Ladies and gentlemen,

My name is WANG Luwei, a proud graduate from Government and International Relations Programme.

As I stand here, I feel grateful. Because looking back, I realize how much I have changed. I can still remember, my first year at UIC was quite a struggle, trying to follow UIC’s approach of teaching and learning, which is quite different from the rest of mainland universities. It took me a while to adapt, but once I got it, I could begin living my dream!

I went from a struggling student to a scholarship winner! And you know something else? I have discovered how much progress I made when I went on an overseas exchange programme to UK’s Swansea University. To my surprise, I felt at home at a foreign university, and I realized how well UIC has prepared me for a global education. I believe I represented UIC well, because a teacher from Swansea University actually wrote me reference letters for my graduate programme. This does not often happen to exchange students.

During the four years, there were two main achievements which I owe to UIC. First, I scored 7.5 in the IELTS exam, which can be extremely tricky without UIC’s all-English teaching mode.

A bigger surprise is that I have been accepted by the world-famous London School of Economics, as well as University College London, and the University of Edinburgh. Well, Scotland is too cold for me, so, I have finally settled on the London School. This is beyond my wildest dreams. Before entering UIC, who could have imagined that I would end up going to one of the world’s most prestigious universities?

So who are the real heroes at UIC? Definitely our teachers! And today on this most important day of my life, I want to single out one professor for special mention. He is Dr. Edoardo Monaco. He is the kind of teacher that makes UIC great. I still remember in Year One, I could not get a good grade. After I made some progress, Dr. Monaco came to offer me his encouragement, and I then knew someone appreciated my efforts. With his guidance my progress continued. I know, without him, I would never be what I am today.

Here, I have made many good friends, but no boyfriend yet, which is just as well, since I will be leaving for Britain soon.

Many students in other universities only care about grades and getting the diploma. Here we care more than textbook learning. We learn practical skills too. For example, during my preparation for this speech, a writer at our English Language Center opened my eyes to the power of words and the love for English. This is the kind of training I could not get anywhere else.

University education is about changing students, changing lives, and UIC has changed my life forever. I came here uncertain about my future. Four years later, I am ready for London, ready for the world. I owe all this to UIC. My parents are both here to share this moment. My grandmother who passed away last year would have been very proud of me too.

So, thank you, UIC for opening the doors for me that were not there before.

Goodbye to you all.