The first time Miss Tan Zi Xin went to the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations (SFCCA) in Toa Payoh she was a nine-year-old Primary 3 pupil attending Chinese dance classes.
On Monday, 10 years later, she returned to receive a scholarship to study journalism and communications at Peking University (Beida) from next month.
She was one of four recipients of this year's SFCCA scholarship, which was set up in 2011 to help students strong in Chinese to further their studies at top Chinese universities.
"I am excited about going to study in China and have the clan federation with which I am familiar since I was a kid to thank," said Miss Tan who completed her A levels at Nanyang Junior College last year.
She had studied Chinese literature and general studies in Chinese under the Chinese language elective programme.
Her schoolmate, Mr John Tan Pek Nan, 21, and Miss Wu Simin and Miss Khaw Faye - both 18 and from Hwa Chong Institution - were also awarded the scholarship and will study international relations at the university in Beijing.
All four also received a Chinese government scholarship, which covers their tuition fees and lodging at Beida.
The SFCCA scholarship comes in the form of a $5,000 annual grant for their four-year-long courses.
SFCCA secretary-general Patrick Lee, 67, said 21 Singaporean students have received the federation's scholarship to date.
They have attended top Chinese universities such as Fudan, Beida and Tsing Hua, studying subjects such as political science, business management, translation and interpretation, Chinese language and literature - and even archeology.
"We hope to contribute to the pool of bilingual and bi-cultural talent in Singapore with the scholarship," Mr Lee added.
Miss Tan wants to work in television news, but has no plans to quit her childhood passion. She said: "I am not giving up dancing yet and will join dance groups in Beijing to do street jazz and other modern dances during my spare time."
This article was first published on August 19, 2015.
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