Note: The story of the South Korean International student that I am discussing here is totally true. I am whistleblowing about this after reading a relevant article.
The International students who arrive in Canada, especially the coloured ones, face extreme danger. They are told through terrific Marketing that Canada is diverse and multicultural. They aren’t told that Canada is a very racist country despite everything else and it’s very easy to abandon, kill, torture, or harass coloured people here. Stereotypes, discrimination, and need for power play a significant role in all this. I have been fighting all this on my own until I started collapsing and deciding to post some of my personal details online. I feel that Canada is so racist that color of skin is pasted inside most minds like this: Aboriginals get the worst treatment; then the Muslims; then Latinos, and so on. I learned all this while working and studying in Canada. I am not a spy, a cop, a politician, a terrorist, or anything along those lines because all these sound too extreme and harsh to my very sensitive mind. I am just a Canadian student and employee. Even then, I learned something so grave through experience only.
I have come to believe that International students are in danger because they are told that Canada is very accepting. They throw their money in and then lots and lots of them are unfairly passed through Canada’s revolving doors so that they keep thinking that they need to invest more and more in Canadian courses or volunteer work—this is what’s happening to Canadians as well and this is what’s happening to International students who wish to stay in Canada. Quite frankly, they have to keep investing like this for a long period while their White peers land a job and get married or move on with their lives. Some International students who come here don’t even know the impact of culture shock and how to handle it. And, usually nobody stops to explain to that your need to scream for help isn’t an indication of mental illness but just a culture shock. That’s what happened to me! But, even then I had some friends although most of them are never really around—I know that it is tough to make friends in Canada because people are usually busy or lost in pretenses. This is why some or perhaps most of the international students get very misused and then they can’t talk about it because they don’t know whom to trust and because some of the locals are not building trust the right way—we all know that overcoming culture shock requires receiving strong, detailed, and ongoing feedback and assistance from the locals.
I just read this article about Sex Trafficking by The Mantle and thought about one of my personal experiences. A long while ago, I was friends with a South Korean International student. We were best buddies because she needed to talk and I loved listening to her—I was not in any of her classes though. I was slowly learning about her and her culture when one day I realized that she wasn’t reaching out to me anymore. I called and left a message on her cell; and, I emailed her to find out what’s going on. My head is kind of OUT about this experience so I can’t properly remember how many years passed after she emailed me back. In her email she explained that she was actually homeless for several days. I got scared thinking how nobody else found out about this in time; and, why other Canadians she was studying with did not come to her rescue. Did this happen due to their Bystander Effect or her culture shock; if she had a culture shock, then why didn’t the rest of the students figured out what to do before her circumstances worsened? I don’t know! She was on the streets for several days; and, she could have been trafficked for sex slavery if the wrong set of guys would have arrived. But, God saved her! Her family got there and rescued her. I am just glad that she is alive.
I think you are going to get my point. As an ENFP, it’s my job to point out how lack of a good system and team work is killing young and smart individuals who just happen to be here in Canada and who don’t know anything about how it all works. Sometimes, I sleep feeling disturbed thinking if there is one of those really pretty Asian girls on the streets who came here to study but ended up getting trafficked as a sex slave.
Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.