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The World As We See It

-- Interviews with students from GDUFS Dual-Degree Programs

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Written by: Iris LU & Bianca HE
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Edited by: |  Date:2015/01/0996 Hits


Exploring the scenery and cultures of other countries is what many people are always dreaming of but, money is sometimes a huge impediment. Luckily, students at GDUFS are given many opportunities to achieve their dreams.


In 2013, various international exchange programs enabled 882 students from GDUFS to leave their footprints in 41 different countries and regions. To know more about their experiences, GLOBAL YOUTH from the Office of International Cooperation & Exchange interviewed several exchange students.


This article covers interviews with students from the GDUFS Dual Degree Programs. Students in this program will receive certificates from both GDUFS and the foreign university they are studying at, when they graduate.

Being Excellent and Diligent Is a Habit and a Necessity


Huang Jiayue: International Journalism: A senior GDUFS student from the School of Journalism and Communication and Co-founder of the GDUFS Desi-Debate Team. Currently studying Economic Journalism at the School of Journalism, University of Missouri/USA


“I gave myself a new start, setting aside all the pride and glory I’ve had, only to be a truly hard-working student.” Huang said determinedly.


At the University of Missouri, the Journalism major ranks the first in the USA. During Huang’s stay in Missouri she devoted most of her time and energy to her internship in a news agency. Though the job required her to be working from six in the morning to midnight, she was used to this busy, but fulfilled lifestyle, feeling enthusiastic instead of exhausted. She values this opportunity so much because she was not only able to apply what she learned into practice, but also had developed a deeper understanding of America’s history and culture.


Apart from the internship experiences, her study period was also a source of stress. The key to handling all the pressures properly and positively, according to Huang, was to always make herself happy. Keeping a positive mind, complaining less and doing more, enabled Huang to adapt to a new environment quickly and to continually improve herself.

 

Give Everything a Shot


Chen Hang; ACCA senior from the GDUFS School of Accounting. Currently studying Accounting and Finance (as a double major) at the University of Queensland in Australia.


After learning about the Dual Degree Program at U of Q/Australia, Chen did everything possible to obtain this opportunity…including attending information sessions, contacting teachers from the Office of International Cooperation and Exchange and taking the IELTS exam. His effort paid off as he became one of the first students from his school to gain a seat in this program.


In Queensland, Chen arranged a tight schedule for himself. He signed up for a heavy load of classes, but still managed to spare some time for volunteer work. He also took part in various activities, like helping out on Family Open day, being a tour guide of Brisbane on Old Building Open Day and encouraging disadvantaged groups in the city by setting up a coffee grounds recycling business model. Though he was plagued by doubts and depressed at times, these experiences enabled him to improve his English abilities and fit in with the community more easily.


“Don’t be afraid of troubles. Give everything a shot. After all, those efforts, will help you find that your world has been changed.” Chen said.

 

Try, Change and Embrace a New Life


LI Jiayi, an Applied Psychology major, obtained advanced degrees from GDUFS and Lancaster University


Treading down over the lands of Great Britain, LI Jiayi felt alien and curious because everything she saw was novel and everyone she met was a stranger.


The first week, Fresher’s Week in the UK, she was extremely busy. During the daytime, many an hour was spent in registration, selection of subjects as well as lectures waited the fresher’s. In the evening, all kinds of parties attracted the fresher’s. As a newcomer in a foreign country, Li managed to adapt to life there by phases, especially social life. For instance, joining every British party and, being different from other Chinese students who would choose to stay in the Chinese circle after their several failures in parties of the local people, LI did her best to appreciate the bombarding music and to understand the different English accents. Furthermore, she also participated in various local activities in her spare time and opened a Face book account. Gradually, Li was able to get along well with those English students surrounding her.


The educational differences between China and Great Britain are many. For example, LI had to write a 2,500-word thesis for every subject while studying in England, through which she learned how to quote with extreme accuracy, think critically and express herself logically. “The biggest difference is that, in the UK, teachers and students have an equal relationship; therefore, a student has a tendency to complain seriously and publicly if he thinks she/he did not receive quality teaching in the university.” LI said, “The great study atmosphere there is associated with both Britain culture and its unique approach to educational management.”


In the UK, everything was new. Adapting to living and studying in such a foreign place was not an easy thing; however, luckily, LI tried the new, changed the old ways of thinking and finally embraced the lovely life there. For her, Lancaster is somehow like another home instead of a totally strange city.

 

Learning to Grow During a Personal Journey


Sheng LI: A British and American Literature Major obtained advanced degrees from GDUFS and Brunel University.


The Dean of the Brunel British and American Literature School would likely and surprisingly find that his lecture on Shakespeare’s plays at GDUFS aroused Sheng LI’s interests in Brunel University to such heights and helped her make a greatly determined decision to seize the chance offered by the Dual Degree Program to acquire further study in the UK.


The study tasks faced were tough in Brunel University, because the level of reading skyrocketed compared to what she had encountered in China. Too, the local accent and quick speed in the classes, all stumbled Shengm therefore Sheng spared no effort in her studies. After her first semester, her English had improved so much that she could express her ideas clearly in the heated class discussions rather than, like her Chinese classmates, listen quietly. Speaking of the means of her improvement, interestingly, the ability to cook Chinese dishes also became better because she cooked for herself in the UK. Gradually, she mastered a large number of skills to cook different and delicious Chinese dishes.


Reading a lot, traveling a lot and, in her spare time, she enjoyed wandering around, broadening her horizons and enriching her experiences. Both the prosperous city and the picturesque countryside impressed Sheng LI. “Britain is not so large that I cannot travel all over the lovely country easily and explore various cultures in different British cities. During my personal trips, I grew into a more independent person with critical thinking abilities about different things.

 

The Dual Degree Programs

The program is aimed at those students who have studied in GDUFS for several years and long to acquire further studies abroad. Participating in the dual degree programs, students can earn enough credits, and then obtain advanced degrees, from GDUFS and a foreign university. Dual Degree Programs cover a large number of students including undergraduates, masters and doctoral students. At present, GDUFS has 46 programs in this category.

Quotes:


HUANG Jiayue:On learning English…“We should pay more attention to professional knowledge and hands-on abilities.


CHEN Hang:Try to do more withoutfear.


LI Jiayi:Thinking of my special experiences in Lancaster; I was always grateful and motivated. I hope that more and more GDUFS students could have a chance to study abroad and to have a thorough knowledge of both Western and Chinese cultures.


Sheng LI: Chase bravely to achieve what you really want.