I was born and raised in Singapore, where I spent the majority of my time eating good food and basking in the sweltering heat, before leaving for the UK to pursue my undergraduate degree in applied linguistics at King’s College London. During my time in London, I had the opportunity to explore different cultures within the curriculum, such as picking up a bit of elementary Spanish as part of my degree’s language learning module. Living in one of the most metropolitan cities in the world also allowed me to meet and engage with people from all over the world, which arguably taught me more about embracing diversity and culture than any textbook could.
While at King’s, I embarked on a year-long research project where I explored the relationship between language and identity amongst young Singaporeans. Drawing on first-hand accounts, I examined how language policy shapes cultural identity, and vice versa. I also began writing for Resonate – a UK-based online magazine aimed at bringing awareness to Asian minority communities – and penned social commentary on everything from the Brexit to the Black Lives Matter movement. In the future, I hope to work in international communications practice, potentially working in public relations for an international non-profit organization.
While at Columbia, I hope to explore the concept of cross-cultural communication in greater depth. Coming from a linguistics background, I am intrigued by the evolution of language and communication as the world becomes progressively “smaller”. I also hope to explore how technological advancements have influenced shifts in perspectives in different parts of the world, as cultures influence one another via the Internet and social media. In particular, I hope to examine the rapid growth and expansion of socio-political movements across the globe, largely due to the increasing pervasiveness of the Internet and online communication.
- BA, English Language and Communications, King’s College, London, 2016