Hello, my name is Olivia and I spent 4 weeks in China this summer completing a Chinese language course at the prestigious Xiamen University. Xiamen is in the south of China as is said to be one of the most beautiful places to live in China which could be largely down to its lovely stretch of beaches.
I chose to undertake this summer programme because China is always somewhere I have had an interest in going, mainly due to the difference in culture from the UK. Therefore this summer opportunity would give me a chance to see this cultural difference first hand.
I also do Business Management at Cardiff Business School and because China is an emerging economy, being able to speak even a little Chinese is likely to improve job prospects post university massively.
I was based at Xiang’an Campus with around 15 other student (mainly from Cardiff University). This isn’t the main Xiamen University Campus, which is located in the main part of Xiamen and around an hour and a half bus ride away. However, despite Xiang’an Campus being situated a little bit out from the main City area, we were living in what seemed like a palace! The grounds and buildings were so grand, it was like nothing I have ever seen before.
The course at Xiamen University encompassed lectures Monday-Friday typically Chinese language lessons in the morning for 2 and a half hours and various lectures/visits for the afternoon again around 2/2 and a half hours. The afternoon lectures and activities were great as they would be different almost every day for example to name a few: Chinese Calligraphy, Kung Fu, learning about Chinese medicine, different ethnicities, the economy and enterprise, holidays etc. I enjoyed the morning language lectures as we had two really good teachers who took things at a good pace. We were pushed to learn as much as we could in the brief time we were there, but not so we couldn’t keep up.
I am so glad I grabbed this opportunity with both hands and it is one of the best things I have ever done. It may seem a little daunting going half way across the world if you haven’t travelled a lot before, however I can honestly say the excitement and unique things you encounter outweighed the initial nerves. So if you want a summer full of adventure and learning then I strongly recommend this programme.