Orientation to Canada


Orientation to Canada courses have been designed for international partners, trainees and students coming for short and long term assignments or studies in Canada. The objective of the course is to assist individuals with their adaptation to Canadian society and culture and to maximise the effectiveness of their assignment. These courses can be offered upon arrival in Canada, at mid-point of their stay and/or prior to their return home. Orientations also benefit Canadian partner organizations and increase the likelihood of success for their projects and programs.


Orientations to Canada are based on principles of adult learning and take into account cultural norms of the participant cultures. Experiential learning activities will encourage participants to draw on their experience, frame it in a new way, add new knowledge, practice new skills and apply that learning during their stay in Canada and upon their return home.


Course participants will enhance their knowledge, skills and attitudes in the following areas of intercultural effectiveness (depending on participant needs and course duration a preference may be given to specific areas of intercultural competence):

On-Arrival Orientation

  • appreciation of how culture influences one's values, beliefs and behaviours;
  • understanding of Canadian culture, business and/or academic environments;
  • establishment of effective communication and relationship with Canadian colleagues;
  • adaptation to Canada including practical information about living, working/studying in Canada;
  • development of strategies for a successful study/assignment in Canada.

Mid-Term Orientation

  • analysis of participants adaptation and integration into Canadian society and professional/academic environments;
  • review of strategies for building effective relationship and communication with Canadians;
  • analysis of progress to date and identification of individual objectives for the successful completion of study in Canada.

Pre-Return Orientation

  • identification of new knowledge, skills and attitudes gained in Canada;
  • development of strategies for successful personal readjustment and professional reintegration back home;
  • practicing techniques for sharing and transfer of new competencies in professional environment of home country.

Course participants

International partners, trainees and students coming to Canada for short and long term assignments and the members of Canadian partner organizations and/or academic institutions if needed.

Availability and duration

Orientations are available upon request and are offered across Canada.

Duration of the course varies.

Primary locations include: Ottawa/Gatineau, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax.

How can I register?

Register Now

Additional information

For more information, please communicate with the Centre at:

Telephone: 343-203-8400

Toll free (in Canada): 1-800-852-9211

Facsimile: 819-997-5409

Facsimile toll-free (in Canada): 1-877-723-1604

Email: cultures@international.gc.ca

Participant comments

On-arrival Orientation:

"... I derived a great deal of interesting information for myself, which I will use in my main job and in my public and political world."

(Participant from Ukraine, Policy Advice for Reform project.)

Mid-term Orientation:

"The course made me realize that what I have been through is normal way of adjusting and this has really lifted my spirits and given me the strength to forge ahead!"

(International student from the Master in Marine Program, Dalhousie University.)

Pre-return Orientation:

"It has enabled me to know how I am going to plan my time when I get home and how I am going to fit back and be able to implement what I have learned."

(Participant from Kenya, Women's Mentorship program.)