“Promise me to take good care of yourself” – How the First International Student Health Care Forum Was Successfully Held in Toronto

On October 19th, 2019, the Health Care Forum for Chinese International Students, organized by 40 organizations in the Greater Toronto Area, ended successfully in the conference room of the Markham City Government. The theme of this forum, “Promise Me, Take Care of Yourself”, resonated well among the Chinese community in Toronto.  

The forum was a public welfare social event co-sponsored by the North American Chinese Health Association, CCOA Therapeutics Inc. and the Hefei Friends of Canada Association. It aimed to provide relevant knowledge and a platform for multi-party exchanges and dialogues for North American students in all aspects of their study and life through practical professional guidance. The forum held more than 40 professional organizations, companies, student unions and the media as co-organizers and support units. The Education Section of the Consulate General of Toronto and relevant Canadian departments attached great importance to this event and provided strong support.

Speakers at this forum discussed mental health issues with international students from various aspects, such as providing guidance on academic and career planning. This forum was of great significance to the Chinese community in Toronto. It built a bridge of learning and communication between experts, international students, parents of international students and community service agencies.

Professor Wang Peizhong, chairman of the North American Chinese Health Association, delivered a speech at the forum. “The core purpose of holding this large-scale forum is to provide relevant knowledge to Chinese students studying in Canada and help them solve the puzzles and difficulties in life and study.” He hopes to work with more government agencies, associations, professional organizations, and individuals to make future forums better. 

Representatives of Peng Jinwei (right) and Ke Wenbin attended this event and made speeches based on their experience of studying abroad, which aroused strong resonance within the crowd.

Two Ontario councillors issued congratulatory letters to the three sponsor representatives. From left: Shen Di, Ke Wenbin, Wang Peizhong, Ruby Xu (CCOA Therapeutics), Han Yangui (Friends of Hefei, Canada) and Peng Jinwei.

Mr. Yang Zhiyong, the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Toronto, delivered a speech surrounding the theme “Some Thoughts on Reasonable Study Abroad.” In his speech, he talked about the history and current situation of Chinese students studying abroad and how to promote safe and rational study abroad. The experience was very inspiring to the international students on the scene.

Wang Peizhong (Chairman of the North American Chinese Health Association) and Wang Yiran (Chairman of North American Chinese Health Association) sent a thank you card to Yang Zhiyong afterwards.

Police Officer Zhou Haining of the York District Police Department introduced Canadian laws in detail during this forum, stating his methods to ensure personal safety from the perspective of crime prevention, and used some real cases to answer various questions from the crowd.

Ms. Lydia Yang, a registered clinical social worker and psychotherapist, raised the crowd’s awareness of mental health through the early signs and common misunderstandings of international students’ psychological problems, self-help tips, and seeking professional help.

The organizer of the forum then delivered a speech on behalf of Ruby Xu, COO of CCOA Therapeutics Inc., after sharing her unique life experience and insights, focusing on the process of shifting from academic to biomedical development.

Sophia Zheng, a registered dietitian, introduced to everyone a healthy diet strategy that fit the actual situation of international students. Her speech was humorous and popular.

As a representative of international students, Wang Yiran shared her personal experience of studying abroad. She is from Sichuan Province from China and is currently a graduate student of the School of Public Health at the University of Toronto as well as one of the main sponsors of the North American Chinese Health Association.

Ms. Cao Ying shared her personal experience of cultivating children. She emphasized that many current majors may cease to exist in decades.

Professor Xiong Jiangling from George Brown University gave a speech on career planning.

Speech by Wu Hao, Vice President of the Friends of Hefei, Canada

Live shot

One of the highlights of this event is that young people take the lead. From event planning, publicity, and on-site arrangements are all done by young people.

Male host of this event: Ryan Yang

The hostess of this event: Peiying Jian, Freda Jian, test before the start

The young volunteers arrived at the forum a few hours in advance and devoted themselves to intense work

College student volunteers who sign in

A group photo of some of the planning team and volunteer members of this event, standing in a row from left: Wang Peizhong, Chen Wenhao, Lin Kai, Shen Di, Vicky Mo, Cao Ying. Before: Wang Yiran

Before the start of the forum, everyone exchanged freely in the lobby to learn about the information of each booth and enjoy the refreshments carefully prepared by the organizer. This event pays attention to environmental protection and only provides paper cups and large packages of purified water, not the usual bottled water.

Volunteers at the reception desk lead participants into the venue

Exterior view of the venue (Markham City Hall)

Interior view of the venue (Markham City Hall)

Another important content of this event is to provide a display platform for related organizations and societies. The following are some photos

Group photo of some directors of the Canadian Federation of Tianjin Associations and Mr. Peng Jinwei (second from right)

After the four-hour forum, everyone was still unsatisfied. After the event, many people continued to stay in the restaurant to share their feelings and friendship and discuss future plans.

The fly in the ointment is that the two co-chairs were unable to attend this forum in person for some reason. The following is their introduction.

This forum is the result of the joint efforts of dozens of clubs, professional organizations, student organizations and the media. The organizer looks forward to continuing cooperation with you in the near future.

The forum received many congratulations in various ways. The following are some of the congratulatory letters:

The forum received many congratulations in various ways. The following are some of the congratulatory letters:

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