A Canadian in Baltimore: Pratt Resources that Helped Me

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By Jessica Keyes

As a new immigrant to the United States, I have met regular challenges while settling into my new American life, from filing reams of paperwork, to finding a doctor and getting a driver’s license. This Independence Day will mark the one-year anniversary of my departure from Canada, and this Sunday, July 1, will be my first Canada Day away from home.

O Canada
Canada Day 2009 by Jessica Keyes

I am fortunate to have made many friends in Baltimore who will celebrate with me by eating poutine, drinking Caesars, and dressing like Mounties, but the nostalgia and homesickness I sometimes feel is a common experience that I know I share with immigrants from all over the world.

Prattlibrary.org has a research guide called New to America specifically for helping new immigrants like me to find everything we need in Maryland. Whether you need to find a job, a home, or a school for your children, this guide has helpful links to the best, most reliable resources on the Internet. Including:

  • Finding English classes
  • Public and private schools, and how to apply
  • Job training, certification, and job searching
  • Finding a doctor, dentist, and health insurance
  • Banking, housing, and transportation

Additionally, if you or someone you know is struggling to meet basic needs, we have another guide called Finding Help in Difficult Times. This guide contains information about public programs for financial, legal, food, and housing assistance.

If you are a new immigrant or new to Baltimore, visit your local branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library and introduce yourself to your local librarians. They will be happy to help you find everything you need as you get settled in to your new home.

Immigrants seated on long benches, Main Hall, U.S. Immigration
My experience wasn't so different from this... From NYPL Archives on Flickr.

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