Transition Reflections from a YCIS Beijing Alumnus

We recently spoke with a YCIS Beijing alumnus who attended our Secondary School from 2012 to 2014, Hippolyte Rannou. Hippolyte shared with us his impression of the school, his experience transitioning back to his home country of France, and the essential skills that YCIS Beijing was able to inculcate in him over his three years with the school.

Where are you currently studying?

I am studying at Saint Louis de Gonzague, also known as Franklin in Paris. I am in Year 1 (Year 11) S, where the "S" stands for "scientific."

Was the transition back to school in your home country difficult? What was the most challenging aspect of this transition?

The most challenging aspect of the transition was readapting to the “French method" of learning which is a bit different from the one used at YCIS Beijing. I found that the methods used at YCIS Beijing taught me to be more creative and original in the way I expressed myself and in my thinking. However, in France, the teaching method is more rigid and doesn’t allow for as much self-expression.

How did you overcome these challenges?

Thanks to the YCIS methods of study (my teachers always told me to “never give up!”) and self-confidence I developed in Beijing, I was able to face and surmount the these challenges.

When you returned to your home country, what unexpected benefits did you find living abroad had given you?

The first major benefit that studying at YCIS Beijing gave me was a huge working "endurance.” In addition to encouraging us to think for ourselves and use our creative side, they gave us substantially larger challenges and a great deal of homework.

The second benefit I received was is in my Chinese ability. In April, I competed in the hanyuqiao (汉语桥). It is a nationwide oral Chinese competition in France.  It is very challenging as I competed alongside native speakers in the same competition even though I only took Chinese for three years at YCIS Beijing and continued in Barcelona and Paris afterwards. Despite this, I received third prize in the country, an accomplishment I was very proud of!

What advice do you have for international students who are getting ready to move back to their home countries from abroad?

Be sure to keep up your native language! It will be much easier to readapt to the life and culture back home if you can practice your native language regularly.

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