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Dating game sparks passion for student


IF You are the one dating show contestant Siqun Dong is hoping her stint on the hit Chinese TV program helps her find love in the real world.

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The 27-year-old student in South Australia was unaware the show was running two episodes exclusively featuring Mandarin-speaking contestants living in Australia until she applied late last year. 

She was flown to Nanjing for the filming of the show, which recently aired in China.

 “There were a lot of people who applied for this show and I feel lucky that I was one of the girls who were chosen,” Siqun said.

If You are the One attracts more than 30 million Chinese viewers every week, with a growing cult following in Australia.

The two-episode special featured 18 female contestants searching for true love by sifting through 10 male contestants.

The popular dating show is infamous for its approach to match making, with the women often delivering brutally honest verdicts of their potential suitors.

Siqun is studying Social Work at the University of South Australia in Adelaide.

She said she had a lot of fun on the show but did not feel she had enough time to find her match.

“To find love on the show is a little bit tricky, it’s not easy,” she said.

“But it allowed me to meet more people and maybe find a good guy in real life.”

It was not the first time Siqun’s name made news headlines. Last year, $200,000 was accidentally deposited into her Australian bank account before the bank corrected the mistake a few days later. The incident thrust Siqun into the media spotlight, helping her bid to win a place on If You Are the One.

“After the money came into my account, more people started to recognize me,” she said.

“Now that people know me, my life keeps changing.

“Someone told me, you are a celebrity now, but I don’t think like that. I feel like a normal person.”

Chinese languages are spoken in the home by more than 25,000 South Australians and thousands of Chinese students attend the three main universities in Adelaide, the state’s capital.

Siqun worked as a lawyer in China before moving to Adelaide to study last year.

“It is a really big change going from a lawyer back to a student. There were so many challenges,” she said.

“Coming here and speaking English was hard, but I like that lots of Chinese students here try to practice English.

“Many times students come to Australia and want to just speak Chinese, here we can speak English together, so it is easier to learn.”

Siqun is writing a book based on her experiences as an international student in Australia.

She said Adelaide had become a second home and was thankful for the opportunities she had encountered in the past year.

“I love Adelaide since it is the place where I am achieving my dream,” she said.

“I highly recommend other Chinese students to study here because it is an amazing city for students.”

Study Adelaide is an organization set up to attract and help international students who come to South Australia to further their education.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story. Copied to Clipboard

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