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Scholar and Globe-trotter: A Guide to Life and Culture for Moroccan Students in Canada

Scholar and Globe-trotter: A Guide to Life and Culture for Moroccan Students in Canada

20 Oct 2023


You’ve packed your bags and arrived in Canada from Morocco for opportunities to support your loved ones financially through a money transfer to Morocco. But wait, mingling in is not as easy as you thought. Don’t fret; this guide will equip you with the basics for a seamless adaptation to the Canadian lifestyle.

It wouldn’t be wrong to compare the Canadian culture with watching binge-watching a Netflix series that hooks you season after season. The multifaceted characters form a multicultural population, the historical roots as the plot turns, and you get lost in the narrative of the indigenous Canadian community. It's a show that has it all: history, modernity, and a cast that is diverse and adds its special flavor to the story. The best thing, though? The culture of Canada welcomes all people and helps them feel at home.

Moroccans in Canada

Moroccans started coming to Canada in the mid-1960s for employment. A huge chunk of Moroccan immigrants settled in Canada in the late 1990s. They initially settled in Quebec but then moved to different cities, including Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Winnipeg.

You can see Moroccans in Montreal in huge numbers. However, it is estimated that around 300,00 Moroccans collectively reside in the entire country. Canada has strong relations with Morocco. Each year, around 5,000 aspiring professionals leave Morocco to study at Canadian colleges that send money to Morocco to boost their national economy.

Get to Know the Canadian Basics

Land and Language

The capital of Canada is Ottawa, but there are many other big and famous cities with thriving expat lives, including Vancouver, Toronto, and the French-speaking provinces of Québec and Montréal. Canada is made up of ten provinces and three territories that span huge distances.

Although English and French are both official languages of Canada, the majority of Canadians speak English at home. Common Canadian slang terms include "loonie" (a dollar coin), "chinook" (a warm breeze that blows over mountains in the middle of winter), and "hog town" (a slang term for Toronto).

Indigenous Life in Canada

In Canada, there are three distinct Indigenous groups that you should know about: First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. Over 15,000 years ago, the First Nations people arrived in Canada and established a variety of communities, each with its unique set of traditions, cultures, and personalities. The majority of them are in the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario, although there are currently 634 recognized First Nations governments and organizations across Canada.

The Métis are the offspring of marriages between members of First Nations and Europeans, primarily French traders. Today, the Métis primarily speak English, although as more people show an interest in ancient languages and cultures, you could hear some Michif or Métis French. The Inuit, who inhabit Greenland, Canada, and Alaska's Arctic regions, are descended from the Thule civilization.

Weather Conditions

Extreme cold and snow may come to mind when you think about Canadian weather, but this isn't always the case. Canada's weather is as diverse as its topography. Each season typically brings with it the following weather conditions:

  • Summer (June to August): The climate is often mild to hot, with daytime highs of 30°C or more.
  • Autumn (September to November): The temperature starts to drop, and it frequently rains a lot.
  • Winter (December to February) - The winters are extremely cold, with daytime highs frequently falling below zero.
  • The weather starts to warm up, and the days are usually rather pleasant throughout the spring (March to May).

In most of Canada, Daylight Saving Time begins on the second Sunday in March, so keep in mind to set your clock ahead by an hour on that day during daylight savings. Remember, ACE works every season, and you can send money to Morocco from Canada at any time of the year, even during the holidays.

Helpful Tips to Adapt to the Canadian Way of Life

Be Courteous 

'Please,' 'Sorry,' 'Thank you,' 'May I,' and 'Excuse me' are commonly used in social situations and interactions because Canadians are well renowned for their politeness. Even with strangers, courtesy is appreciated and widely expected. Keep in mind that these customary courtesies are only a matter of social convention and do not necessarily indicate a wish to be cordial.

Canadians use the word "sorry" so frequently that Ontario had to pass the Apology Act in 2009. It implied that any Canadian who apologizes at the scene of a crime or incident will only be expressing sympathy and will not be considered to have admitted culpability.

Always Be On Time

Everyone tries their hardest to be on time for all personal, professional, and social activities in Canada because timeliness is regarded as a sign of respect. People will worry if you are late, that you have forgotten your appointment, or that anything has happened to you. Additionally, it could seem rude. The social convention requires you to notify the host or meeting organizer about your schedule change. Inform as far in advance as you possibly can if you expect to arrive late or if you are unable to attend.

Networking is Crucial

People with skills and talent travel from all around the world to Canada. Many candidates have the necessary credentials, impressive resumes, and charismatic personalities but cannot secure the job. Although Canada has a strong labor market, you still need to network your way into the professional realm.

Positions that are filled without the company making them publicly visible are referred to as having a hidden job market. One of the numerous advantages of networking is that it can help you reach the hidden job market and acquire useful referrals. It can also help you stand out from the crowd and get noticed. Around 40% of positions are filled by a referral, and between 65 to 85% of jobs are not advertised online. For this reason, expanding your network in Canada is essential for your survival.

Bottom Line 

Overall, it is essential to respect and admire the host country’s traditions and cultures for better adaptation. This knowledge will help you understand the Canadian culture for a seamless settlement. Remember, during your journey, ACE can be your financial partner in providing affordable, quick, and safe money transfer services. Sign up on ACE to enjoy your first free money transfer to Morocco.

FAQs

Q: What cities will I feel comfortable in Canada as a Moroccan student?

Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver are popular choices due to their diverse cultures. They also have reputable universities and vibrant Moroccan communities.

Q: How can I adapt to the Canadian education system?

It is advisable to attend orientation sessions, connect with academic advisors, and practice effective time management to excel in your studies in Canada.

Q: What cultural differences should I be aware of in Canada as a Moroccan student?

Canadians value politeness, punctuality, and personal space above everything. Embrace cultural diversity and be open to trying new foods and experiences to feel comfortable in the new environment.

Q: How can I find Moroccan communities and events in Canada to connect with fellow Moroccans? 

You can search for local cultural associations, social media groups, and university clubs that cater to Moroccan students specifically.

Q: Can I work part-time while studying in Canada as a student?

Yes, you can work up to 20 hours per week during the academic semester and full-time during breaks with a valid study permit to financially empower yourself.


Resources:

https://theundercoverrecruiter.com/infographic-employee-referrals-hire/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/new-survey-reveals-85-all-jobs-filled-via-networking-lou-adler/

https://www.international.gc.ca/country-pays/morocco-maroc/relations.aspx?lang=eng


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