Peer Tutor Spotlight – Jiho Song

Photo source: Jiho Song

Hello everyone! My name is Jiho, and I am an international student from South Korea currently going into my 3rd year in Kinesiology. I first came to Canada when I was 11 and went to elementary and high school in Prince George.

After coming to Vancouver for university, I have exposed myself to various opportunities to pursue my goal of studying medicine, one of which was becoming a peer tutor for Biology 121! Although it was my first time being a peer tutor for the course, I really enjoyed every moment of it.

What do you most enjoy about being a peer tutor?

I think having the opportunity to help others in a field I am competent in was the most enjoyable experience. Being in a position where you can help others is truly rewarding, and as I really enjoyed the content taught in Biology 121, having the opportunity to help the students easily understand and enjoy the information was an honour. Also, interacting with the students by not only helping them with questions but also talking to them about their lives at UBC helped me enjoy the position even more. Finally, engaging in conversations with the professor and the TAs gave me skills in teaching and gaining more in-depth knowledge about the content.

What is your most memorable experience as a Peer Tutor?

The professor allowed my fellow tutor and me to hold midterm and final review sessions for the students. I was excited about this opportunity as I got to create the review session slides that included crucial content to memorize for the exam and develop practice questions. Delivering the content I created directly to the students and witnessing their appreciation first-hand was truly rewarding, and this experience gave me a glimpse of what teaching entails for professors and helped me understand why they find it so fulfilling. Knowing that I made a positive impact on my peers’ academic journey was an amazing feeling, and it definitely was the highlight of my peer tutor experience.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Apart from studying, which is what I mostly do, I like to go to the gym and play my violin. As most people know, going to the gym or getting any form of exercise is crucial for your physical and mental health, and for me, it helps me destress from school and focus on something outside my academics. Similarly, playing an instrument has been my form of relaxation since high school. I was a clarinet player in my high school band, and I began learning the violin four years ago after I was exposed to classical musicians through my YouTube algorithm. Since then, playing my violin has been one of my methods to take a break from studying, and it’s also really fun to learn and grow in a field that is outside my major!

What is a fun fact about you that people may not know?

Having grown up in Prince George, a quaint and rural town, I can proudly say that I’ve had the authentic Canadian experience. Throughout elementary and high school, I spent most of my time outdoors: hunting, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and riding ATVs. After interacting with many Canadian students from Vancouver, I realized that many students have never tried those activities! They are honestly so much fun, and if you have not tried them, I highly recommend that you do.

Also, as a South Korean, I served in the Korean Army for 18 months. My job was to train the incoming army trainees by teaching them basic army skills and fitness, and although I was conscripted to serve in the military, the experience helped me grow and mature as an adult.

What are your plans following graduation?

After graduation, I hope to attend medical school in Canada and become a Physiatrist. As I am especially interested in rehabilitation for chronic illness patients, becoming a Physiatrist has been my goal since I entered university. I have a couple of years left before graduation, so I want to get the most out of my university experience by enjoying the courses I take and engaging in various activities!

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