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Chinese student's feelings about diversity in the UK

It has been ten months since I came to the UK, which is not too long and not too short. In the following paragraphs, I would like to talk about the things that have left a deep impression on me during my time in the UK around diversity.

I remember the first email I received when I arrived at the campus was entitled race equality and I clicked on it to see that it was about the equality of all nationalities and races, but as a freshman to the UK I didn't have any idea about this, because in China, although there are 56 nationalities, all of them have the same skin colour. When I received the email, I also saw that there was an additional course on race equality in my timetable, which shows that the school's values are very clear that everyone has equal rights regardless of their skin colour, nationality, gender, orientation and aesthetics. This also made me feel good about British society and feel like I could fit in. In fact, this was also an illusion in some way.

As the year progressed, I realized more and more that equality is a word that people can achieve on the surface but it is hard to accept from the deep heart. Personally, I am a person who likes socializing and wanted to meet more people from different cultures in a totally new environment. I started to socialize, joining study clubs, language cafes and parties, but after a year of socializing, I realized that as a Chinese student, the only people I could really be friends with were Asian students. My deep feeling at that time was that it was very difficult for me to integrate into the white people’s community, as there was always a gap in language, culture and even interests. This was the first time I felt that diversity was easier said than done. Even though I had taken a three-month course on Western culture before I went abroad, I still could not integrate into the social circle of white British people.

In July this year, I was lucky enough to join Sunrock Recruitment as an intern. Through this internship, I was impressed by the importance of diversity in the workplace and the awareness raised around the inequality of race and gender. Our company's service is to help diverse candidates find employment with the companies of their choice. During my involvement I was able to see the inequalities in the workplace between different ethnic groups and women. It was the first time that I was aware of the dark side of the society, as these issues did not exist in the country I used to live in. I also learnt from working and studying that diversity is essential if a society is to continue to grow economically and become more civilized. Therefore, as international students, it is important that we embrace and promote a sense of diversity in our environment so that we are given a fair chance in the workplace.

If you found this blog useful, you may also like to check our other posts on many other topics including unconscious bias, overcoming resistance to diversification and how to deal with a rigid mind.

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By Jindong Wei

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