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Cultural Specific Information

Immigrants make up 22.3% of the population of Waterloo Region so, of every 5 people you meet, one was likely born and raised outside of Canada.

Approximately 17% of the Conestoga student population was born outside of Canada. India and China are two of the biggest source countries for International Visa Students.

In 2006, among recent immigrants who came to the Waterloo Region in the previous five years, the top places of birth by region were: Southern Asia - 22.2%, Eastern Asia - 14.3%, Eastern Europe - 11.1%, and West Central Asia and the Middle East - 10.6%. (Source: Immigrants in Waterloo Region, Fact Sheet #4, 2009).

For this reason, we are providing very general introduction sheets on students from India, China, Russia, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia in the hopes that this cultural specific information will help you to reflect on the differences and similarities between cultures and find points of entry for discussion.

How To Use the Culture-Specific Profiles

Please review Approaches to Intercultural Communication before reading this culture-specific information!

Before you click on a particular culture or country, reflect on your previous interactions with individuals from that area. What were the learning points, the joys, and the challenges? Have you traveled to the region or met people who have journeyed there? What questions do you have? If your questions are not answered here, please email them to

Caution: Please be very aware that this information does not apply to all students from the region being highlighted, but is simply to give you an idea of some of the intercultural surprises that might be encountered. This information is based on the experiences of the author and is shared only as a starting point for conversation. Each profile has been read and improved on by several people from this cultural background but errors and over-generalizations may be present. Please always respect each person you encounter as an individual.

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