At UBC Chinese Language Program, volunteers are more than just student helpers. They contributed and facilitated immensely in program events and oral practices while managing their academia in UBC.
This term, we introduce you to Shaoyu (Jade) Xiong, who has been helping the program for the past two years.
Please introduce yourself
Hi, I’m Xiong Shaoyu. I’m currently a 4th-year student in the faculty of Forestry.
How long have you been a volunteer?
I started last year, and I’ve been a volunteer at the UBC Chinese program for a year now.
Why did you become a volunteer? Was this something that you were interested in?
My first language is Mandarin, therefore, I registered to be a volunteer at the Chinese program here at UBC. I just wanted to try it out in the beginning, and I started to become friends with many of the other volunteers and students in the program. Everyone is extremely friendly and I continued to be a volunteer here this year. I was able to find a sense of belonging because I could speak my home language in this community.
As a volunteer, what are you responsible for? What are your tasks like?
I help students with their oral practices, as well as any events or projects that need volunteers to help with.
What do you think of the students at the Chinese program? Are they difficult to get along with?
We all know that Chinese is not an easy language to learn, so I think anyone who persists in this process must have great interests in the Chinese language. I understand their difficulties and the obstacles they are trying to overcome, therefore, I’d like to lead them through this journey.
Which events have you attended in the past year as a volunteer? Was there any particular event that gave you a profound impression?
I attended many different events in the past year, including the “Bridge of Chinese language” speech competition, as well as “Fun Night”, and the Chinese New Year celebration. Throughout this event, I discovered that non-heritage students have strong interests in Chinese culture and traditions, especially festivals like the Lunar New Year. I also realized that many of the other volunteers have very impressive talents that they put in use during their work shifts.
What’s your biggest learning moment as a volunteer?
I’ve learned a lot from my fellow volunteers, the teachers and the students of the Chinese program. They do their jobs with diligence and passion. They have the ability to plan for an event in a very short period, as well as solve any emergencies and problems that could interfere with the process. I gained many useful skills as I work and learn from my peers, their advice helped me build a solid foundation for my future career as a professional in the industry.