Jialin (Lydia) Chen
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?
I have always been interested in education. As an undergraduate, I took some courses related to education and finally received my teaching certificate. I was lucky to work as a Calculus teacher in an international school, where I enjoyed my time with the students. However, the more I taught and was exposed to the education field, the more I realized my limits and, thus, I decided to pursue a master degree in education. I am happy with my decision because now I see more in education and I see more in my life.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
I enjoy nature a lot. UBC became one of my options because it is located in Vancouver, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. In addition, the program that I am studying right now is the area that I'm interested in the most. In summary, based on both the location and the specific program, I decided to study in UBC.
What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?
My program offers different course choices that we can choose based on our interests. What I like the most is that, although the core of the program is fixed, students have some room to develop on their own and explore their interests. People in my department are also nice and encouraging. I have always been encouraged to pursue my dreams.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
I think the best surprise for me was that I got to make many good friends from all over the world. I always feel blessed that I get to be friends with kind, nice people with whom I can count on to support each other like a family. I really appreciate this.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I switched from MEd to MA in the summer. I enjoy the freedom in my department, and I am also thankful that the people in my department have tried to understand my interests and support my decision.
What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) in your future career?
Studying at UBC has broadened my horizons and opened up many possibilities. However, since there are many possibilities, it is hard to make a decision.
How do you feel your program is preparing you for those challenges?
It's easy to feel confused when there are many possibilities and I'm not sure about what to do in my future. However, I am thankful that the people in my department are always helpful and supportive.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
Coming to UBC with some working experience in the education field definitely helps with my graduate program. I believe that my bravery and willingness to accept new ideas helps as well.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I like to read, watch movies, chill with friends, paint, hike, and swim.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
To open yourself and welcome the new environment. Be positive, and talk with your friends, things will be better!