Monthly accounts of other TOEFL® test takers' journeys to success.

Follow in Their Footsteps Success Stories: Shen Hua

Jul 31, 2015

Sometimes opportunities arise that change the direction of our lives. For Shen Hua, it was studying abroad in the United States at Columbia University, where she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film Production. It’s what led her to discover her true passion: filmmaking. And it’s how she was able to launch her career in cinema:

If I hadn’t studied at Columbia University, I wouldn’t have become a director. Studying abroad was a turning point in my life, which I didn’t expect before I went overseas.

As a university student, she made her first English short film that was released in the cinema. Later, she had the chance to work as the Executive Director for a TV series. Shen Hua is currently the Marketing Director of Strategy and Operations at one of China’s largest cinema operators, as she continues to learn more about movie making and pursues her dream to direct major films.

Shen Hua’s story is an example of what can be gained from studying and living abroad. Sometimes, it’s something you would never have imagined, yet takes your life in new and amazing directions!

Her advice for students who are now preparing for their own adventures abroad?

Have an open mind to communicate with others, learn from them, and tell them your ideas. When you go abroad, learn to adopt new ways of life and thinking. Learn from other study abroad students who have already settled; they may be able to offer you some new insight. And finally, help others and don’t just receive help. Share valuable things and contribute what you know.

Still waiting for your adventure to begin? Join the TOEFL® Test Prep Challenge