The Immigration Story of Tanya Benic (Yugoslav Refugee)

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I will try to keep it brief. I am one of the numerous unfortunate people from Former Yugoslavia who were caught in the ugly civil war in the Balkans. I was one of the fortunate to be able to come to Canada as a Government of Canada sponsored refugee. Starting from below zero in a foreign country was not easy, but the hardship was nothing compared to the brutality of the war. I had no fear - I spoke English fluently and I had lived in the USA and UK in my previous life. I was prepared to do anything legal to survive and I did - working in coffee shops (thanks to my Croatian friends who owned Amadeus in Halifax), hair salon (to this day I go to the same salon, thank you to another immigrant from Lebanon)), non-government organization, university, until I finally got a job with Canada Border Services Agency (then Canada Customs and Revenue Agency). I have gone the full circle and have been extremely grateful to Canada for providing me the opportunity to live in a peaceful country.