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A successful transition from Columbia College to UBC

A successful transition from Columbia College to UBC

My name is Mellissa and I am originally from Indonesia. Prior to Vancouver, I spent four-and-a-half years in Singapore for high school. There, I was introduced to Liza Koh and learned about Columbia College. I chose Vancouver because it has the mildest climate in Canada, and I thought it would be a great city for me to live in since I have been in the tropics all my life.

I am currently enrolled in the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. I am in my fourth year of studies, with a major in finance and a minor in economics. I will likely graduate this spring, but if not, in the fall.

While at Columbia College, I did the Commerce University Transfer Program where I took a lot of business courses. The courses are slightly customized and do not have to follow a rigid syllabus, which is good and bad. The positive side of having a more flexible syllabus is that I was able to explore more ideas, i.e. business in general. The negative side was that I had to adjust to a more rigid, and sometime tougher, syllabus at UBC.

I found the instructors at Columbia to be very friendly and readily available whenever you needed help with your academic studies. They are very personable and they remember each student’s name; this is something that is not found at a larger college or university. I still keep in touch with some of them.

I was involved with the Student Association of Columbia College from my very first term before joining the Entrepreneurs Club. The clubs really helped me hone my leadership and organizational skills, as well as teamwork skills. Later on, I became involved in the Swimming Club, and had a very brief stint as the Vice President of the Photography Club.

There were a lot of social activities at Columbia College and whenever I could, I tried to join in. I really enjoyed the Entrepreneurs Club fundraisers, and the Swimming Club sessions. The size of Columbia College allows students to foster great friendships that would last even after they transfer to their respective universities.

Vancouver is really beautiful and open towards various races, creating a society that is inclusive and safe. In my country, I often felt like a second-class citizen as I am of Chinese descent; but I don’t feel this way at all in Vancouver.

By Mellissa Tan