Nfld. & Labrador·Video

YouTuber highlighting the perks of life in St. John's for immigrants

Kesiya Sebastien became a YouTuber to share her story, of immigrating from India to St. John's. Now her videos are earning tens of thousands of views, and encouraging people all over the world to make Atlantic Canada their home.

Kesiya Sebastien has become a digital champion of immigration to Atlantic Canada

"It's a really rare scenario that someone just crosses you without smiling at you. And they'll be asking you, how's it going? Even if you don't know the person!"

Kesiya Sebastien smiles into the camera, speaking to an audience of tens of thousands on YouTube, and gushes about the joys and simple pleasures of life in a tiny corner of the world called Atlantic Canada.

In the fall of 2019, Sebastien, her husband and their toddler son immigrated from India to a small city they knew nothing about: St. John's.

Sebastien came for a job as a software engineer with local tech giant Verafin. But shortly after landing last fall, in the middle of a driving rainstorm, she fell in love with life in her adopted city.

Kesiya Sebastien, her husband George Soloman and their son Nathaniel Soloman wave goodbye to their YouTube fans. (Kesiya Sebastien/YouTube)

"My choice is like, to have a life in a peaceful place," Sebastien said. "I don't really want to be in the best place; I [just] don't want to waste my time with traffic every day."

Sebastien immediately wanted to share her discovery with other prospective immigrants. "There are a lot of YouTube channels telling about Canada, Canada immigration, culture, climate and all. But there was not much information regarding the Atlantic Canada part."

So Sebastien started one of her own.

From software developer to YouTuber

It's called "Newfoundland Diary — Canada." It's part video blog about Sebastien's life in St. John's, and part practical guide to immigrating to Atlantic Canada. She talks her viewers through the application process, applying for jobs and creating LinkedIn profiles, and what to expect when they land.

"There are some factors people have to consider before they make a decision to move," Sebastien said. "Because all those people may not be happy to live in cold countries. So they need to consider about their health conditions and their financial conditions."

Sebastien, Soloman and Nathaniel enjoy an afternoon at Torbay Beach. (Kesiya Sebastien, YouTube)

But more than her helpful advice, it's her personality and evident love for her new home that really make her videos stand out. On camera, she delights in taking viewers along to enjoy life in the city, like a trip to Torbay Beach or a family meal at McDonald's. 

Her YouTube channel started catching on fast. The first video she published has more than 100,000 views, and her channel has already grown to more than 6,000 subscribers. 

For Sebastien, it's a message she's happy to share.

"I felt quality of life is very good here, in terms of pollution, in terms of less traffic," she said. "We don't have to expect more, we don't have to expect big, but we need to expect a peaceful life."

To see more of Kesiya Sebastien, watch the video above and check out her YouTube channel here.

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