Canadian Culture

Canadians think of themselves as open-minded and are proud of their multicultural and diverse population. As any nation anywhere, there are certain expectations of behavior.

Here are a few tips:

  • Be on time for both professional and social occasions
  • Personal interaction is often informal, but respectful in conversation and behavior
  • Equality between genders is a commonly held understanding
  • "Thank you" is said a lot!
  • Jokes or comments that are insulting to people’s race, religion, gender, disability, or appearance are not acceptable
  • Personal questions about such things as age, salary, marital status, relationships, and the cost of personal items are not generally acceptable unless you know the person well.

Studying abroad is a huge learning experience - not only in the subject area you are studying, but also in your daily activities inside and outside the classroom. Student learn how people of another culture view the world and the different ways in which their perception and beliefs influence their behaviour. Students may even find that they start to observe their own culture and behavior from a different angle. This is a special opportunity to broaden student's perspective and reflect on their values.  While the experience is new and exciting, it may also present personal challenges: challenges which may seem difficult at the time, yet will lead to enormous personal growth.

A positive attitude goes a long way to crossing language barriers.  Because English is such a global language, many English speakers do not understand the challenging experience of being fully immersed in a foreign language. Students may find that the pressure of marks can create tension within your team, and differing language abilities may be judged by some students who are worried about their own success.  First of all, it is important to remember that, regardless of a student's English abilities, they have unique gifts to offer their team.