Almost 80% of international students from non-English speaking countries, experience racism at least once a month – according to the Australian Human Rights Commissions.
The Explosive Growth of Chinese Students in Australia
🌸 Bright sunshine all year round, pleasant sea breeze blow with fresh air, and the slower pace of lifestyle. Australia is like a paradise.🌸
However, not only is the scenery here beautiful, Australia is also the home of the world-famous universities which continually rank among the top 100 of the world.
It is nowhere else better than Australia for a Chinese student to study and live.
In 2016, there was a rapid increase that more than 10% of the population of Chinese students in Australia on the previous year, revealed by the Federal Education Department. (Download here: Mar 2017 Monthly Info graphic)
As seen in the data, Chinese is the largest International student community in Australia.
The increase of the population of Chinese students in Australia
( Source: the Federal Education Department)
However, the increase of violent incidents against Chinese students also exist with the influx of Chinese for the different reason, what it usually boils down to is racism.
Even in Australia which is generally branded as a country with the good practice of human equality and multiculturalism, racism is still a major social issue.
On one night of April in 2012, Xuan, who was an ordinary student came from China, went through the frightening gang assault on Sydney train station.
His fellow and he both got seriously physical injured, and they suffered a breakdown after this terrifying experience as well.
"They were calling us Asian dogs and pussies
while they were beating us."
Racism is Not Only About the Exceptional Incident
“Everyday racism is invisible and seen as normal by the society.” said, Dutch sociologist Philomena Essed.
Other than outright violence, invisible racism is hard to be addressed but which exist commonly in daily life. For Chinese students who are studying abroad, invisible racism may cause them feel depressed, anxious and lack of confidence.
We are Chinese, and we are more than race.
I am Chinese, I can speak English as well as you.
“I am QiQi, who is studying at USYD for Master of Media Practice”, she introduced herself with a sweet smile which left with the deep impression. She talked about her experience and aimed at drawing the attention of society to the large community of Chinese students who are studying abroad, “because we are the minority and disadvantaged group in overseas.”
She began to talk after her statement which represented the determination of fighting against the racism, “Once day, I took the train to back home with my friends. There was a boy, who was around four years old, sat opposite, and stared at us with the puzzled expression.”
“He asked his mother about which language I was using, then, he got the answer from his mother that the different language from the English I used was called Chinese. However, it shocked me that this little boy glanced at my friend and defined us as silly people.”
It has no hesitation of QiQi in her description of that experience which obviously left her with deep and negative impression. Although she still kept her smile in face, as one of the International students who leave away from home in a long time, she needs more love and support from the society.
I am Chinese, I also study harder as well.
KiKi is another Chinese girl with a beautiful smile, she expressed that she only faced the racism just once before, and it didn’t make her feel angry or anxious, but only make her feel sad for the reason of being excluded by the society.
I am Chinese, I want to be better
Like as most of the International student, Keal always makes the efforts of improving his comprehensive ability. “I always have lots of academic questions to ask the tutor. However, I was despised by the white classmates only because I couldn’t speak English as well as them. I felt my confidence was hit by them since I was treated as being in the lower class.”
Speak up your stories, Voice out your opinions
It needs to say that Australia is the country which really does the best in building an equal society. And it is a good choice for the International students to live and study.
However, it doesn’t mean the non-existence of dark sides are the fact in the society. These cases above are definitely the negative experience, not only for the students who involving in the stories but also for all of the International students. Then, it is more important now to stand up for fighting against the racism, not only by overseas Chinese students, also by you, and you who are one part of society.
All in all, it couldn’t be ignored to racism anymore by anyone because all of us are equal as a human. Do stop the racism start from you, not only for protecting the International Students but for protecting entire society.
If you would like to express your opinions and share your experience here, it may lead us closer to the human equality.