10 Biggest Culture Shocks for Students in Canada

6 minute read
10 Biggest Culture Shocks for Students in Canada

Pursuing overseas education has now become prominent among the youth with 6,50,000+ international students pursuing bachelors, masters, diploma/ certificate courses in Canada. You will meet people from a variety of origins and cultures for the first time in life. Adapting to cultural differences may require time and effort, even though most Canadians are friendly and welcoming to newcomers and international students. During their first few months in Canada, many overseas students experience some untold culture shocks in Canada. In this blog, we will discuss the 10 biggest cultural shocks in Canada that you may experience while studying there.

culture shocks in canada
Source: Pinterest

#1 Bye Bye Discrimination!

Canada is a proud country to reveal that doesn’t promote or favour any sort of discrimination. Every person in Canada is treated equally. Discrimination on the basis of culture, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, language, or profession is not allowed in Canada. The act of discrimination is against the law of the country and culturally a big NO too. Unlike Asian countries, where male students attend school relatively more than female students, there’re no such cases in Canada! Don’t get surprised if you see more female students in a particular class than male students. You could also come across people of a different sexual orientation. Canadians make sure that everyone is treated with the same respect and with equality which has made it to our list of 10 biggest culture shocks in Canada.

Here’s an amazing blog on the Safest Countries for Women to Study Abroad

#2 LGBTQ Friendly

Homosexuality and LGBTQ+ rights are well-accepted in Canada. With its diversified culture, Canada has always been a welcoming place for international students and tourists. It is also one of the best LGBTQ+ friendly study abroad destinations, where students can enjoy a gender-inclusive learning atmosphere. Not to forget that Canada established an anti-discrimination law for the LGTBQ+ community back in the 1990s when half of the world was still debating on legalizing same-gender marriage. Be prepared for a culture shock in Canada if you see people accepting students belonging to the LGBTQ+ community. 

Courtesy: Travelling Desi

Check out some amazing and Top LGBTQ-Friendly Universities in the World

Did you know: Canada has two official languages- French and English!

#3 Ethnically Rich Country 

Another culture shock in Canada that you may witness is that Canada is an ethnically rich country that welcomes students and tourists from around the world. In most regions of Canada, you won’t feel like you’re the only person with different ethnicity. By any measure, it’s a wonderfully ethnically varied country, and you’ll encounter more ‘minorities’ or different ethnic groups than you may have ever thought of. Make friends with folks of other nationalities and ethnicities as well while living your student life in Canada. It will also provide an opportunity to try as many various cuisines as possible, but that’s just the icing on the cake.

Canada - Ethnic groups in 2016 | Statista
Courtesy: Statista

#4 Canadians are Very Friendly

Another key mention in the list of biggest culture shocks in Canada is that Canadians are generally very friendly and polite. According to Inter Nations, Canada is among the list of top 10 most welcoming countries in the world, securing a position of #10 in the list. The list was topped by countries like Portugal, Taiwan, Mexico, and more. People in many countries are not familiar with sharing smiles with strangers, so this may come as a culture shock here. Even if you don’t know them and feel like an alien, they’ll smile at you and will most likely keep their doors open to help you at all times. 

Canada Day: How Canada's national birthday as we know it came to be | CTV  News
Courtesy: CTV News

Did you know: Canada’s national animal is a Beaver!

#5 The Climate Shock 

Canada has the hottest summers and the coldest winters, with temperatures ranging from 7 – 20°C in the spring and fall. Summer temperatures can vary from 20 to 30°C, while winter temperatures can range from -30 to 5°C. For many foreign students who are coming from tropical and Asian nations like India, this cultural shock hits differently among all the culture shocks in Canada! In short, students may need to acclimatise to the climate of the city or state where they will be studying in the country.

Did you know: Canada’s lowest recorded temperature is as cold as Mars!

#6 Canadians Enjoy Talking

Here is another culture shock adding to our list of the 10 biggest culture shocks in Canada. Surprisingly, Canadians are fond of conversing and talking, unlike people in other European countries! You’ll meet many friendly and welcoming people who will smile at you and are always ready to hang out or talk to international students. It’s always suggested that when you’re meeting someone new, small talk is a great way to break the ice in an alien country. It’s also a fantastic approach to start building long-lasting relationships. Weather, sports, hobbies, current events, and other impersonal themes are all common small chat topics. So, next time, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation – it’s a part of Canadian culture.

Want to ace your next interview? Then read about, the List of Hobbies and Interests for Resume

#7 Money is Not An Important Component!

There are several reasons for Canadians not treating money as an important component. One of them is that Asian minorities may equate money with safety and may consider money as a vital component, but the majority of Canadians do not share the same viewpoint. This is perhaps one of the biggest cultural shocks in Canada that international students may experience. Canadians don’t equate money with health or status and will not consider one’s wealth while making friends and relationships. 

Struggling to manage your finances in a foreign country? Check out our blog on Best Apps to Manage Your Finances in a Foreign Country

Did you know: Canada has one of the highest immigration rates in the world.

#8 Canadian Way of Teaching and Learning

While many education systems from around the world value individual contributions in class, group work or teamwork is an essential element of Canadian education. You’ll need to interact with a varied group of students and take responsibility for your work without coming across as pushy during group work. Individual assignments and examinations, on the other hand, are your responsibility. Canadians believe in diversity, so get ready to work in different learning teams.

Courtesy: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

#9 Live a Balanced Life!

In India, we mostly devote our time to academics or one or two hobbies in which we like or wish to pursue a career. People in Canada, on the other hand, tend to live a balanced life, with allocated time to a variety of activities such as studies, sports, meditation, exercise, and social life. This might come as a culture shock in Canada if you see people paying equal attention to sports and meditation along with their studies.

Searching for how to increase concentration? Here’s a blog on it!

#10 Respect Others’ Personal Space

Another significant culture shock in Canada is their socially acceptable conduct and respect for others’ privacy. Canadians will never promote or use phrases or body language that might cause harm to others. In other ethnic cultures, asking questions like ‘why you aren’t married yet’ or ‘what is your salary or family income’ is considered breaking the ice, but in Canada, such questions are interpreted as being overly probing and personal!

Courtesy: Ben Serunyigo

Did you know: Average Salary for a full-time worker in Canada is $54,630 per year or $1050.59 per week!

Tips on Managing Culture Shock in Canada

  • Learn the social norms of the country before flying
  • Study common rules and etiquettes in the country
  • Connect with students and professors from the university
  • Join student programs and workshops
  • Read the prospectus of the university
  • Explore the city and discover local traditions
  • Be respectful and patient when dealing with locals
  • Be open to making new friends and

Study in Canada for January 2022!

These were the 10 biggest culture shocks in Canada that you’ll experience while studying there. Do you know some other interesting facts or culture shocks about Canadians? Then do tell us in the comment section down below! Reach out to our Leverage Edu experts to find a suitable course that matches your interests in a best-fit university for you.

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