How to Adapt to Canadian Culture as a Foreigner


Every culture is unique. While similarities exist between two cultures, the differences are always evident. That’s why an American would behave differently from a Canadian, even though they are neighbours.

As a foreigner immigrating to Canada, it can be tricky. You have to meet new people, learn new behaviours, and experience new traditions. It’s normal! It’s expected! 

However, the inability to move past the whole experience may become overwhelming for you, leading to depression. So, it is advised you quickly adapt to Canadian Culture. 

This article will show you a great way to overcome cultural shock and adapt to Canadian culture. Let’s begin!

1.  Understand Cultural Differences

It may be overwhelming when you settle in a new place with different cultures from what you know. As a new person, you would see all the disparities and wrongs in the new culture. It shouldn’t be that way. Why? 

There’s no right or wrong culture. Historical factors have shaped people’s present behaviours. Hence, you need to understand that there would be differences in culture. Just like Canada looks different from your home country, the behaviour and beliefs would be different. When you accept the differences, then you can have an open mind.

2.  Take Canada as your New Home

Once you move to Canada and settle here, you need to take everything as yours. To understand Canadian culture, you need to make conscious efforts to learn. You are here, and you are here. So, don’t expect everything to be the same in your home country. If you keep comparing Canada to your home country, you would only see wrongs. Hence, it would help if you change your mindset.

3.  Make Efforts to Integrate

The only way you can adapt is through integration. You should take proactive steps to learn about Canada. A great way to start is by making new friends, learning the local dialect and slang. Your new friends would be your guide. They will teach you the right behaviours and beliefs. In addition, try to learn the language. Speak fluent English, and if possible, learn French. 

While integrating, you can visit keep moving care for any kind of wheelchair. At least, buying a gift for your new friend isn’t bad anyway. 

Another great option is to attend classes, volunteer with organisations, attend festivals and concerts. You should try to mingle with Canadians rather than isolate yourself. A common mistake amongst immigrants is attaching too much to their home culture. They do this by forming a mini country with people from their homeland. 

While this is good, it has its downsides. All-in-all, efforts should be placed on blending with Canadians. This way, you would become more accepting of their unique culture.

4.  Learn the Work Culture and Adapt

It is essential for those working in Canada to grasp and accept the culture. While it may not be easy, it is crucial for your work success. For instance, many African and Asian countries work overtime. 

The sole reason is for employees to complete their daily tasks. However, in Canada, you don’t work unpaid overtime. Despite that, you are also expected to show up in time and avoid doing non-work activities during work hours. So, it will do you good if you get familiar with your organisation’s culture and values.

5.  Laugh it Out

Change is hard. Blending into a new culture is hard as well. You should know that you are not alone in this. Many foreigners also experience culture shock. Interestingly, Canadians realize you have these challenges, and they are willing to help.

You are bound to make cultural mistakes. You can say slang with the wrong intonation and behave wrongly in public. While people’s reactions may get to you, you should learn to take things easy on yourself. An easy way to go about this is laughing. When you make a mistake, smile or laugh, it will help you ease off.

6.  Be Humble

With a humble character, you’ll be loved. This doesn’t mean you become a kiss-ass foreigner. When Canadians sense humility, politeness, and meekness, they’ll treat you well. In addition, you’ll be able to ask questions, make friends, and understand things better. 

Some foreigners make a big deal out of their academic qualifications, experiences, or past achievements. They are your achievements. Own them. However, you need to understand that rubbing this in people’s faces would deprive you of good friends. Canadians would see you as pompous. You should also know that living in a new country without gaining new friends would lead to depression.

Final Thoughts 

Immigrating to a new country takes grit. You know your reasons for moving here, stick with them. However, if you are going to Canada for a long time, you need to adapt and integrate. If you don’t, enjoying your stay may be impossible.