International Students  



Words and Photos by Myungsook Lee  






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We can find similar cases from other research. Penelope L. Gallagher at Simon Fraser University did (1993) a case study of International Students attending Vancouver Community College and said ¡°Most social concerns were related to difficulties in making friends and meeting western Canadians. Many students felt that there were too many ¡®Asians¡¯ or students from their home country in their classes. As a result they spoke their native language and were not able to practice speaking English.¡±

Another report, titled South Korea (2007) by Asia Pacific Trade Council also addressed the issues among international students ¡°While a lucrative source of funds for many school districts, there are questions about the quality of the experience for the South Korean children and anecdotal evidence that many of them remain very isolated from their Canadian classmates and communities.¡±

A technical Report of Academic Achievement and Well-Being of International Students Whose First Language is not English (2006) by Acadia University in Olfville, Nova Scotia, also claims that social integration is the biggest challenge for many international students of the school. ¡°The top priority of international students was to increase positive social experiences with Canadian students.¡±


How much impact on the school districts?

There has been a decrease in the number of international students recently, which drove school districts into a budget shortage. The decrease is prominent in Coquitlam, Surrey, North Vancouver, West Vancouver and Vancouver where K-12 international students are mostly concentrated. It is believed that the strong Canadian dollar rather than the global economic recession kicks many students out of Canada, even though they are not finished with school terms.

For example, According to Surrey Board of Education 2009-10 Preliminary Operating Budget, the Surrey School District has been faced with the challenge of developing its 2009-10 preliminary operating budget with a $9.53 million shortfall due not only to provincial grant funding, but also the substantial reduction in district-generated revenue: Especially the decreasing number of international students. The portion of revenue from international students is 31% of the entire shortfall and 53% of the district-generated revenue.

Of course there were splendid times in the past. The BCTF (British Columbia Teacher Federation) report on BC International student revenue and FTE enrollment, 2001-02 to 2005-06 said that revenue from international students studying in BC schools increased by $10 million in 2005-06, rising to $109 million in the province as a whole. This continues a trend and reflects a doubling of revenue since the 2001-02 school year.

The BC school districts with the largest revenue from international students were: Coquitlam, Vancouver, Surrey, West Vancouver and North Vancouver. It is obvious that the revenue from international education is important to Canadian schools, particularly British Columbia which has the biggest numbers of K-12 international students in Canada.

However, teachers and facilitators working with or working for international students are questioning if the revenue has been spent efficiently for both domestic and international students. British Columbia Teachers¡¯ Federation pointed out in the report of Education Funding (2006) that the BC government should increase education funding, saying ¡°Another group has a significant need for ESL support—the international students who come to study in our elementary and secondary schools and pay a significant tuition. The aggregate tuition paid to public schools in the 2005-06 school year was about $100 million.¡± As mentioned in this article, they knew that each international student pays approximately $12,000 in tuition, twice the amount that the province provides school districts for one local student.

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada¡¯s newsletter titled Canada Asia Commentary (2006) states that not all faculty welcome more international students.

¡°Some faculty also fairly point out that support services for international students at Canadian universities are rarely funded adequately. They argue that the presence of international undergraduate students, particularly those for whom English is a second language, will place an extra burden on them which impacts on their enthusiasm to teach.¡±

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DIVERSE 5th Issue

We are pleased to announce that DIVERSE 5th issue, Summer 2011 has been released.  

12 Diversity in Canadian Workplaces What are the obstacles to a better form of ¡°diversity¡± in the workplace?

- Open Door Group

- BC Workplace Diversity Inclusion Awards

6 BC¡¯s Diversity through 30 portraits



2 ThePower of Exchange A Historic Collaboration between Germany¡¯s

Premiere Art Collections and Canada¡¯s First Nations

28 Ezra Kwizera  Born in Uganda to Rwandese refugee parents, Canadian Musician and genocide  survivor speaks on the art of  forgiveness and of adapting to Canadian culture

42 Dana Claxton  

The Mustang Suite: Questioning mobility, freedom and autonomy 


24 Gung Haggis Fat Choy in Vancouver, BC: The Diversity of Canada      

38 Denise Brillon Breaking barriers in the fashion world



32 Pysanky¡¯s Resurgence

Joan Brander¡¯s contribution to the renaissance in traditional

Ukrainian egg art


10 Publisher¡¯s Note

27 Benefits of being a bilingual writer

31 Canadians come in all differences



35 News Briefs on Multiculturalism

36 Publisher¡¯s Picks


You Can Order Here.

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