5 Things to Know About Me

Hi there!

Although I’m a student, I would like to give myself titles of photographer, video editor, food lover, explorer, traveler, and learner for life. There is much more to me than my professional skills and my schoolwork, and here are 5 things that you should know about me!

  1. I’ve been to four different countries for the past 19 years. I was born in Logroño, a small city in Southern Spain. When I was little, I flew to Wenzhou, China with my grandmother, and I spent my kindergarten to 3rd grade in my homeland. In 4th grade, I started my journey to Spain and lived in Madrid with my parents. However, I wanted to see the bigger world and be able to speak fluent English. So I went to Greystones, a coastal town in County Wicklow, Ireland, for one semester as a study-abroad opportunity provided by my school. Lastly, I am now at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in the United State pursuing my bachelor’s degree. I also plan to be involved in a study abroad exchange in Seoul, Korea for one semester in my junior year. I love to travel, I love exploring new things, learning about new cultures, and experiencing different lifestyles. I believe I will be traveling to study or work in many more countries in the future!
  2. I am a Buddhist. Yes, although Buddhism seems a belief for old people and is boring, I’ve been a Buddhist since 7th grade and learned tons of knowledge, and had unforgettable experiences. I have joined Buddha’s Light International Association‘s Madrid Young Adult Division for 8 years. Throughout the years, I’ve been working as vice president in the division, helping masters carry out tasks, being a Spanish-Chinese translator during different events, editing videos to promote Buddhism, posting images and stories for Instagram, and organizing summer camps for children under 15-years-old. I have also participated in 3 BLIA YAD European Youth Camps: first in 2016 in Paris, Francis; in 2017 in Madrid, Spain, and worked as one of the main organizers and prepared materials for the camp; in 2018 again in Paris, France and worked as a member of the media team. Nevertheless, I also attended Young Adult Executive Conference 2017 (IBLYAEC 2017) in Hsi Lai Temple, Los Angeles, and IBLYAEC 2018 at BLIA’s headquarters, in Taiwan, China. I do believe in Karma, rebirth, and impermanence, and also people need to do good things to accumulate virtue for the rest of their life, their offspring, or their next life.
  3. My favorite director is Wong Kar-Wai. I have always heard about the name Wong Kar-Wai, but never watched his movies until I attended Harvard Summit for Young Leaders in China in 2019. There, I took a class on film analysis and watched clips from Wong’s film called In the mood for love. Since then, I have started to watch his films. Wong Kar Wai’s story is apparent. How to love, why love, why break up, and how to break up are both romantic and magical. The logic of each story of Wong Kar-Wai is explained with a concept, whether it is canned pineapple, killer or elementary school Classmates, or buying a pack of cigarettes, no matter how absurd the core of his story is, his expression will always be just right and not embarrassing. He also has a very rich lens language, and the music that he puts on for each of the movies fits the theme very well. I love Wong Kar-Wai because every time I watch his movies, I always feel like I’m in the movie, experiencing what the protagonists are going through.
  4. I love butterflies. I have always been attracted to butterflies, of any form. My favorite K-Drama called Nevertheless is also related to butterflies, where the female protagonist is named “nabi”, which means butterfly in Korean. Butterflies symbolize the ephemeral nature of life and the cycle of life, their lives are short and fragile as paper, but they still show the splendor of life. So I think the reason why I am attracted to it is that it gives hope for new beginnings, and for what the future has to bring.
  5. Growing up, I wanted to be a coffee shop owner and barista. I think this might be every girl’s dream, to have a coffee shop or flower shop of its own. I have dreamt of having a series of chain stores with the same name, a coffee shop, a flower shop, a bar, an Airbnb, etc… I would like to have all these kinds of shops because I love interacting with different kinds of people and listening to their stories. By opening a coffee shop, I can decorate the store and play music of my preference. I prefer to have a small shop so that I could chat with my clients while they are sitting at the bar counter waiting for their cup of coffee, and they can also share their ups and downs with me.

email: jiaerji@ad.unc.edu

Instagram: graceeeji

Art account: xliigracej

Linkedin: Jiaer Ji

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