Life After YCIS Beijing
In this edition of Yew Chung International School of Beijing Student Blogs, we sit down with class of 2014 – 2015 graduate Nathan Drisner and reflect on how Yew Chung International School of Beijing has impacted his life and find out about life after high school.
How has Yew Chung International School of Beijing shaped your personality, experiences, and choices?
My name is Nathan Drisner. I lived in China for 9 years and studied at YCIS Beijing from 2009 to when I graduated in 2015. I think YCIS Beijing really helped me to decide who I am as a person, which is a person who is both from the west and from China in the east. I decide that I can be both of those things at once and be proud of that. I have that heritage at home in Canada and roots in China. Both those things are important to me.
What have you missed most about YCIS Beijing?
The thing I miss most about YCIS Beijing are the class sizes. In University there are classrooms of 200 – 300 people. It’s just so big. It can be overwhelming at times and certainly was at first. I miss that intimacy with my classmates and teachers. At YCIS Beijing, I was able to have a lot of one on one time with my teachers which helped me learn a lot more efficiently and to develop stronger friendships in Beijing.
What 3 words would you use to describe YCIS Beijing?
Diversity, Community, and Fun. It’s Diverse in that there are people from all over the world there. There were people here from Singapore, France, Korea, China, Japan, and the UK and from all over the West. To call these people my friends makes me feel really fortunate to have that in my life. Community because we were a tightknit group in our year level and still keep in touch even today. This is something that is really important to me. I had so much fun at YCIS Beijing, especially in high school. Just to be able to spend that time with my friends growing up together there gave me a lot of precious memories of that time.
How has YCIS Beijing’s Bilingual Education Programme helped you to become a global citizen?
Speaking Chinese is really important to me and I have continued my lessons in university. I also think having that ability has allowed me to connect with people from all over the world. I live in Vancouver now, which is a really international city, and having that Chinese ability is invaluable. It gives me the opportunity to have that instant connection with people who also feel new to the city and my school. I notice a lot of my friends are from all over. Having an international background and bilingual experience at YCIS Beijing allows me to create connections with many people.
How has YCIS Beijing prepared you for your tertiary studies and future career perspectives?
I have been searching for jobs recently and have some interesting opportunities coming up soon. I think YCIS Beijing’s IB programme and CAS programme both really helped give me the experience that I needed for starting a career. Being involved in student council and running different charity events are both experiences that I used on my resume and in interviews. Using these skills, I was able demonstrate that I would serve as a valuable employee. Being bilingual helps a lot, too!
What advice do you have for current YCIS Beijing students?
Enjoy your time. Don’t waste your time complaining; you are so fortunate and blessed to have this international experience that most people in your home country could not even comprehend. Really value and invest your time in your studies and, just as importantly, into your friendships. They are so important to keep with you, even when you move on. Appreciate this amazing opportunity you have right now.
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