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Jessica Tan

Shanghai, China



Jessica is a third-year Bachelor of International Business (BIB) student in the Mandarin language stream. She is studying at Shanghai International Studies University in Shanghai, China. (All students in the BIB program are required to study abroad for their third year at one of our partner institutions.)

Introduce yourself! Tell us a little bit about your goals and interests:

I’m from a super small town in Nova Scotia but I’ve always been drawn to big cities and new places I’ve never been before. I love learning about new cultures and learning new languages too! Expanding my knowledge of the world is one of my biggest interests and goals. Apart from that, I love drawing, painting and reading, particularly young adult novels.

Why did you choose your language?

My family and I speak Cantonese, I choose Mandarin because I felt like it would not only benefit me in the business world, but also help me connect more with my heritage since my dad’s side of the family is from mainland China. Also, I was born and grew up in Canada and have never lived in China long term before. I thought it would be really cool to immerse myself in the culture that I relate to the most.

Have you ever travelled overseas before? If so, where? 

Yes! I go and visit my family in Hong Kong every two years, usually staying for 2 months in the summer. I’ve also visited Beijing, Guangzhou, Bangkok and Seoul. I would love to visit Japan and Taiwan one of these days. Possibly even during my year abroad.

What 3 things MUST you take with you while abroad? 

Not counting all the important documents everyone should bring when they travel, the three things I must bring with me are: an agenda/journal so I could record my time overseas and keep myself organized, a camera (or phone) so I can take lots of pictures, and probably my laptop.

What are you most looking forward to?

I’m most looking forward to making new memories while I’m abroad. I hope to make lots of new friends and experience new things! I am so excited to share all my experiences and the things I’ve learned with everyone when I get back to Canada. This year is going to fly by so I plan to make the most of it!

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