our numbers help show our funders that we are important to you.