May 4, 2016
Imogen, Year 13, Gubei Campus
With only a few weeks left at school, I’m already counting down the days until my time in China sadly comes to an end. Over the past nine-and-a-half-years, I have had the opportunity to really explore another culture, and of course, to learn the language in Shanghai. Through classes every day at YCIS, getting around the city, and work experience, I have been immersed in Chinese for most of my childhood, and I have progressed from being a timid eight-year-old, to being well on my way to completing IB Mandarin B Higher Level.
After finishing school and leaving Shanghai, I hope to be able to put my language skills to good use. At university, I will continue with modern languages as part of my International Studies programme, exploring the culture and history of both Europe and the rest of the world. While I’m excited to begin delving into different languages, I will also continue to keep up with my Chinese. The courses at YCIS have allowed me to discover the world of Chinese literature, and since studying books in class, I have continued to read a wider selection, including《亲爱的安德烈》(Dear Andreas) and《偷影子的人》 (The Shadow Thief), and I’m excited to keep on reading! My language skills have also opened up the world of Chinese music, which I now regularly listen to, and social media, which I use to further improve my language skills.
Even if in the future I don’t use Chinese directly in my studies or future job, learning Chinese has provided me with several priceless skills. Most importantly, it’s provided me with the confidence needed to make mistakes and continue to improve and use a foreign language in everyday situations. Also, I have also learned to fully explore and be part of a different culture, enriching my life and allowing me to make the most of my time abroad. Finally, learning Chinese has enabled me to develop an open mind and interact with a wide range of people, and these are skills which will be invaluable in my future.