What am I doing?
Well I recently received a place on the StudyChina 2015 programme whereby individuals from around the globe come together for 3 weeks and travel to China. I will be residing at East China Normal University during my stay - 22nd March to 11th April - and will be completely immersed in the life and culture of China. Ultimately, the StudyChina programme offers students such as myself with a unique opportunity to experience all that China has to offer. The programme itself is funded by the University of Manchester alongside the Government depart of Business, Innovation and Skills. They cover your accomodation, excursions and tuition for all classes. However, I need to cover the expenses of flights (£500-£900 depending on how many stopovers), visa, passport renewal, travel insurance, vaccinations, food whilst I'm over there as well as any extra-curricular activities I partake in.
What is 'StudyChina'?
StudyChina is a distinctive three week programme giving students the opportunity to interact with Chinese students, academic staff, local families and businesses, providing profound access to this fascinating country. Throughout the programme, accepted students will be immersed in a vibrant campus environment at a Chinese University. We will be completing an intensive Chinese Mandarin course (40 HOURS A WEEK!) designed to develop our written and spoken language skills.
What does the programme offer?
Each programme includes a Chinese University accredited Chinese language course and academic module along with cultural classes, visits and excursions - all academic modules are are the equivalent of a Level 4, first year undergraduate course.
What do the Language classes entail?
We will recieve 40 hours of language tuition in a tiered class to match our individual language level. The language tuition we receive will place emphasis on developing our oral communication ability, with an oral and written examination at the end of the programme. The language course is designed to meet the requirements of HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi), an internationally recognised Chinese language proficiency test.
What academic modules will I be partaking in?
Contemporary Chinese Society, Chinese Culture and National Identity & Media China: Social Control vs. Social Change. Each academic module provides a total of 18 contact hours and can be made up of lectures, guest lectures by business practitioners, company/field visits and project work.
We will be introduced to Chinese Culture through a variety of classes which may include Tai Chi, calligraphy or traditional music!
So why did I apply?
Well, participating in StudyChina struck me as a self-benefitting opportunity which would allow for me to grow as a person, whilst simultaneously living and breathing Chinese culture. It will allow me to start a journey of brand new exploration; experiencing its unique mix of ancient and modern civilisation whilst enjoying its scenic beauty and studying its profound culture. Not to mention, I would be surrounded by likeminded individuals - a common ground between two strangers. The highly-diversified terrain of China intrigues me as well; bustling cities, full of colourful nightlife, to isolated mountain top villages. Thus, you cannot help but stumble upon history as one of the world's oldest, continuous civilisation embellishes you in knowledge. I think in short, my main attraction toward StudyChina was the ideal of being totally immersed in Chinese culture with a history of more than 5000 years. It will open a window for me to know more about Chinese culture, whether it be martial arts or wine culture, and that's got to be the most exciting part of this whole programme.