Xu Zhao is Assistant Professor and Director of Research in Chinese Youth Mental Health at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. Her research focuses on understanding child and youth development from cultural (processes in family, school, and society) and cross-cultural (experiences of migration and immigration) perspectives. She grew up in China and graduated from the Northeast University of Finance & Economics in Dalian. She came to Canada in 1999 as an adult immigrant and studied journalism and education in Montreal. She later moved to Boston to study human development and psychology at Harvard University. In 2014 she received the inaugural Werklund Postdoctoral Fellowship from the University of Calgary and moved back to Canada. Since then, she has been doing research on newcomers in Canadian high schools, investigating how to promote their social and emotional integration into Canadian society.
As international migration continues to grow in scope, complexity and impact, social integration of newcomers has become an issue of global concern. It’s particularly a salient issue for Canada, a country with one of the highest global rates of immigration.