“Mostly, I like the kids,” says Paul, about his favourite part about working as an early childhood educator (ECE) at Cornerstone Children’s Center in Nelson. “The kids call me Silly Pauly, so I try to be more funny. Yeah. I love that.”
Paul has been living in Nelson with his family for five years and achieved his permanent residency (PR) through the West Kootenay Rural Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) program in December 2021.
Paul adores his children too! He has one in grade 2, the other in grade 6, and his oldest is graduating high school this year. His oldest daughter convinced the family to come to the Kootenays after spending four months as an exchange student in Nelson. Her fond experience was something she wanted her family to experience as well.
Originally from Seoul in South Korea, Paul appreciates the open-mindedness and diversity in Canada, especially regarding education and career choices. “In South Korea, it’s super competitive. In Canada, you can go to a trade school or college, and your choice will be respected, and jobs will be available.”
Coincidentally, Paul taught English to high school students in South Korea before his move. “The English I was teaching was for entry exams for admittance to university. It was more reading-based,” he says. “I can’t lie, I still went to ESL at Selkirk College in Nelson. I needed to change everything—even grammar. There are things I never learned like slang – I never understand, so I check Google.”
Paul admits that the language, culture and food were an adjustment for his kids when they first moved, but can happily say that they enjoy Canada. “Everything is different, but now they’re really happy with it.”
In other immigration programs, Paul wasn’t getting points for age and struggled to get his PR approval. “Before RNIP, there was no other way for me to settle down here,” he says. “With RNIP, things are really easy. If you have a family, RNIP makes it easier and more accessible to get your PR.”
Ditching the skyscrapers and heavy traffic of Seoul, Paul and his family’s favourite Canadian activities include skiing in the winter and camping in the summer. “I also like road trips going to any place. East. West. Anywhere. Canada is lovely.”
Keep on adventuring, Silly Pauly!
Paul is one of the applicants that successfully made it through the West Kootenay RNIP, a program that changes lives.