Preparing to live in Canada

Cultural differences

Culture shock is defined as stress or anxiety that can affect individuals who live in a culture different from their own. Some people do not experience any symptoms of culture shock while others suffer multiple symptoms related to this condition. Symptoms of culture shock include feelings of loneliness, isolation, constant fatigue, the desire to quit, frustration and anger. If you experience any of these symptoms or any other abnormal feelings, talk to someone about them. Remember that your reactions are normal, as long as they don't last for a long period of time.

Tips on managing culture shock: 

  • Remember that your reactions are normal 
  • Stay in touch with family and friends 
  • Participate in social and sports activities 
  • Try new hobbies 
  • Be patient! It can take time to overcome culture shock 
  • Try meditation or relaxation techniques 
  • Get involved in your new culture ; participating in cultural activities will help you learn a new language faster 
  • Set simple goals for yourself and evaluate your progress 
  • Don't be too hard on yourself

Some cultural differences

The Constitution of Canada includes the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
http://lois.justice.gc.ca/fr/charte/const_en.html). All international students are protected by this Charter and by Canadian laws. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: 

  • Freedom of conscience and religion;
  • Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
  • Freedom of peaceful assembly; and 
  • Freedom of association

Weather

Your stay in New Brunswick will probably allow you to discover Canada's four seasons: winter, spring, summer and fall. In summer, temperatures are very comfortable, varying from 12ºC to 30ºC. However, winters can be very cold and severe, with temperatures ranging anywhere from 1ºC to -25ºC and even colder with the wind chill.

In spring and autumn, windbreakers and raincoats are usually adequate but during the winter, students must absolutely have a thick winter coat or jacket, comfortable winter boots, a hat or tuque and warm mittens or gloves. These items will allow you to survive the cold temperatures, winds and snow of a Canadian winter. We suggest that you buy what you need in Canada, where you'll easily find products and supplies well suited to the climate. When you arrive, you'll be able to buy all these items in Canadian shopping centres or in department stores.