What to Expect When Immigrating to Canada
You are likely wondering what the most common challenges you will be facing as a newcomer to Canada, including:
- What is the general culture like in Canada?
- What is the Canadian workplace like?
- How do you research the labour market in Canada?
- What are the protocols for getting a job in Canada, like job applications and interviewing?
This page is designed to help you gain some key insights into these important questions. Whether you are just considering moving to Canada, or are already studying in Canada, you will find ImmiCan here to guide you professionally through the process.
Canada has a good reputation for being a multicultural country that is accepting of various customs, religions and political beliefs. Whereas the United States is often considered a “melting pot” where all cultural differences eventually “melt” or disappear into the American identity, Canada is considered a “tapestry” or a harmonious patchwork of cultural groups that can maintain their identity.
As an immigrant in Canada you are not alone. Canada is a country made up of immigrants and each of Canada’s major cities are made up of a high proportion of first generation immigrants. Statistics Canada reveals that nearly 50% of the population of Toronto are first generation immigrants and nearly 40% of Vancouver are new immigrants.
Despite such high numbers of new immigrants, Canada does maintain some fairly distinct cultural characteristics. Here are some helpful hints and we invite you to read more details about Canadian cultural expectations.
Helpful Hints About Canadian Culture
- Do your homework about Canada to learn about local laws and local news. It’s a good idea to stay informed of local news and issues so you can involve yourself more in conversations.
- Observe the interactions between others around you, for example, how people introduce themselves, what topics they talk about, how far people stand apart while talking, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Speak the language of the region (English or French) when in public or at work. Speaking your native language is not wrong, but it can isolate you from others who don’t know what you are saying and they could even assume that you are talking about them!
- Learn when to shake hands and how to shake hands firmly
- Be a good listener. Good conversations go back and forth. Try not to speak too much without asking the other for their thoughts
- Steer clear of debates about religious, political or controversial issues with people you don’t know well
- Read more about the Canadian Workplace and Getting a Job in Canada.