INTERNeX Canada: Culture Shock

You think you prepared for your stay abroad by arranging accommodation and job, by googling street maps and city sights. It works fine at first, all the big stuff seems to be taken care of. But then you want to check the weather for tomorrow, get curtains for your new room or buy cheese at the market. And that’s where it gets difficult. It is said to be 68°F tomorrow, the curtains are 70 inches long, and the cheese is $5 a pound. Eeeeh, what?!?! Where are the degrees Celsius, the centimeters, the grams? So googling and memorizing starts again. Especially someone without a smartphone (yes, it happens) has to plan all the activities in advance and google all the measures that might be needed.

We went bungee jumping recently, so I memorized my weight and height in pounds and feet, just in case… Did you have a chance to go shopping for clothes and shoes in Canada? There are all kinds of different sizes, too! It works out in the end but it took me a couple of try-ons to find out that I need my boots in 37 ½. Ever noticed that Canadian use of dots and commas in numbers is different? Here you have $1,000.00 on your account and a coffee is $1.99, while Europeans have $1.000,00 and spend $1,99. Watch out for that when you handle your CAD$! Thanks God miles per hour are not used in Canadian cars to indicate speed! I was surprised to see the road signs in kilometers, too. Before my first drive I was prepared to be a little disoriented on the road not knowing how fast I am driving.

How fast did you adjust to these little differences? Did any funny incidents happen to you because you had no idea about the figures you were dealing with?


INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149