10 Ways to Help with Cultural Adjustment
Adjusting to life away from home can be difficult, but living and studying in a different country is something else altogether. Here are some ways to help with the cultural adjustment:
1. Keep in regular contact with family and friends from home. Write emails, make phone calls.
2. Make friends with people from your home country. Join the international student organisation on campus or attend its activities.
3. Participate in sports or other activities that interest you or in which you participated at home.
4. Find restaurants that serve food you are accustomed to, or buy ingredients from the local food store so you can make the dishes you have at home.
5. Get to know Canadians and try to understand and appreciate their culture while sharing your own. Be observant and ask questions.
6. Expect to encounter some difficulties -- it is natural. Since you are dealing with a different academic system and many new situations, it's very possible that your marks will not be as high as they were at home.
7. If you do not like your new surroundings and find a lot to criticise, try to think of one thing each day which you enjoy about your home away from home.
8. Take some time to be alone and read or relax. Try to think positive!
9. Learn from others: friends who have already experienced cultural adjustment and culture shock, your international student advisor or a school counsellor. A heart-to-heart discussion can really help when you're feeling down.
10. Keep your self-respect and concentrate on the long-term advantages of studying in Canada. Keep your sense of humour. Culture shock will pass.
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