University of Western Ontario - London, OntarioContact Information:
1151 Richmond Street, Stevenson-Lawson Building Room 190 London, Ontario, N6A 5B8, Canada
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|Name:||Yubang Wu; Friends call me "William"|
|Country of Origin:||Shanghai, China|
|Field of Study:||Management and Organizational Studies; Economics|
Student Story:The Enjoyable Moments in Western
Honestly, the decision that I made to study in Canada for my undergraduate education did not come easily. When I was in high school, I was immersed in those "Chinese girl in Harvard" news reports; I realized that I needed the experience of studying in a different country in order to learn different ways of thinking and also to broaden my horizons. After much consideration, I chose Canada as the destination. It was because of the mature education system and the relatively open policy towards international students; it was also because of the strong comprehensive national strength and diverse cultures in this country. And indeed, it was an affordable cost that my family could bear.
The University of Western Ontario is one of the schools that I applied for. In April 2005, I got the offer from it for the program which is now named Management and Organizational Studies. What finally made me to choose Western was not its special case study education for business program, nor the Richard Ivey Business School, but the beautiful campus view. I still freshly remember how excited I was at the moment when I first saw the green lawns with the landmark building, the University College building. The banner fluttered gently in the breeze, as my 4 years university life stretched ahead of me. For an international student, the first threshold probably would be adapting yourself to the new environment. Languages, climate, food…the "cultural gap" exists everywhere; however, Western's annual "frosh week" provides first year students with the opportunity to meet as many friends as possible. During frosh week, the USC organizes a variety of events which ease the worries for new students like me and get them involved in the activities to talk, to laugh, to make friends, and to be in love with this "Canada's best students' experience" university.
In addition, living in a campus residence also smoothed my cultural gap effectively. I made a lot of good friends in my first year and most of them were from the same residence I lived in. There were also plenty of activities arranged by residence throughout the year, such as a study competition, Halloween party, residence ball, etc. I attended most of them and I really enjoyed myself. There was one night that will always be in my memory. It was a heavy-snowing day, but the snow did not stop us from going to the "floor dinner". A big group of us took a bus to a local restaurant and sat at two sides of a long table, talking about the interesting experiences of one other. On the way back, someone started a snow fight. We picked up snowballs from the roadside and threw them at one another. We were all laughing, and I had a feeling that I could be part of this culture. As foreseen, the workload in university is much heavier than in high school, but the courses are really interesting and constructive. For instance, Business 257, which is famous at Western, uses real cases for study. Students are encouraged to read the case, analyze it and solve the problems based on their own cognition. Although it is difficult to get high marks, it is a valuable learning experience. Here, attaining knowledge is full of fun. School is no longer boring.
However, I found that some international students put all their time and effort on studying and don't always develop their personal abilities. I hold an opinion that university is like a transition stage where students need to get fully prepared, technically and psychologically, before entering the career stage. Because there are many things that cannot be obtained by academic learning, students should place themselves into a bigger setting and build up themselves with not only technical skills but also other abilities, such as communication skills and leadership experience.
The University of Western Ontario offers many opportunities for students to become a volunteer, whether to edit another's resume or to lead a hockey team to the championships. There are over 100 student clubs on campus, from the Red Cross Club to the Investment Club, from the Salsa Club to the Chinese Students' Association. Everyone can find a sky that belongs to his own. I have joined several clubs and volunteered with some services on campus. As a vice-president of a club and the primary person in charge, I, together with my team, successfully held the 3rd Chinese's Cultural Festival in February 2007, which captured extensive media exposure and local recognition. As a volunteer at Western's FM94.9 CHRW radio station, I have enhanced my language ability greatly. As a Peer Guide with International Student Services, I assisted a group of international freshmen, who are new to Canada or new to Western, to help smooth their transition to this new cultural environment. I can see my shadow on these energetic junior students. They reflect what I was like at 3 years ago, curious, passionate, and idealistic. By the time I have to say farewell to Western and jump onto the next stage of my life, I believe I will be completely ready for it. I feel peaceful; and have the best wishes for them.
Yubang Wu is a 21 year-old student in his third year of studies at the University of Western Ontario. He is expecting to graduate June 2009.