Deborah Qu: Becoming a Better Me

In this week’s edition of Student Blogs, we speak with one of Yew Chung International School of Beijing’s most active members, Deborah Qu. Originally from California, Deborah has spent the past year at YCIS Beijing, where she’s quickly assimilated into the tight-knit and supportive school community.

Below, Deborah shares stories about her time in Beijing, her tips on coping with stress, and how her teachers have guided and supported her throughout her career at YCIS Beijing.


Please Introduce Yourself.

My name is Deborah Qu, and I’m currently in Year 12. I’m originally from California, and my family moved to Beijing three years ago. 


What school activities do you participate in?

I don’t have a single hobby, so I like to participate in a wide variety of extracurricular activities.  Each After-School Activities (ASA) teacher is passionate about the club or class they teach, so I like to support their passion also!  


I’m in the orchestra, drama club, and do kickboxing, as well as working with a number of charities, including Help A Child Smile (HACS) and Roots and Shoots.  I try to participate in a bit of everything so that I can get a feel of what I like to do, and better decide what I’d like to do in university.

How do you cope with stress as a student?


I began studying at YCIS Beijing in Year 11, which is halfway through the IGCSE course.  Because of this, I had to complete two years’ worth of coursework in a single year.  

It was very challenging, but it also forced me to learn to better manage my time.  And the time management skills I adopted during the IGCSE Programme have helped me greatly now that I’m undertaking the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP).


IBDP is also challenging because there are additional elements that are added to our schedules, such as CAS and other extra-curricular activities, so time management skills are invaluable.

Overall, I believe the key is to take a moment every day and tell yourself that you can do this.  Then break every task down into small steps and progress towards their completion, rather than attempting everything at once and then freaking out about how hard school is.


How have your teachers supported you during your time at YCIS Beijing?

Because the class sizes are smaller here than back home in California, the teachers make you feel as though you have to participate during lessons.  Yet when I participate, I realize how beneficial it actually is. 


Before, I was the type of person that would never speak up in class, but now I realise that it actually helps.  So, now I pester the teachers with questions because I’m looking to benefit myself, and they are there to help me learn.  The teachers don’t get annoyed when you ask a bunch of questions, and they take their time to carefully explain the things that you don’t understand.

My teachers also give me assignments and things that I initially don’t like to do, but in the end, I realise that it’s all really good for me, and they gave those assignments to us to help us, not annoy us.  And because of them, I’m able to do well on my tests, which prepares me for my IB exams in the future.

Do you feel that you’re being well prepared for university?

In my opinion, YCIS Beijing is an academically excellent school.  I know many former students who came back to visit after going to top universities, and they said that our Secondary Programme prepared them well for their university coursework.

I feel that my teachers have prepared me well for my tests, and they’ve also put in the hard work and sweat to help their students pass!  

How do you feel about the YCIS Beijing school community?

I like how everyone empowers each other and helps each other study for tests, because my weakness could be someone else’s strength, and vice versa.  I think that our school community is very strong and supportive. 

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