It is undoubtedly the most difficult time of your life. You have left your old life and you are starting to integrate into a new culture and new surroundings. There are many unknowns and surprises along the way. Some you are prepared for such as weather, Language barrier and Job Market. Some just come out of blue.
Here we have compiled a list of a few Cultural shocks that newcomers have experienced. Some have even surprised us.
When I came to Canada the first shock I had was that so many rules are followed, for example when driving. In Ecuador we don’t follow as many rules! At first I thought that was a bit boring, but now I feel like it is the right thing to do. Jose from Ecuador.
It took me a while getting used to driving on the wrong side of the road Tina from UK
Bummer …. .you can’t smoke whenever and wherever you want! There are rules! Also you can’t just through trash anywhere. It was hard for me to get used to this life studying in university alone without family. Sometimes I had to pull all-nighter and you can’t just go out in snow to smoke every single time. It was really hard Sue from beijeng
- Sales Tax
The tax thing gets me every time and is so annoying to have to add it on in your head to figure out the actual price! Azar from Iran
- Processed Food Vs Fresh Food
The difference in the kind of food I could get was actually a big shock because it was hard to find less processed and more natural food; most of it had been already processed and packaged. In Ecuador fresh food is much more accessible! No fresh Milk, No fresh Eggs. Even the vegetables and fruits are not fresh. They look fresh but they are picked before they ripe and then packed and shipped. They ripe after they get in your home. Sand H from Ecuador
I miss the real taste of food. Apple, banana and even meat. I hate absolutely hate the milk taste. It is annoying how everything is divided in 1%, 2%, and 3% bucket. How much they take out of the healthy stuff …….. ? Saadia from India
Milk in bags and pasteurized. Coming from a culture where you have an easy access to Cows and their milk. It was a shock to not be able to get access to fresh milk, honey and eggs. Chandni from Bangladesh
- Rudeness in Youth
After living in India for the first twelve years of my life and being surrounded by complete obedience towards teachers and the elderly, it was a massive shock when I heard a twelve year old shout “F**K YOU!” to our teacher in a British school. I got an even bigger shock when I learnt that the most the teacher can do about it is warn the kid, give him detention, and send a letter to his parents. If this happened in any school back in India, the kid would be beaten on the spot. First by the teacher and then bullied by the other kids in the play ground. I wouldn’t be surprised if he needed a trip to the hospital. Ms Shri
- Social Interaction
Coming from a culture when friends just dropped in, in Canada that just does NOT happen even amongst very close friends. Understanding this one just adapted, not a biggie, but it took away some of the impulsiveness of close friends where now everyone plans for meeting up sometimes weeks ahead which kind of helps as it prepares for the event but still…. love the old days!
- Canadian Politeness/Tolerance
Canadians are so friendly and polite, so it’s not hard to make friends. They are bad ass for saying sorry even if mistake isn’t theirs and they go to distance to make you feel welcome. Suzie Moore from Macclesfield in the UK
I was more pleasantly surprised than shocked by the general openness and kindness of the people, the blend of culture and rich history that make the infamous Canadian cold all worth it, although my blue fingers probably would not agree. With kind people around me it was less of a cultural shock and more of a bumpy transition. Daisy Komujuni from Uganda
- Line Ups
There is line for everything and nobody gets out of line. Amazing. Line up for slides, jumping castle, Coffee and getting on the elevator. Different situation on subway though. Back home, nobody has patience for that. It took me good two months to get used to and I am sure I was target of many people scrutinizing me for not following the rules. Mr. S from Srilanka
- Water drinking
People’s obsession with bottle water. What’s with it. Tap water is just fine! I can’t understand that even though the kids in school drink tap, Canadians still buy loads of plastics. Jaria from Pakistan
I am going to take this opportunity to ask an extremely important question. Why do you still have your Christmas decorations up?! It is March. It is not December 25. Are you confused? Probably not. Are you trying to keep up the community spirit during the long, dark, snowy winter? Probably not. Are you lazy? Absolutely. Kish from Australia
So what was your Biggest Shock When You Moved To Canada ?