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STUDY ABROAD : Once you arrive - Must read

10 misconceptions about Canadians you'll face when you study abroad

We take a look at some of the stereotypes about Canadians that you may come across during your time abroad

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While it’s safe to say that stereotypes are generally understood to not at all be based on fact, this doesn’t seem to deter people from making assumptions about you based on your challenges (outweighed of course by the fulfilling experience as a whole), which are best approached with a touch of humour. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of 10 common misconceptions that people have about Canadians.


In no particular order, these are:

  1. You all say ‘Aboot’ and ‘Eh’
    We dedicate this one to South Park and Americans – thank you, thank you very much. For some reason, a common misconception about Canadians is that you all say ‘Aboot’ instead of ‘About’, and ‘Eh’ at the end of every sentence. In actual fact, most Canadians use neither, but perhaps ‘Eh’ has slightly more grounds than ‘Aboot’ does, eh?
  2. You practically live off bacon and Maple Syrup
    For some reason, the national cuisine of Canada is believed by many to be bacon and Maple Syrup. While Maple Syrup originates in Canada, Canadians do have access to other foods, believe it or not. Not only this, but Canadian bacon isn’t called Canadian bacon in Canada. It’s known as either peameal bacon, or back bacon. And they don’t eat it every day!
  3. You only like hockey
    Yes, it’s true that Canadians take a lot of pride in hockey, but they like other sports too! One of the major sports in Canada is basketball, and football and lacrosse are firm favourites, as well.
  4. You know every other Canadian they’ve ever met
    Despite the fact that Canada is huge, people seem to assume that you will know so-and-so from Toronto, even if you’re from Yukon Territory.
  5. You hate Americans
    For some reason, the rest of the world seems to have created this false sense of rivalry between the neighbouring nations, but really, it’s all just fabrication! Lots of Canadians move to America and vice versa. If they could not stand each other, why would they choose to live among one another?
  6. You’re the same as Americans
    Canadians and Americans may not hate each other, but that doesn’t mean that they’re the same. America and Canada both have their own unique cultural identity, with the experience of either country being entirely different to the other.
  7. You only drink beer
    With Canada ranking a measly 25th in a chart of countries that drink the most beer, the belief that all Canadians drink nothing but beer is quite obviously a false one! With brews like Molson’s though, you could hardly blame them if they did.
  8. You all speak French
    While it’s flattering to assume that all Canadians are well-versed with not one language but two, this is sadly not the case. Most French-speaking Canadians hail from Quebec, but other than that, it’s mostly English.
  9. Canadians live in perpetual winter
    With its vast and varied landscape, Canada is home to a range of beautiful natural scenes and climates to suit most needs. The only one that people seem to consider, though, is blisteringly cold winter. Yes, Canada is snowy in some parts but in others, temperatures have been known to reach up to 43.3 degrees Celsius!
  10. You’re all socialists
    Although Canada has a democracy, many still describe the country as socialist. This is because of a misunderstanding of the blanket term of socialism and the belief that Canadians receive free healthcare. It is not free, but paid for by taxes. Political leaders are voted in during elections, just like in any other democracy.

With this list, you now have some ready-prepared responses for some of the assumptions that people often make about Canadians. But studying abroad, you will also encounter various nationalities that you may have never come across before. Why don’t you check out some common misconceptions about them, too? 

About Author

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Phoebe recently graduated with a First Class Honours degree in English Literature from Canterbury Christchurch University. She has written for various websites and print publications including music magazine, NME. Phoebe loves music, gaming, reading and writing.