6 Cultural Shocks Most Foreigners Experience in Canada

Canadians are a friendly nation. They like to talk and are inclusive of different nationalities and ethnicities. If you are arriving here for your career, you will find it difficult to get a job at first.

Canadian employers are prohibited from offering jobs to ex-pats when relevant talent is available in the Canadian talent market. It doesn’t mean that you need to pass your Canadian citizenship test and become a citizen before you can secure a job in Canada. Yet, PR status makes job hunting easier.

Here are a few cultural shocks you might experience while job hunting or at the workplace in Canada.

Network is Net Worth

Canadian employers prefer to employ within the network. A position is first offered to the right talent within the organization or is announced to all executives who share it with their social circle. If after these announcements a vacancy remains unfilled, this job is advertised in local newspapers.

If your only source of information about job vacancies is the newspaper, you are missing out on 90% of opportunities. You can speed up your job-hunting process, by networking with people in your career and industry.

People are Cooperative

Luckily, building a network isn’t too difficult in Canada. Canadians are cooperative and friendly. They are not only willing to share information and resources but can also tap into their network to find out people that can help you.

Speaking Up

If you are from a culture that values respect for authorities, you will take lots of time to adjust to the Canadian communication style. Here, you need to contribute a lot at school and in the office to remain in the good books of your supervisors.

Sometimes, speaking up only means reiterating the idea shared by your peer or boss. At other times, you need to be vocal about your viewpoint on the matter.

Addressing Elders

Another cultural shock for most immigrants from Asia is how Canadians address their elders. You will see them calling their aunts and uncles by name. The same rule applies to addressing teachers and other elders.

Hockey and Sports

Hockey, particularly ice hockey, is loved by Canadians. And because their small talk must include sports and weather, you will be talking a lot about hockey. You should start taking interest in ice hockey as a preparation step for Canadian immigration to make your transition smoother.

Accent Doesn’t Matter

You need to ensure that your language is grammatically correct and legible. Other than that, you don’t need to focus much on the accent. Canadians are inclusive people with citizens coming from different countries in the world. Consequently, they are accustomed to all types of accents and consider these accents a sign of being multilingual.

Take Away

Immigration to Canada is a life-changing decision. You will experience more profound growth opportunities for your career. The life standard will certainly improve, especially if you are emigrating from a developing or under-developed country.

At the same time, you will also experience many adjustment issues. You will leave your friends and family behind. On top of that, you will have to adjust to new social rules that might cause cultural shock. Luckily, most of this transition will be positive for you making you feel at home.


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