© 2019 by Easy Group Inc.

  • Jack Xu

State of Canadian Chinese International Students 2020

Initiator:Easy Group Authors:Sophie Liu , Jason Kang, Ning Yin





Methodology

The State of Canadian Chinese International Students 2020 Report was designed and managed by Easy Group, and its purpose is to gain a deeper understanding of Canadian Chinese International students. This report is based on a questionnaire survey in February 2020, which received a total of 111 questionnaires.



Foreward

According to the Canadian Federal Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC), in 2019, the number of international students in Canada increased by 13% over the previous year, achieving double-digit growth again, and more than 404,000 study visas were approved. Among them, Chinese students account for 22% of the total number of international students in Canada, reaching 140,000.

Over the past 10 years, Canada ’s population has grown by 11%, while those aged 18-24 have grown by only 4%. Low birth rates have stagnated the number of local students entering universities. International students provide financial support to Canadian universities and colleges1.

For the mainstream society in Canada, most international students just rush through, no matter the government or university, the attention and support for international students are weak; and the parents who are far away at home know little about the true state of studying abroad ... ...

This white paper allows us to see real Canadian Chinese international students from perspectives of academics, mental health, social relations, finance, career development, and post-graduation issues.

In the survey, 49.5% of the respondents stated that they had been discriminated or alienated because of their English proficiency, while 37.8% of the respondents stated that they had been discriminated or alienated because of their race. 97.3% of people said that their social life mainly stayed in the Mainland Chinese community, and only 6.3% and 5.4% of them would interact with other non-Chinese ethnic minorities and European Canadians.

In terms of mental health, 7.2% of the respondents said that they were anxious all the time, and 63.1% said they were frequently anxious. At the same time, 72.1% of people have never used the school's psychological assistance resources, and 7.2% said they did not know that the school provided such support.

The survey also broke some myths. For example, people often think that international students are generally wealthy, but the data shows that 34.2% of people feel moderate financial pressure, 25.2% and 12.6% said that they have strong and severe financial pressure. Only 6.3% said there was almost no financial pressure.

At the same time, the report also reflects the maturity of international students. For example, in the choice of majors, 68.5% and 57.7% of them are career plans based on personal interests and dreams; 50.5% of them are because they are easy to find a job; only 18% People out of parental expectations.

The original intention of this report is to enhance the comprehensive understanding of the Canadian international students. After the survey is completed, we find that this report can also evoke the reflection of international students themselves. We look forward to the overall improvement of the status of international students. It all starts with knowing ourselves.



Academic:

Regarding professional choices, most of the students showed a fairly mature mentality: 68.5% and 57.7% of them are career plans based on personal interests and dreams; 50.5% of them are because of the convenience of finding a job; only 18% of them Parents expect. Another 27.9% made choices because of the reputation of the program.


When asked, “If you have the opportunity to choose again, will you make a different professional choice?” 40.5% said it was possible, 21.6% said they would choose a different major, and 36.8% said they would not Change profession. This means that more than 60% of people do not like or are uncertain about their current profession. This may be due to the sensibility or blindness of everyone's interest and insufficient understanding of related disciplines / professionals, resulting in a gap between expectations and reality.



For the evaluation of what we have learned, we see that "learned" is generally higher than "enjoy", and nearly 90% (86.4%) of people think that they have learned a lot in college (40.5%), much(36%) and very much (9.9%). Similarly, more than 80% (83.7%) of people think that university needs are meaningful (35.1%), very meaningful (41.4%), and extremely meaningful (7.2%).


Regarding study time, more than 80% (80.1%) of the students are less than or equal to 6-7 hours.



Social Life:

Regarding social life, the degree of "respect" and "tolerance" was very high. 96.4% of people felt moderate to very respected, and only 3.6% felt that they were less respected. Similarly, nearly 9 out of 10 (89.2%) people feel moderate to very tolerated. The degree of "tolerance" is slightly lower than that of "respect." This may mean that because of the "political correctness" atmosphere, everyone can live in harmony at the surface, but in fact, the degree to which our differences are tolerated is not as apparent as the surface.

Interestingly, belongingness is a deeper emotional acknowledgement than "respect" and "tolerance". Research shows that Chinese students feel far less “belonging” than they feel "respected" and "tolerance". The 21.6% "comparative and very unaffiliated" data is twice the "not accepted" (10.8%) and six times the "unrespected" (3.6%).


Regarding "discrimination / alienation", nearly half (49.5%) had been discriminated or alienated because of "English proficiency"; nearly 40% (37.8%) had been discriminated or alienated because of race. In addition, about 1 in 5 people have experienced discrimination or alienation because they are from China or academic capability. In addition, 97.3% of the respondents said that their social life is mainly concentrated in the Chinese community, indicating that these feelings of being discriminated / alienated basically come from the academic environment.


Regarding socializing, 97.3% said that their socializing was mainly maintained in the mainland Chinese community, and only 6.3% and 5.4% of them would interact with other non-Chinese ethnic minorities and European Canadians. This shows that although living in Canada, most Chinese students stay in their comfort zone and rarely interact with mainstream local communities.


Regarding "misunderstandings or misinterpretations of China by the media", no one believes that China has not been misunderstood or misinterpreted. 100% think that China is misunderstood or misrepresented to varying degrees (16.2% of them think it is extremely misunderstood or misrepresented).



In addition, about 5% of people had a crush on a professor; 35.1% had been in love, while 22.5% would break up; 63.1% made a best friend.


Mental Health:

70% of people often or always feel anxious (63.1% frequently, 7.2% all the time)


76.5% of people experience moderate to severe sorrow / depression


The survey shows that the most important issues facing Chinese international students in Canada are, in turn, "job hunting" (64%), "study" (53.2%), "learning costs" (46.8%), and mental health (41.4%). This shows that students are relatively mature, and they are considering issues more than academics such as vocational and educational costs.


In contrast, although nearly 70% to 80% of people experience varying levels of anxiety or sadness / depression, 72.1% of them have never used the psychological assistance resources provided by the school, and 7.2% of people do not know that the school provides psychological assistance Resources. Only about 20% of the students use the school's psychological counseling resources to varying degrees.




Career Developments:

The survey also broke some myths. For example, people often think that international students are generally wealthy, but the data shows that 34.2% of people feel moderate financial pressure, 25.2% and 12.6% said that they have strong and severe financial pressure. Only 6.3% said there was almost no financial pressure.


Regarding the optimism of finding a job, the results basically showed a normal distribution, and over 60% of the people maintained moderate to severe optimism. At the same time, 63.1% had part-time jobs while in college.



In the end, almost half said they would return to China (9.9% would return directly, 36% would return after working in Canada for a while); 26.1% expressed their willingness to work and immigrate to Canada; another 11.7% would continue their academic studies .



Conclusion

This survey gave us a relatively panoramic view of the real life of studying abroad, and inspired some of our thinking and appeals.

Academic aspect is relatively optimistic, most international students can learn a lot of meaningful knowledge; they also respect their hobbies and career plans, but at the same time, lack of understanding of related majors also leads to a gap between expectations and reality. A deeper understanding of foreign universities and majors, and even face-to-face communication with seniors and teachers will greatly reduce blind choices caused by insufficient information.

In terms of social relations, if you can get out of the comfort zone and not be limited to the Chinese community, the overseas study experience of international students will be greatly enriched. Meanwhile, perhaps the related state of discrimination / alienation due to language, race, etc. will also improve, because with communication, there will be opportunities to eliminate misunderstandings. At the same time, we feel that the misunderstanding of China is generally felt, and we strongly appeal the mainstream Canadian society to let go of prejudices and get to know the real China and Chinese people.

Mental health is not optimistic. Its importance has been ignored and poor help seeking has led to the stagnation of international students' mental state. Recognizing the importance of balance between body and mind, and giving more care to your soul is a breakthrough for improving your mental health.

We hope that the Canadian Chinese International Student White Paper can improve the self-awareness of the international student group, and deepen the understanding and support of relevant parties, so as to comprehensively improve the state of the Canadian Chinese international student group.

Supporting Media:Wenba.ca

BCBay.ca

Acknowledgement: Hainan Airline

Reference

1.https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/Bt3qIy4SnoMlvyfV4wsj_w


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