Introducing our 2021 Chinese Bridge Candidate

Zuzanna Suchcicka (苏卉雅) is a third year student of Chinese and International Business at the University of Leeds. Zuzanna has a keen interest in Chinese language and culture, and a strong motivation to reach the highest level she can. After completing her study abroad in Taiwan, Zuzanna decided that taking part in the Chinese Bridge competition would be the next adventure in her Mandarin journey.

Chinese Bridge (汉语桥) is an annual international Chinese language proficiency competition organised by the Centre for Language Education and Cooperation, part of the Chinese Ministry of Education. You can read more about the competition and the success of our alumni on our Chinese Bridge page.

When I came to Leeds, I didn’t even know how to say hello in Chinese!

Zuzanna has a background in languages, already speaking Polish, English, German and Russian. She had always been interested in Asia, and thought that learning Mandarin would be beneficial for her future. Without any prior knowledge of Mandarin, she decided to study Chinese and International Business at the University of Leeds.  

If I can go that far with my Chinese that would be great!

When Zuzanna heard about the Chinese Bridge competition in her first year at university she thought it sounded like a great experience and opportunity to boost her language skills. After watching University of Leeds alumni James and Ahmed in the Beijing round of the 2019 competition (pictured below), she set her sights on competing herself.  

James and Ahmad on set in the Chinese Bridge competition

If I work hard on my year abroad and improve my language then I can take part in this competition.

With this goal in mind, Zuzanna was determined to improve her Mandarin. She completed her year abroad at National Chengchi University in Taiwan, where she was able to improve her Chinese every day and gain a deeper insight into Chinese culture. Zuzanna revelled in the opportunity to explore Taiwan, spending her free time making traditional dishes, going surfing, making friends in the community and much more. Since coming back from Taiwan, she attended several online courses to further explore Chinese culture and keep up her language practice.  

The Chinese Bridge competition presented the perfect opportunity for Zuzanna to further develop her language skills and engage in a culture that she is so deeply interested in. The preparation for the competition involves classes with Business Confucius Institute teachers Xiaochen Man, Jing Wang, Fu-Yin Heinberg and Xunnan Li. Individual feedback from these teachers is invaluable in improving her Mandarin skills.  

The nature of the competition also means Zuzanna will get a deeper understanding of various aspects of China’s diverse culture. Since coming back from Taiwan, she has been seeking experiences to satisfy her cultural interests, and this competition provides the space to display her own knowledge and gain new knowledge. While initially she was nervous about the competition, Zuzanna now finds the challenge motivating.

Watch Zuzanna’s introduction video on Facebook to learn more about her.

We’ll be following Zuzanna on her Chinese Bridge journey on Twitter and Facebook – look out for updates!