UQ Student China Experience opens new study pathways

10 September 2019

Returning in late July from a 4 week study tour based at China’s Tianjin University, 18 UQ students had their own story to tell by engaging in language and cultural courses as well as a practical study experience during their travels.

Run annually, the UQ Research, Study and Experience Tour is designed to provide a multi-faceted China experience, including placements at partner university Tianjin University, class and research opportunities as well as cultural offerings and travel excursions in Beijing and Tianjin.

This year, 18 undergraduate students from economics, humanities, civil and mechanical engineering, biotechnology, molecular biology, law, maths and education visited China through this study tour experience, developing their language skills and understanding of university life and Chinese culture along the way.

Conversing in Mandarin, sharing a meal or a basketball game with local students, exploring local markets and neighbourhoods were examples of experiences that many of the participating students felt captured the essence of local life, and in doing so overcoming communication barriers and cultural differences.  

Receiving support from key faculties and offices at UQ, the tour again offered a unique study experience for participating students, as well as open doors to new study pathways and ultimately career opportunities spanning into international markets.

Professor Ping Chen, Director of the Confucius Institute at The University of Queensland said “the tour was again a great opportunity to broaden horizons for UQ students internationally, and a key part of its success comes from ongoing support from UQ faculties and offices such as BEL, HASS, EAIT and Science as well as the UQ Employability office and the ATSIS unit who again contributed significantly to the 2019 program”.

With an aim each year of linking the China study experience with subjects being studied at UQ, there has been an ongoing effort to connect academics from both universities to develop a practical study experience for UQ students in partnership with Tianjin University teachers, supervisors and students that enriches skills and knowledge.

“For our Science students, they used their study time to work in the labs at Tianjin University alongside their PHD students, exchanging knowledge, views and ideas that I think will serve them well in their future studies as well as their careers beyond UQ” UQ School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience Professor Luke Guddat said after visiting the students during their studies at Tianjin University.

Professor Guddat also noted the value in Science students forming friendships during the tour with other UQ students studying courses as diverse engineering and humanities, and offered special thanks to colleagues at Tianjin University’s School of Pharmaceutical Science who were instrumental in helping many of the students settle into Tianjin life.

The 2020 study tour will look to expand upon connections between the two universities, encouraging any UQ academics keen to explore Tianjin University projects and supervise study and research groups to get in touch.

Applications for the next tour will open in February, 2020.