Starting your new life in Canada can be quite exciting! With a country that is full of gorgeous scenery, thrilling activities, and inclusive culture, there are numerous things to do and see. However, actually living in the country is often quite a different experience from visiting it, so the adaptation process can go differently than expected.
Don’t fret—the confusing mix of feelings you’re experiencing is entirely normal. You’ve moved your life to a new country, so it will take a while to fully adapt. You’ll be learning plenty of new things and adjusting to new customs, which might allow you to discover the talents and qualities you never knew you had.
Here are the phases of adapting to your new life in Canada and what you need to know about them:
The First Phase: Excitement
When you first step foot in Canada, you probably have vivid visions of your new life. With the great things you’ve heard about the country, you can’t wait to finally set your plans and dreams into motion so that you can begin living the life you want.
In this first phase, you’ll generally feel very excited. Everything you encounter will be new and exciting, and you’ll feel confident that you can tackle whatever is headed your way. You’ll also notice resemblances or similarities between Canada and your home country, which will help you quickly adjust.
The Second Phase: Discouragement
After a certain amount of time, you may have run into difficulties that begin to complicate the adjustment process. These usually happen because things are generally different from your home country, and you may have challenges communicating well. Essential tasks like opening a bank account, looking for an apartment, or making a dental appointment are challenging. You may even begin to miss your family and friends back in your home country.
At this time, you may be experiencing a complex mix of emotions. You might feel happy about your good experiences and the challenges you overcame. Still, you may also feel discouraged and frustrated about the challenges you’ve faced. You might feel upbeat and confident one day and gloomy the next. You might feel no connection to Canada or have difficulty finding work. Remember that these are all common to feel, especially in your first six months.
The Third Phase: Getting Used to It
In this third phase, you’re truly beginning to adjust to life in Canada. You now understand how programmes and services work in the country, which will help you process your applications and requests faster. You’ll start to feel like you have more control over your life now and feel more confident in your communication skills. You have a better grasp of the nuances between your home culture and Canadian culture, and you have a deeper understanding of what you need to do to accomplish what you want.
At this point, things will start looking up. The shock of moving to a new place has begun to wane as you get used to your surroundings with each passing day. You might even find that your sense of humour is back—providing you with the energy and positivity you need to pull through, even in the trickiest situations.
The Fourth Phase: Adjusting and Assimilating
In this last phase, you’ll feel much more relaxed and begin to think that Canada is truly your new home. You’ll feel more comfortable, have made some new friends, and gotten involved in the community. Any regrets experienced in the second stage disappears, and you’ll appreciate the leap you took into restarting your life in a new country.
This phase is considered the happiest. You’ll feel content and secure, and you might decide to return to school or look for a better job. These phases often span during the first few years of settlement, so it’s important to remember to be patient and compassionate with yourself as you adjust and assimilate to Canada.
Adapting to sudden changes is not always an easy task. They’re often not linear, where you fully progress and then move to the next phase. In fact, you might advance in some areas and continue to encounter challenges in others. In any case, fully adapting to Canadian life is a process that offers opportunities to learn about yourself. At the same time, you work to build your new life in your new home.
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