Samuel Zatland (Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering), Tsinghua Summer 2016
For me, the most beneficial aspect of this experience has been, without a doubt, the independence gained from spending several months in a place with a culture so unique and different to my own. While challenging at times due to the lack of communication, I feel that these difficulties have only served to develop my awareness and familiarity with Chinese culture, as well as my experience in working with people from a variety of backgrounds. Over the last two months I have been immersed in Chinese student life and this motivated me to take some basic Mandarin lessons on campus, which has been very rewarding.
The opportunities provided by the IROP scheme have been invaluable as I now have a much better grasp of what a career in research would entail. In the short-term, I have learned a lot about what to expect from my 3rd year and this will help me to decide on my specialisations and career path over the coming two years.
Aside from life on campus, being relatively close to the centre of Beijing allowed me to easily visit attractions such as the Forbidden City, the tomb of Chairman Mao and the Summer Palace. I also took advantage of the many excursion opportunities further out, such as the Great Wall of China at Jinshanling. The last few months have been an incredible experience, even with the extreme language barrier preventing much meaningful communication. I have met some really interesting people and experienced life in China as both a student and as a traveller.
"the most beneficial aspect of this experience has been, without a doubt, the independence gained from spending several months in a place with a culture so unique and different to my own"