EDUCATION | student voice

Advice on How To Adjust to Canada as a Newcomer

BY

As a former immigrant, I understand how stressful and daunting moving to a new country can be. For instance, you may feel unable to talk with others and find it difficult to fit in. Such barriers are common and can be overcome with some time and effort. So if you are currently finding it difficult to adjust to Canada, check out my recommendations below.

Think Positive

My first day in a Candian school was devastating. Truth to be told, I thought I would never be able to make any friends or even be able to speak with anyone. But I didn’t realize at the time that I was limiting myself by thinking this way. This thinking process is often known as catastrophic thinking and it is more common than you think. Essentially when you imagine the worst-case scenario such as “I’ll never be able to speak fluent English” or “I’ll never be able to fit in” you are catastrophizing. And for me, I found myself adjusting much better when I stopped thinking so negatively and began being more positive. Thus, instead of wasting time wallowing in my unrealistic thoughts I forced myself to talk with other students. Although it took some time, my optimism toward a new beginning in Canada paid off.

Ask For Help

Moving away from what you have been used to your entire life and starting anew takes a lot of courage. And it is definitely not a task you should handle all on your own. Furthermore, Canada offers lots of services that help newcomers adjust. You can search for services such as free counselling, English speaking services, etc. on the government of Canada’s website. For instance, I found counselling super helpful in my adjustment period. Moreover, I find that most people in Canada are very approachable and are willing to help you out. An awesome example would be my neighbours and teachers in PEI, these kind individuals welcomed me into Canada with open arms and provided me with the support I needed to adjust. Therefore, please seek outside help whenever you need it, it can help you a lot just like it did for me.

Remember It’s Going to Take Some Time

Starting from scratch in a new environment is a journey that is going to take some time. So it’s important to remind yourself that your difficulties are not going to last forever. With a bit of effort and time, you will eventually get accustomed to the diverse cultures of Canada and find yourself speaking fluent English. Typically, it takes six to 12 months to get accustomed to your new home. But keep in mind, this time period varies from person to person, so don’t be harsh on yourself if it is taking longer for you to adapt.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Getting out of your comfort zone is crucial If you want to meet new people and learn about new cultures. For instance, for many immigrants talking in English is quite stressful. To conquer this anxiety you could start by making new small talks with the locals. This way you are not leaping out of your comfort zone, instead, you are just taking a small step out of it. By doing so you begin to gain more confidence and slowly lose the anxiety that accompanies your social life. But keep in mind, you shouldn’t stop there. Once you are used to small talk, go one step further and talk with someone at work or at your school and so on.

Moving out of your home country can bring about lots of difficulties. You may feel as though it was better if you were back home or that maybe you made the wrong choice, I know I did. Yet it’s important to understand things are going to change. For instance, your language skills will improve in no time. And with the right circle of support and mindset, you will be able to adjust to Canada in no time. Thus, don’t overthink things and try to be optimistic about the future.

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