Google image. http://www.chinadiscovery.com
We continue our trip in Asia, and we go north of the Philippines to China.
I met Cameron through school. He’s one of the smartest students I know. In second year, when he poses a question in class the room quiets down. Not an easy feat for a room-full of 200 students to achieve. But his questions were always on point. He’s about to graduate with BS Honours in Psychology in a few days and I’m extremely proud to call him my friend.
Five years ago, Cameron came to Canada as an International Student. He still is. He accepted an offer for a masters program at a prestigious university in Ontario. Although his academic pursuits are working out for him beautifully, he misses his family and friends in China (“There are the ones who provided me with almost unconditional love. I barely encounter anyone who is able to love me in the same way as they do since I came to Canada.”). This longing for familiarity, comfort, even struggles in the new country is common with international students.
Like most minorities, he also encountered differential treatment from others. Perhaps it’s his race, his command of the English language, or his quick and sharp intelligence, but this treatment stems from younger Canadians, which is somewhat surprising and disappointing. Canadians are generally congenial, polite, and patient in terms of other races and their differences from Canadian culture. Moreover, Cameron mostly interacts with university people, and some with different cultural backgrounds. So this differential treatment is mostly coming from that population, which in my opinion is even more disappointing because diversity is promoted heavily in this setting. Perhaps it’s not surprising then for the challenges in employment opportunities in terms of diversity if we already see this type of treatments going on in the student level. Continue reading “Gray areas are not so bad.”