Alamgir Hossain and Family

Engineer and architect from Bangladesh find the life they were looking for in Alberta

Alamgir Hossain

Alamgir Hossain's desire to travel, to learn about different cultures, and to achieve a better living standard for his family led the Hossains to immigrate to Canada from their home of Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh.

Alamgir and his wife Shikha first landed in Brampton, Ontario in 2005, where they stayed with Alamgir's brother for nearly two years. They chose to move to Edmonton when Alamgir was offered a job in his field.

Having worked as a civil engineer for eight years in Bangladesh, Alamgir's primary objective when arriving in Canada was to have his credentials recognized. The same was true for Shikha, a landscape architect.

"The challenge for us was to find a way to get into the job market, and to understand how the systems in Canada work," explained Alamgir, who worked part-time as a handyman in Brampton to gain skills in the Canadian work world. "There is a sea of information directed at newcomers so we needed to find the information that would put us on the right path."

While in Brampton, Alamgir and Shikha enrolled in a program for foreign-trained professionals offered through the Brampton Centre for Newcomers. There they learned how to write a resumé, search for job opportunities, and prepare for interviews. They also had their educational qualifications accredited with Professional Engineers Ontario and the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects respectively.

In May 2007, Alamgir was offered an engineering position at Stewart Weir & Co Ltd. in Sherwood Park and, within two months of moving to Edmonton, Shikha joined Stantec as a landscape architect. Their qualifications have also been recognized by Alberta's professional associations in their fields.

Since moving to Alberta, Alamgir and Shikha have added a daughter to their family and they look forward to the road ahead. "We are very pleased that we made the decision to move to Canada," said Alamgir. "It is a country that is warm and welcoming to newcomers, has solid infrastructure, vast natural resources, and great opportunities to prosper and make your dreams come true."

To help make the transition easier, Alamgir stresses the importance of understanding how the systems of the new country work, the language people use, and the etiquette. But most importantly, he says, a positive attitude can make a difference. "If you accept change in the new environment and you are positive about your journey ahead, you will be happy," he said.