Five Things that Baffle International Students

When I first packed my bags to travel to Canada, I could not have imagined the life I would find myself entrenched in here. Most baffling was the new culture of this new country I now live in.


1. Weather

I knew that Canada was very cold but I didn’t imagine it could be very hot too. When I came here, the temperature was in the high 20s but now, a mere four weeks later the temperature is in the single digits. The most surprising thing to me was the way in which the weather fluctuated. On Tuesday, it was so hot! Yet on Thursday it is so cold I feel like my hands are icicles. Stranger still, even when outside the window looks warm, it’s usually much much colder than expected!

Photo by Danicia Solozano


2. Money

Where I come from, coins are practically worthless. When we paid for an item, any change in coins was worth very little and thrown into a cash pan. However, with one dollar and two dollar coins, coins are very valuable. I was astonished to find after shopping for a week to get my school supplies I had accumulated almost $30 in coins.

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash


3. Sports

Coming from a country which has its own passionate fans for cricket, I understand the obsession of Canadians with football and hockey. However, those sports are not large where I am from and the rules of the game are confusing. This has resulted in hilarious misunderstandings during group viewings – but it has all been very fun! Everyone is so understanding and explains the rules to me!


4. Winter Clothes

Coming from a tropical country, I have never had to face the brunt of winter. As such, shopping for winter clothes has been the most bewildering experience. There are so many different types and styles of winter coats! Besides that, there are so many hats and scarves to choose from. Even more baffling, everyone gives different advice on what to get and how to survive! I just closed my eyes, bought something and am praying that I survive this winter!

Photo by Hannah Morgan


5. Everything is Online!

One of the best but most confusing things about Canada is that almost everything can be done online. Every service has an app from banking to even grocery shopping at Walmart! Google Maps is a lifesaver to help me find my way around and besides that, Waze is a good backup. Almost everything can be done without leaving your home. However, it becomes confusing when you try to navigate these websites and mobile apps and you can’t find what you need. In that case, I crave the human contact, but the convenience and portability outweigh that by a mile.


Despite these confusing aspects of Canadian culture, the past month in Canada has been an amazing experience. The university environment and people have been very welcoming so that I feel like I have always belonged here. I look forward to getting to know even more of Canadian culture (and get confused by even more things!).