With an increasing number of Chinese international students entering Canada’s labour force and becoming permanent residents or citizens upon graduation, it is critical to facilitate their social integration; however, this population’s political engagements has been strikingly low. Although these students are traditionally engaged socially and politically on campuses in their native China, they do not engage in the same level of participation on Canadian campuses. Studies have explored the barriers that they encounter on Canadian campuses, but few have explored how political participation can help them overcome the obstacles. Thus, this study seeks to determine how political engagement can facilitate their social integration into Canada and identify strategies that can help to promote their integration. This study conducted one-on-one interviews with five participants. The findings conclude that political participation supported the development of sense of belonging as well as language proficiency. It also improved confidence, responsibility, and leadership skills while promoting social integration. To ensure that students of Chinese-origin maximize their opportunities to engage politically, it is vital that they solicit support and advice from their faculty members, international student offices, and their peers.
The principal investigator is Ms. Yuehua Zhu, a recent M.Ed. graduate at the University of Windsor. Dr. Smith served as the faculty supervisor for this research project.