Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Today you’ll meet Oscar Cecena, creator and host of the podcast Immigrants of Toronto.

He gathers stories of those thriving after immigrating.

You’ll hear about his own immigration journey.

Additionally, you’ll get his advice for when you’re done with IELTS.

This will motivate you to focus on the bigger picture!

IELTS is not the end of your journey.

It’s one step toward a much bigger journey!

Immigrants of Toronto podcast

Oscar interviews people who have immigrated to Toronto.

He asks them why they decided to leave their home country.

They all have a different story.

Everyone has a unique struggle.

It’s fascinating to hear what they want to share.

The solidarity is encouraging to see the similarities with your own story.

Why did Oscar immigrate from Mexico?

He was disenchanted with the society and politics in Mexico.

He felt it was never going to be the country he dreamed it could be.

Canada was a country whose society he admired.

He was excited to start a new life in a country he believed was impressive.

How did his podcast start?

He started it two years ago.

It began because he wanted to do something for the immigrant community.

Walking around in Toronto, you see thousands of people from elsewhere.

You’re constantly hearing different languages.

He lives downtown in the financial district.

It’s a very vibrant, busy city.

There is a magical quality to how diverse the population is.

#1: Learn the language of the culture

In Spanish, Oscar points out that speakers are often not concise.

They will go on tangents and provide a lot of detail.

It takes them awhile to get to the point!

In English, especially Business English, you have to get to the point!

Language and culture are intertwined and reflect each other.

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Culture can affect your IELTS score

Your culture affects the way you speak and write.

It alters how direct and succinct you are.

Cultures that are more indirect and don’t tackle things head on struggle with their IELTS scores.

You must make direct points and support those points in direct ways.

If you don’t do this, you can’t get higher than a 6 on Speaking and Writing.

#2: Build a network

Once you arrive, you realize the network you have built.

You will know people from school and any previous jobs.

However, when you arrive in a new country you won’t know many people.

You can start building a network before you move to a new country.

You have a lot of tools at your disposal.

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • Other social media platforms

Give it time!

Don’t compare the network you had in your home country to the support system in your new country.

It won’t happen overnight, as it takes time!

Give yourself time to build it up.

Don’t put pressure on yourself.

Take every opportunity you can to meet others and be a support to them.

#3: Understand the culture

There are a lot of nuances in every culture.

You may read about them, but it’s not the same as experiencing it.

You need to have an open mind.

This will help you make a new family with the friends and neighbors in your new home.

You will also change and grow as a person in a new culture.

Be open to that.

It’s an exciting opportunity to be who you want to be.

You can reinvent yourself if you choose to!

Share you story on the Immigrants of Toronto podcast

If you’re a listener who has immigrated to Canada, reach out to Oscar to share your story.

You can email him at

These stories motivate others who are preparing to make the same journey.

Definitely check out his podcast for motivation to study!


You must keep in mind that IELTS is not the end goal.

It is one step toward your larger goal.

Whether that is immigrating, studying at a university or getting a job, others’ stories will inspire you.

You can see that it is possible, as it has been accomplished in the past!

Listen to these stories as a way to keep your goals at the forefront of your mind.

Stay motivated and engaged while you study!

For all the strategies you need to get your scores, sign up for 3 Keys IELTS!

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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