Posted 14 October 2015
To say that the trip to China exceeded all expectations is quite the understatement. I have never taken part in such an action-packed two weeks in my life”
The International Office at Harper Adams University is preparing to recruit students for the 2016 short study abroad cultural exchange.
The 2015 exchange took place in July, with 12 students spending two weeks in Beijing and Hangzhou, China, thanks to the cultural exchange programme, organised and funded by the partnership of Beijing Agricultural College (BAC), Harper Adams University and Zhejiang Hengyi Group (one of the top 500 companies and the largest supplier of textile raw materials in China).
This year’s participants were: Michael Curr, Emma Eastwick, Becky Erskine, Lucy Gilbert, Alice Green, Lucy Hood, Thomas Kearns, Fran Lewis, Sioned Morris, Charley Preston, Emma Tristram and current Student Union President, Sandy Graham.
International Programmes Officer Pamela Thomson explained: “The aim of the programme is to promote cultural exchange, to experience Chinese culture and language first-hand and to appreciate some of the challenges faced by students when they travel overseas to study and live.
“The students were allocated ‘buddies’ - Chinese students studying at Beijing Agricultural College - who had volunteered to befriend their UK counterparts and they all attended classes together, including Mandarin language, Chinese culture, cooking, calligraphy, tea art and Tai Chi Quan (gentle exercise).
“Outside of classes, there was time to visit the main tourist attractions in and around Beijing, including the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Olympic Stadium. In the second week, the group took the high-speed bullet train to Hangzhou, to visit the Head Office of Zhejiang Hengyi Group, including a tour of their silk factory and an evening of ‘son et lumiere’ at nearby West Lake.”
Applications from students at Harper Adams to participate in the annual exchange programme have increased steadily, since its inception four years ago. On their return to the UK, the students are asked to submit a short report of their reflections from the visit. Comments included:
“Being paired up with students our own age was a great way to see the country from a normal student point of view and hear and see what everyday life was like from regular people, not from a tour guide” - Lucy Hood.
“To say that the trip to China exceeded all expectations is quite the understatement. I have never taken part in such an action-packed two weeks in my life” - Sioned Morris.
“I was so fortunate to be given this opportunity and I hope that when the Chinese students arrive at Harper Adams, we show them the same amount of kindness and hospitality as they did when we were in China” – Charley Preston.
“I would seriously recommend any student at Harper Adams to apply for this trip!” - Lucy Gilbert.
“I am grateful to have made a new lifelong friend” - Mikey Curr.
Any current students interested in taking part in next year’s exchange programme in China should contact Pam Thompson, International Programmes Officer (China) firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact Sandra Turner, Joint Programmes Manager (China) email@example.com for more information on Harper Adams University’s partnerships in China.