I had a really interesting conversation with some of my friends the other week about culture shock for international students. I was explaining to some of my English friends that while I don’t find Canada and England all that different, I sometimes forget that it’s sometimes the smallest of things that can make me miss home. We were reminiscing about some of our favorite treats as a kid and how long it had been since we had last had them (it had been almost a year before I was able to have them before visiting my family over Easter). My friends had never even heard of my favorite chocolate bar, let alone had tried them before. This got us talking about the little differences between England and Canada, the names of our coffee shops, chocolate bars, favorite soft drinks or restaurant chains.
As we were talking I realized that I was getting home sick just thinking of the little things in life that I loved being able to enjoy while I was home. That got me thinking of how while I found adjusting to my life in England well, how nice it was to be able to talk with my friends and family back home and even with the time difference keep in touch with everyone. I would encourage anyone (international student or not) to make time to keep in touch with friends and family that end up a little farther away once you go to university, having someone familiar to talk to makes all the difference when you’re feeling a little home sick!
Culture shock can be a big worry for a lot of international students, I would highly recommend keeping in touch with other people you may meet at international welcome week or any other international social events.
Having friends around that are going through the same things can help you if you’re finding adjusting tough. The university also has a lot of support available if you ever need to talk to someone. They are currently ranked 2nd in the UK for International Student Support!
Now to look on Amazon for some Canadian treats!