Sterling Hoeree

The Dual Degree Program is a very demanding program that has given me a great number of opportunities. I am a Canadian student who joined the Dual Degree Program and by participating, I learned, and practised, Mandarin Chinese by challenging myself to constantly raise the bar of my proficiency by interacting with people. I became aware of a world beyond my own, meeting people from all over the world, and I developed as a Computing Scientist and a human being.

All of this, I feel, sets me apart from others; future employers, my peers, and educators recognize my achievements, and I know that I can tackle a challenge.

If I am to succeed in the technological world where country borders are no longer important, then this experience will only serve to help prepare me for the future. I can understand cultural differences better than when I entered SFU. I adjusted to society in China, became immersed in Chinese culture and feel like a citizen of the world, not just a citizen of Canada. And, I survived a whole set of challenges and struggles, which made me a well-adjusted, confident, and world-conscious person.

I was happy to see the level of support for this program for students via mentorships and faculty involvement. Many items are integrated in support of students.

One of the challenging aspects is learning Mandarin to a level where instruction can be taken in the Dual Degree Program. There were many ways that SFU supported us through language training, immersion and faculty support. I was never without help when needed it; additionally, myself and my peers were extremely well-prepared to face the challenges of adjusting to a different life, thanks to the program coordinators, teachers, and fellow students in the Dual Degree Program.

The program offers students an invaluable opportunity to study Computing Science from an international perspective and experience a different language, culture and educational system while earning academic credits towards two Bachelor’s degrees.

This is a unique program that provides both an academic and a cultural bridge between Canada and China. Dual Degree Program was a perfect fit for my adventurousness and my creativity, as well as my desire to know a world beyond my backyard; I have met so many people and have had so many unique experiences that have given me more confidence and made me feel like a “citizen of the world.” I feel that this is essential in our modern day, since we have so much to gain from working with others.”

Sterling Hoeree

2008 Entering Class