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Adjusting to Life as a Student in Canada
Change in Culture
It is most likely that Canada will have different beliefs and customs than that of your home country. The culture of your new country may be quite different then that from which you came. Adjusting is a gradual process, so don’t expect it to be immediate. As a student, there are many who have traveled this road before you, and the adjustment process may require education; this means learning about your new surroundings as well as embracing your university studies.
From its beginnings, diversity has been a large part of the culture of Canada. With two official languages, English and French, our country attracts people from throughout the globe. This results in a mix of traditions, cultures and backgrounds. Canada strives to keep protection for multiculturalism. The experience of diversity means that the values of others are recognized, and all are treated fairly. New permanent residents and visitors are welcomed warmly, resulting in a country that is a land of opportunity.
Transitioning to Canada
You may go through several stages when reaching our country. These may include the following:
- The honeymoon – excitement at being in a new land
- Discomfort – communication difficulties or missing home
- Acceptance -realizing and appreciating that you have a great opportunity
- Adaptation – feeling at home and enjoying your new environment
The climate may be a shock; if you come from a warm climate, the cold winters of December through March in Canada may be quite a shock. However, Canadians bundle up with layers of clothing and go outside to ski, toboggan, snowboard, snowshoe, skate and more. You can feel more Canadian by cheering on your favorite ice hockey team or trying the sport yourself, after learning to skate.
Get ready to enjoy the snow; you may have your first snowball fight.
On the other hand, summers are warm and can be humid in some locations. If you learn to do standup paddle boarding or kayaking, you can get out in nature. Swimming is also enjoyed on one of the many lakes.
Your college or university will most likely have resources for students transitioning to Canada. This may include classes, job information, clubs and more. Be sure to check out what is available online or on bulletin boards.
The right attitude and a sense of humor will go far in helping you to adjust in your new studies in Canada. Embrace the challenges and enjoy the ups and downs, and you will soon feel at home in our land.