SOAS University of London

Menelik Lee, 1st Year

I would like to use my language skills to set up a mentoring scheme for Chinese students to help them integrate into British universities through social activities such as sports and clubs.

Taking an undergraduate degree in Biology at Imperial College may not seem the most natural route to an MA in Advanced Chinese Studies at SOAS, but it was during my undergraduate course that I first began to get interested in Chinese. The multicultural aspect of university life got me thinking that I should really learn another language myself, and the language I ended up picking was Chinese. What had started as a vague idea ended up becoming my main hobby, and when I thought about further studies my heart was more inclined towards language learning than it was to science. I came to SOAS because of its reputation for expertise in languages, and through my course I have been able to progress my own knowledge from being able to speak casual Chinese to a level where I now feel confident that I can use it professionally. Knowing a language opens up different worlds, and travelling to China for the first time last year it was fantastic to be able to speak to local people, rather than sit in silence for 22 hour train journeys. Eventually, I would like to use my language skills to set up a mentoring scheme for Chinese students to help them integrate into British universities through social activities such as sports and clubs.