Community Engagement, Global Engagement, People, Student Profile
International student Zifang Jiang finds life lessons in the classroom
October 30, 2017
Math, Computer Science
Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences
Okanagan (Kelowna, BC)
BSc (in progress)
“Computer Science taught me to do things consistently, even day-to-day activities. I see the world so differently now.”
ZIFANG JIANG chose UBC’s Okanagan campus as an opportunity to experience something new.
Jiang initially planned to major in mathematics, but a computer science course challenged her to step out of her comfort zone.
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“I was terrified about computer science, and was afraid I wouldn’t pass,” says Jiang, who won the prestigious Joseph Yu Global Leadership Award, which recognizes an outstanding female student from Asia entering her first year of a UBC undergraduate degree.
Through hard work and seeking help when needed, Jiang developed a deep interest in her unexpected discipline.
“Computer science started to become so fascinating to me. I was able to apply it to almost every thing. It taught me to do things consistently, even day-to-day activities. I see the world so differently now.”
In addition to a newfound interest in computer science, Jiang also discovered a new appreciation for language. She credits elective courses taught by English lecturer Shirley McDonald for improving her English writing, reading and speaking skills.
“Professor McDonald has made a real difference. Through her lectures on topics such as values, racism and prejudice, I have learned that English is just a tool. The most important thing that you exchange is the content.”
While Jiang admits the transition to Canada was somewhat nerve-racking, she praises new-to-UBC orientation programs for giving her a chance to prepare for the classroom, meet people, and make friends.
Now an upper-level undergraduate student, Jiang is giving back, volunteering as an orientation leader to welcome the next cohort of international students to UBC Okanagan.