First Day in School：4th May 2011
The following is Livia Gu's Interview
Thank you, Livia for giving me the opportunity to interview you. First of all, we’d like to congratulate you on getting an offer from UBC(the University of British Columbia) and the University of Toronto. UBC offered you a $8000 Canadian dollar scholarship, which was indeed gratifying. Were you surprised when you got the offer?
I was not worried about the offer of the University of Toronto. But I did lack in confidence at the UBC offer. However, it turned out that I got not only the offer of UBC but also its scholarship, which was really beyond my expectation.
Well, you took the IELTS test, what was your score? What were the 6 IB subjects that you chose in DP? What major did you choose?
English B HL, Economics HL, Psychology HL, Chinese A SL, Math SL, Biology SL. I got a score of 7 in the IELTS test. I have chosen my major already, and it is Economics. Actually, I purposely chose my IB subjects based on my future career plan.
How did you prepare, to get a better offer? What impressed you a lot?
My goal is very clear. I want to go to Canada. Just like Common Application in America (a website for American university application), Canada has the similar website. So you have to make clear what you have done during your school life. I took advantage of this opportunity to go over those memorable experiences, which was of great significance to my personal growth.
I remembered when you came to CAIS, you were placed into the EIP Class(English Immersion Program). How long did you stay in EIP?
I joined CAIS in MYP3 in 2011. I spent one year enhancing my English level and I also began to learn TEFOL at home. I moved from TEFOL to IELTS later on because of my goal to move and study in Canada.
There are still some new students who need extra help on their English Level. As we know, you were arranged to EIP first, but in DP you chose HL on English B. And you got 7 In IELTS. It was so encouraging and exciting. As a role model, could you share with us your experience?
Actually, the aim of EIP learning was just to narrow the gap with the Main Stream Class. Although I transferred to the Main Stream Class, I still could not understand some of the questions. But I was a stubborn girl, and I strongly believed that I could catch up with my classmates. So during the holiday(for two months), I was crazy memorizing the English words, 2000 in total!! It meant 80-100 words for each day. My father would test me on what I had learned during the day, and I really appreciated his support. Through the tough process from quantitative to qualitative changes, I suddenly realized it did work, because I could gradually understand the course.
I heard that your achievement in MYP was not as good as that in DP. And for the last two years in DP your performance was really excellent, which was such a beautiful transformation. What made all the differences?
When I was in MYP, I felt very relaxed. But in DP, it was the scholarship students who greatly inspired my interest of learning. They encouraged me and gradually I began to realize the importance of learning. I am the person who’d rather to be in the last two but not the last one! Actually, as a medium-ranking student at first, I tried to improve myself in the intense learning culture, and gradually I became stronger and stronger under the encouragement and influence of my classmates.
You are very modesty. You deserve to have the honor because you have experienced a hard time in CAIS. What was your motivation to join an International School?
I had started the idea of studying abroad when I was in kindergarten, although my parents never thought about it at that time. You might say I was crazy. I told my little friends in kindergarten that I would definitely go abroad someday! Ha-ha, that was my faith and my motivation! My sister (Genie Gu graduated in 2014), who was also a CAIS student and now has already studied in the UK, also had an influence on me and deepens my faith.
What impressed you in IBDP?
I think it should be the Habitat activity! To be honest, I really felt exhausted, and it was beyond my level of endurance! Even worse, I had a mosquito allergy, and my itchy bite was twice as large as that of the other students. I could not even hold my shovel during the service. Other than tired, I was moved by the villagers. Their enthusiasm and sincerity filled my exhausted heart. I felt the joy of harvest after the activity.
I had so many essays to write, and sometimes I even worked until 2am. I think I was a fast finisher. I finished my EE during a short time, but I suggest that you guys, don’t follow me. You need to write your EE step by step, otherwise you will be exhausted. Manage yourself and your time, don’t relax yourself too much.
The last question: What is your dream for the future?
After these 2 years’ IBDP learning, I gradually came to know about my dream, which was Economics. I decided to apply to CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) after I finished my Bachelor degree. My father affected me a lot. Since I was a middle school student, my father always spent his spare time in sharing some economics news such as stocks and the world economy, which was quite interesting. When the economics teacher raised a question, I realized I had just discussed that topic with my father the day before.
My father pushed me to be clear about what I want, and finally I found out the dream I want to chase during my life—my dream to be an Economist!