Getting Settled

On this page:
The First Two Weeks  |  Culture Shock  |  Safe Harbours

What to do in the first two weeks

In addition to attending New International Student Orientation, College orientation and your classes when you get to Canada, make sure you:

  • Make adjustments to your course registration if required
  • Purchase your text books – ensure you have your Registration Statement with you at the Bookstore
  • Pay all outstanding fees
  • Open a bank account
  • Get your student cards (NIC student card from Student Services and ISEC card from North Island Students’ Union)
  • Sign up for a tour of the library
  • Meet each one of your instructors
  • Sign in on Facebook and check out North Island College Welcomes the World
  • Drop by the Office of Global Engagement in Puntledge Hall, room 108 at the Comox Valley campus and say hello to OGE staff
  • Watch for the monthly events and activities calendar that will be sent to your NIC email address

Culture Shock

Culture shock is how we react when we go to a new place. Most people who travel or go to live in a new place experience it. Culture shock is normal. Most of us experience these phases:

  • Honeymoon – everything is great, exciting, fun
  • Culture shock part one – missing your family and friends, things feel like a problem, feeling sad and worried, not sure how to solve a problem, missing food from home, tired, confused
  • Adjustment – feeling ok, know how to get to school, begin to meet some friends, talk to family, begin to feel comfortable
  • Culture shock part two – more feelings of missing home, but now feel disconnected from family and your new home, hard to go out and to meet friends, sleepy, unhappy
  • Acceptance and fitting in – feeling ok, accept living in a new place, have regular activities, know where to find things, in contact with family and friends, have new friends here

Tips on overcoming culture shock

Culture shock is a normal part of travel and living in a new place. You can help yourself feel better when you are experiencing feelings of culture shock by doing some or all of these things:

  • Build a support system - talk to people about how you are feeling. A good place to start is by making an appointment with an NIC Counsellor or speaking with someone in the Office of Global Engagement.
  • Meet fellow students. One way to do this is by taking part in college activities.
  • Volunteer
  • Connect with family and friends at home via email, Skype, or other social media applications.
  • Have lots to do
  • Remember your goals
  • Talk to a counsellor
  • Get help or ask about things you find different or difficult
  • Buy foods that remind you of home.

Safe Harbours

North Island College has joined the Safe Harbour program. You will see this logo in a number of locations around the campus as a message to all students that this a place that welcome and appreciates diversity. Any place you see a Safe Harbour sticker is also a place you can ask for help or assistance if you are struggling or feeling unwelcome.

Questions? Contact Us today or email for more assistance.