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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Moncton, Canada

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What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Moncton

Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?

No

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If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

Yes, both English and French

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

No

How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

Massive, no course or additional information can prepare you for what is in store.

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

Yes, we went through all of them. And the weather is a massive shock as well. 2.5 meters of snow and -40 degree temperatures.

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

Depressions, anxiety, frustration.

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

Nothing at all

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

The education system is a joke. Food is very expensive and very low quality Insurance and cell cost very high

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!

Yes, quite a few due to the English and French local language versions. They are nuts about their lawns being without weeds!!!!

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

Think very, very hard and deep for why you are wanting to move to Canada. While Canada has the space the UK does not have, there are more disadvantages in living in Canada than in UK/Europe. If you want low quality, high prices, bad education system, narrow mind people and very bad environmental programs/awareness, then move to Canada. Have moved to Europe (France) and life and well being is so much better!!!! This is just one family of 4 persons experience of living and working in Canada, New Brunswick for two years. Yours may be different, but do not expect it to be a bed of roses. Good luck to what ever you do.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Dec 12, 2011 14:43

Unfortunately you went to the part of Canada that is least diverse. If you had went to Vancouver, Montreal or even Toronto you would have had a very very different experience. Moncton does not represent all of Canada in the same same way Lyon or Marseille don't represent all of France. Please don't generalize. Canada is wonderful in the right location.

guest
Dec 13, 2011 10:16

Moncton is a small town in Canada. This person should have lived in other cities like Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver. It is not expensive to rent or buy an apt in Canada, certainly cheaper than Paris, France. If you do not like cold weathers, you should have moved to Vancouver or Victoria on the west coast where in winter the barometer hovers around 0 to 10 celsius above. As to schools and universities, Canada places in the top ten based on international exams.

spanishbarrie
Dec 13, 2011 19:27

I'm sad for you. You sound truly unhappy. I wonder what stage of culture shock you are in. I'm surprised to read that you've already lived in Moncton for two years. Have you travelled outside of the province? Canada is a vast country and your experience in Moncton -- a relatively 'small' city -- is obviously much different than if you had moved to, say, Halifax or Toronto or Timmins. If you're from the UK -- which I am assuming from your entry -- and I'm also assuming you did not have a choice in where you settled in Canada (i.e. you probably got a job offer at a national Bank or call centre - that's what Moncton is known for) -- indeed the French/English (truly bilingual) province of New Brunswick would be a disappointment (for weather, culture etc.). However, Canadians - and especially in Moncton -- are extremely welcoming and as an adult it is easier to infiltrate into established social groups than in such European countries as The Netherlands, Germany or France: unless you move to a large city. I hope you can see past the phase of "depression" or "culture shock" that you are in and begin to marvel at the beauty of what Canada is (nature and lots of space and pretty much still not governed to death with silly rules). I would also encourage you to explore other parts of Canada because judging the country by Moncton alone is unwise and unrealistic.

guest
Jan 8, 2012 19:36

Sounds like you might be the narrow minded one.

guest
Jun 3, 2013 07:56

I have lived for 18 years in Vancouver Canada and 29 years in the States mostly pacific northwest. I don't agree with the writer. I took some post grad courses in Canada and in the US and did not find much difference. Canadians are way more openminded about most things. i.e. prostitution is legal, no one care if you smoke weed. There is a lot of resentment against Hong Kong Chinese and India Indians as they actively discriminate against native born Canadians and they do no assimilate well into the culture. Most Chinese do not speak the language. I have been asked to leave a Chinese meat store in Richmond as I did not speak Chinese. That really pissed me off. I much prefer the small towns, much more friendly people. Vancouver is a typically super congested large city too many cars, too few roads and maniac drivers. The rapid trasnit system really works and you can do without a car in Vancouver and avoid the stress and I mean STESS trying to drive in Vancouver. Drug users congerate in Vanouver as it is the mildest climate in Canada and they do have a needle exchange in Vancouver. Plus it seems that everyone in Canada wants to retire to Vancovuer or Victoria when they retire. Don't have to shovel snow or plug your car in at night. Witness the monster hi rises selling for 500K to 1.5 K for an apartment downtown. I think that the real estate is way overproced but it seems to be always that way. Everyone wants to move there and the supply does not eqaul the demand so high prices. Food is about 15% more cars 29 % more gas 1.50 more per gallon. Go to Craiglist and compare rentals for apartment between say Seattle and Vancouver. But drive a couple hours in you are in beautiful unspoiled country with some of the best hiking, fishing, skiing, camping and hunting. Tough to beat that. I have meet all kinds some good some bad. I broke down in Canal flats with a hole in my radiator during hunting season. The mechanic had to go fix an earth mover and once he found out I knew how to fix it, he GAVE me his wife's care to take the rad that I took out up the road 30 miles to get it fixed and drive back. Didn't ask for credit card nothing. I filled his tank and gave him a tip. Most canadians are very generous. As a country they volunteer more that I think any other country. Their social programs are much superior to the us. I was not excited when they brought in state run car insurance. That was a screw up and ended up making car insurance way higher. I hear they have introduced a combination of state insurance and private insurance. That brought the price down. But you don't have to worry about so many un insured drivers running around like you do in the states. IN general the wages are much higher for construction and there is a way better standared of safety compared to the US. Unions still pay an important part in the industry and you will see a much more supporive relationship between the unions and the companies. OK, you don't buy the expensive car, you have to stick to a house that you can afford not want you want. but that is just an adjustment. Canadians are much more concerned about environmnet and somewhat distrustful of their jingoist American neighbours.

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