In response to Brave in a new world, published November, 23, 2011.
I have been attending the University of Winnipeg as an international student for just over two years, and in those two years, I’ve been an avid reader of The Uniter. Never have I read an article that bleeds such ignorance as the special feature “Brave in a new world,” which gives a supposed insight into the life of an international student.
It depicts international students as socially awkward and financially unstable, who have trouble speaking English and integrating with society.
There are several things wrong with this article.
First, the international students that were interviewed do not represent the majority of international students. Most of those interviewed are in the English Language Program so they have a very different experience because of the language barrier. The majority of international students in the university speak English proficiently, and for some, English is their first language.
Second, the financial picture that is painted about international students is skewed. Despite the high tuition costs that we have to pay, many of us are still able to enjoy the luxuries that Canadian citizens enjoy and do not have to bend over backwards to afford to live in Canada.
Third, almost all of us are well integrated into the community. Some of us belong to Canadian organizations, school associations and have no trouble making friends with citizens. We are not all shy and withdrawn, and in some cases have even been in the forefront of student movements in the university. Academically, many of us lead in the classroom, and do very well in the university.
I want to make it clear that this is not an attack on the international students that were interviewed – they were narrating their experience as students in the university. This letter is directed to The Uniter for not going the distance to ensure that its articles are not biased and misinforming.
You should take the steps to cover every angle and get all opinions on topics you choose to publish about. It shows that there is still a huge misconception of the international student life in Canada.
– Azuka Felix Idigbe, Third-year economics student