Biggest Culture Shock in Canada: Stages, Tips

Farina Khan

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Culture Shock in Canada

Are you planning to escalate your career to further heights in Canada but bit concerned about the culture shock in Canada? No worries, You are not the only one! Moving to a new country with different cultures, languages, and people and adjusting is not at all easy.

In this blog, we will be talking about the culture shock in Canada in detail and the ways and tips to manage it while studying in Canada.

What is Culture Shock in Canada

What is Culture Shock in Canada

Culture shock is the feeling of disconnectedness or disorientation that emerges with moving to a new country. This uncertainty is actually a result of uncertainty after encountering various customs, languages, food, weather, and social norms than what you’re used to. Canada is a country renowned for cultural diversity, you may experience a wide range of emotions as you adapt to your new surroundings.

Recommended Read: Read out our blog about the Mind-blowing Examples of Culture Shock in Japan!

Stages of Culture Shock in Canada

Stages of Culture Shock in Canada

Most of the researchers identified 4 stages of culture shock. Keep reading further to know about the stages in detail.

Honeymoon Stage

Initially, everything might seem exciting. You will be eager to explore your new home, meet new people, and try new things. The honeymoon stage is the first stage of culture shock which may last for several weeks or even months. This stage is called the honeymoon stage of culture shock due to the excitement and fascination to explore new things. During this stage, you will find similarities between your culture and the new one and that’s how you will overcome this stage of culture shock in Canada.

Negotiation Stage

Reality sets in, and you start to notice the differences more. Next is the negotiation stage which is a phase of frustration and anxiety. You might feel frustrated or overwhelmed by the challenges of daily life, such as communication barriers or unfamiliar social customs. Generally, it takes three months to overcome this stage, but it may vary from person to person.  

Adjustment Stage

Gradually, you begin to adapt to your new environment. You develop coping strategies, make friends, and feel more comfortable in your new environment. This means that you have entered into the next stage of culture shock which is the adjustment stage. Usually at around 6 to 12 months. By the time you get comfortable with your routine and become more familiar with the local way of life, food, and customs.

Adaptation Stage

Finally, you fully embrace your new life in Canada. You appreciate the diversity and richness of the culture and feel a sense of belonging. Entering into the adaptation stage of culture shock means now you are feeling comfortable in Canada and adapted to your new way of life. This is the stage of culture shock where you will finally feel at home in the new country.

Re-entry Shock

This is the fifth stage of culture shock which is described by some of the researchers. People tend to enter this stage of culture shock when they visit their homes after a long period of extended period. At this time people generally re-enter the culture shock but this time it will take less time to adapt to the environment.

5 Biggest Culture Shock in Canada for Students

5 Biggest Culture Shock in Canada for Students

Culture shock is the rollercoaster of emotions you experience when you find yourself in a new and unfamiliar culture. It’s that feeling of disorientation when everything around you seems different – the food, the language, the customs, even the way people greet each other. Let’s check out the 5 biggest culture shocks in Canada for international students.

Climate Shock is a Real Cultural Shock

Firstly, let’s talk about the weather. Canada is known for its diverse climate, from the freezing winters of the north to the mild temperatures of the west coast. Be prepared for snow, lots of it, and invest in a good winter coat and boots. But don’t let the cold scare you away, because Canadians know how to take care of themselves in winter. Ice skating, skiing, and maple syrup festivals are a few things in which locals get themselves engaged during snow.

Friendliness and Politeness You Can’t Ignore

Canadians are famous for their friendliness and politeness, often saying ‘sorry’ even when it is not required. Don’t be surprised if strangers strike up a conversation with you or hold the door open for you – it’s just their way of being courteous. It is one of the most welcoming countries in the world where you will notice random people helping you and sharing smiles, making your day better. 

Maple Syrup – National Delicacy

Canadian cuisine is as diverse as its people, with influences from across the globe. From poutine in Quebec to butter tarts in Ontario, there’s something to serve every palate. And don’t forget to try the national delicacy – maple syrup. Try having food out before it gets dark because as the night falls, Canada becomes more quieter. 

Healthcare is Totally Free

Not all countries focus on the health of their citizens as Canada does. Indeed, this can come to you as a culture shock because healthcare is free for all people in Canada. There is no exception for students as well. There is an AHS plan in Canada under which the government of Canada provides free healthcare to its citizens. 

Talking is Their Ultimate Love

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, it doesn’t matter. If you are in Canada you will be getting help in both situations. Introverts will be approached by the locals with huge smiles on their faces while the extroverts will end up making friends very soon for sure.

Also Read: Want to know more about the Culture of the different countries then refer to A Comprehensive Guide to American Culture Etiquette: Ease Your Academic Life!

Tips on Managing Culture Shock in Canada

Whether you like it or not, culture shock is an internal part of moving to another country. With the right approach and support from locals, it will be easier for you to overcome the culture shock in Canada easily. Here are some tips on how to manage culture shock in Canada which can be very useful for you if you are planning to move.

  • Always stay open-minded and try to interact with locals.
  • Seek out students or locals who can offer support and friendship. 
  • Approach new experiences with curiosity and an open heart.
  • Try to learn about different cultures and perspectives.
  • Join clubs, attend cultural events, and be participative.
  • Check out the Canadian festivals and get immersed in local culture.
  • Try to learn some basic French phrases as well.
  • Interact with locals and learn manners and etiquette in Canada
  • Culture Shock in Canada is a normal thing, don’t worry.
  • Try to personalise your new home with homely feelings.
  • Feel free to live like a tourist to overcome culture shock in Canada.
  • Travel solo to solo travel destinations in Canada
  • Accept invitations to events and participate in cultural events.
  • Find something you love to do in your new home. 
  • Try to get engaged in things as much as you can.
  • Get out and explore weekend getaways from Toronto.
  • Take time to explore your new city or town. 
  • Visit local landmarks and try different cuisines.
  • Try exploring outdoor adventures in Canada.
  • Keep in touch with family and friends back home.
  • Take care of your physical and emotional well-being. 
  • Get enough rest, eat healthily, and exercise regularly.
  • Don’t hesitate to reach out for support if you’re struggling.
  • Go for counselling services and cultural adaptation programs.

Also Read: Want to more about Europe then refer to Spanish Adventures: Travelling to Spain from UK!

FAQs on Culture Shock in Canada

What is culture shock in Canada, and why do international students experience it?

Culture shock is the feeling of disorientation and discomfort experienced when moving to a new country with different customs, languages, and social norms. International students often experience culture shock because they are adapting to a new environment and culture away from their home country.

What are some common symptoms of culture shock in Canada?

Symptoms of culture shock can vary from person to person but may include feelings of loneliness, frustration, homesickness, anxiety, or difficulty concentrating. Physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, or changes in appetite and sleep patterns can also occur.

How long does culture shock last?

Culture shock is a natural process that takes time to overcome. The duration may vary depending on person to person. It typically follows a pattern of stages. For some, culture shock may last a few weeks or months, while for others, it may take longer.

What can I do to cope with culture shock?

Coping with culture shock involves staying open-minded, seeking social support, learning about Canadian culture, staying connected with loved ones back home, and practicing self-care. You may also engage in activities that you enjoy, explore your surroundings, and seek help from university support services if needed.

How can I overcome language barriers in Canada?

To overcome language barriers, go for language classes, practice conversational English with native speakers, and try to learn from language-learning apps.

Remember, culture shock is a natural part of the adjustment process when living in a new country. With time, patience, and a positive attitude, you’ll soon find yourself feeling at home in Canada. So embrace the journey, embrace the diversity, and enjoy all that this beautiful country has to offer!

Hope you liked reading our blog on culture shock in Canada. For a stress-free stay during your study abroad adventure, choose Fly Homes. Call 1800572118 to reserve your ideal accommodation abroad with ease.

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About Farina Khan

Farina Khan is a journalist by profession and a writer by passion. She carries over a decade of experience in Journalism and Mass Communication and worked with some renowned media organisations like Doordarshan and Zee Media. She performed numerous roles during her work tenure including reporting, anchoring, and heading output as well. Her passion for writing, combined with dedication in delivering high-quality content, drives her to excel in the dynamic field of content writing. From thought-provoking articles to SEO-friendly blog posts, or engaging website content, She is here to bring the ideas to life through words.

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