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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Preparing to adjust to a new culture

Brave international English learners,

Congratulations; you are so close to starting your new journey! Right now you must feel excited and nervous. You are not alone! Many things will be different: language and classrooms, of course—but also food, transportation, weather, scenery and the way people greet and engage with each other. This period of adjustment is often called 'culture shock'. There are things you can do before you arrive to make your adjustment easier.

  • Before you arrive
    • Learn about your destination and its people.
    • Read a local news website on a regular basis:
    • Identify/write three to five things:
      • You are most looking forward to about studying in Canada.
      • That currently worry you most about coming to Canada.
      • You believe you will miss most from home when you are in Canada.
      • (People, places, activities, etc.) you believe you will miss least from home.
    • Think about what your greatest challenge will be, and what type of support will help you overcome your challenge.
  • Once you arrive in Canada
    • Observe what people do when they meet or greet other people.
    • Pay attention to what you see, hear and smell in your new environment.
    • Attend as many cultural events as you have time for.
    • Interact with the locals as often as possible.
    • Ask questions about things you find confusing, interesting or challenging.
    • Speak to other students and teachers about how you feel.
    • Access SAFE, a student support program, at any time by:
      • Calling 1.844.451.9700.
      • Chatting online on the SAFE website.
      • Downloading the My SSP App from either the Apple App Store or Google Play.
  • As time passes
    • Be willing to move outside your comfort zone and take risks!
    • Observe what is happening around you when you have a strong negative emotional reaction to a person or event, and try to identify why you reacted the way you did.
    • Recognize that things are often unclear or ambiguous when you learn about another culture.
    • Be patient with yourself as you develop your new skills.
    • Be patient with others, too. Give people the benefit of the doubt when something confuses or frustrates you.

    “Adjustment is accompanied by feelings of satisfaction and success at being able to handle things better than they could previously. For many students, it brings a sense of independence and emotional confidence that may have been absent just a few weeks before" (Duke, 2014, p. 112). 

  • From What's up with culture?, part of the University of the Pacific's On-line Cultural Training Resource for Study Abroad, and Duke, S.T. (2014). Preparing to Study Abroad. Learning to Cross Cultures. Sterling, Virginia: Stylus. (Quoting directly from p. 110-112).