What does ATTENDANCE mean in Canada?

In any culture and social setting, attendance is very important. Keeping a good attendance rate proves your time management ability, discipline, and personality. However, attendance means different things in different cultures. When studying abroad for the first time, many international students experience this cultural difference in their new educational settings.

One of the courses that I took at a Canadian college had a 10% attendance requirement, which some students who would never skip class find to be a great advantage. At the end of the semester, one of my Japanese classmates checked with me to see if I received a perfect attendance grade since we both never missed a lesson. She received a score of 5, compared to mine of 10. Losing 5 points makes a big difference. The result is a lower grade, for example from A- to B+. She inquired as to why she received just 50% of the attendance grade, just in case the teacher had made a mistake. She was informed by the professor that he only gave her a 50% grade since she never actively participated in class discussions, meaning that “attendance does not mean to be an audit in the classroom.”

In Japan, attendance simply means “you attend the class.” As many Japanese children have been disciplined to listen to elders or teachers without interruption since their childhood, being a good audience in the class is good enough to be an attendant. However, when Japanese students just attend the class in Canada, as they have done so in the past, they are not recognized as good attendants by instructors at times.

Do not be afraid to speak up; this will help you become a good “participant”.

About Cloud Nine College  

Cloud Nine College is a premier vocational (Co-Op) college offering a range of specialized co-op courses and comprehensive Intensive English Programs, including test preparation courses for IELTS and general and business ESL courses to international students. It coordinates its programs uniquely in such ways that students can advance their education to the next level at universities and job opportunities.  

CNC is also an online education platform offering online certificate, diploma, higher diploma, and postgraduate diploma programs progressing to online and offline undergraduate and postgraduate degrees awarded by various educational institutions and universities around the world.

Cloud Nine College started as a language training institution back in 2010 and now has expanded into providing career training programs:  

  • Hotel and Restaurant Management Co-op Diploma  
  • Hotel and Restaurant Management Co-op Certificate  
  • International Trade and Business Management Co-op Diploma  
  • Professional Sales Co-op Certificate  

Learn more about CNC at www.cloudninecollege.com/  



“Natsuki” is from Fukuoka, a beautiful city in Japan. Biking, swimming, and walking along the Seawall in Downtown Vancouver with her three daughters are her passion. After completing the Associate Degree of History from Langara College, she has started her new professional career in the education field as an administrative assistant at Cloud Nine College.