Jun 12, 2014

Vancouver, BC – On June 4th students, faculty, and staff gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of this year's international student graduates. The guests of honour were treated to congratulatory speeches from Langara's President Dr. Lane Trotter, Dean of International Education Ajay Patel, and Langara Board Chair Anne Lippert, but the speech of the day came from graduating student representative Kunyi (Abby) Feng. Abby came to Langara to learn English through the College's LEAP Program before moving on to the University Transfer Program's, and her inspiring address is reproduced below. 

Please visit our full Flick gallery to see more photos from the event!

IE Grad
Student speaker Abby Feng with her family. Photos by Jennifer Oehler. 

IE Grad
IEVP volunteers prepare for the crowd at the IE Grad celebration.

Graduation Address by Abby Feng

Good afternoon everyone, my name is Kunyi Feng, and my friends call me Abby. I am an international student from mainland China. As one of the grads this year I would like to share some of my thoughts with all of you, but before I start, I would like to thank the International Education office for giving me this opportunity to speak on such joyful and special occasion. Like many of you, I left my home country several years ago to start my life here. When students come to this new country, they may panic and may feel homesick – international students are usually under all kinds of pressure, such as meeting their parents’ expectations. We also have to learn how to take care of ourselves and how to deal with problems alone. Most importantly, we have to overcome language barriers both in our daily lives and our academic lives. I believe many of you experienced these challenges as well.

Whenever I have felt worried and frustrated, I have thought about what my dad once told me. He said, "We cannot control what is coming to us, but we can adapt ourselves to whatever situation we face." From my beginning at Langara in the LEAP Program to my studies in the University Transfer Program, I have gained many qualities which have enabled me to go through all of these years. Learning what I am passionate about has motivated me to keep going. I think being passionate about things in life is very important because that’s where our motivation and interests lie. In addition to being passionate about my academic choices, I have also been passionate about volunteering in the International Education Volunteer Program (IEVP), through which I have met many fantastic people. We are like a family, the International Education (IE) staff and Teresa, Celine, and Brad have been just like our parents, guiding us and supporting us as much as they could. As one of the members of this big family, I want to say thank you to Teresa, Celine, and Brad for supporting us and helping us to grow as people. It was such a wonderful experience to work with all of you. No matter what we have experienced, I think all of us graduates here today should be proud of ourselves for the accomplishments that we have achieved over past few years. After graduating from Langara, some of you may move on to university studies while others may start to work and some may return home. No matter where we go, we should remind ourselves that we have just finished our journey at Langara College and now we are beginning another journey in our lives. We should use what we have learned here to move closer to our individual life goals and become the best we can be. Thank you and congratulations on the accomplishments you have achieved!

Abby completed her Associate of Arts Degree at Langara, and is moving on to finish her bachelor's degree in Sociology at UBC this fall.