My short term exchange with BUiLD has taken me to Guangzhou, China. It is one of the fastest growing cities in China at the moment. My 3 week experience has been absolutely amazing to say the least. Learning Mandarin was the highlight of the program and gaining knowledge with regards to the business in china was just a further addition. The experience gained from the trip will forever be etched on my memory. The bottom picture is one of the iconic spots of Sun Yat-sen University.
Guangzhou is the largest city of the Guangdong province in Southern China. The city is not only a popular destination for their exquisite cuisine but also for their position to act as a national transportation hub for China. Home to close 14 million people, Guangzhou is renowned for their hospitability as well. As part of the short-term exchange, fifteen UTS student were sent to take part in the International Summer Program at the Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU), joining other 60 plus students from more than 20 countries. The program offered a choice of undertaking two courses out of the three provided; Chinese Language, Chinese Business studies and Chinese Politics & Cultural Studies. I chose the former twos. The team at SYSU had allocated us with local student ‘buddies’ and towards the end of the program all of us had become the best of friends with each other. Another exciting feeling for me was that, some of the students that had taken part in the program knew more that 2-3 languages as we had students from Ecuador, Scotland, Portugal, France, Belgium, Bangladesh, Germany, Peru, Malaysia, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Vietnam, Spain, Italy, USA, Taiwan, Hong Kong and as well Macau.
As part of the Program, we had a range of events and activities organized for the duration. It had covered the past 10 years of economic achievements and recent challenges to the region. They also had both local company visits and cultural excursions. Being part of the program had meant meeting new people, impending new cultures and tapping into innovative resources. Apart from the academic activities which were only about 5-6 hours a day, the personal time allocated to ourselves had been another major segment of the exchange. We were also taught traditional Chinese Calligraphy. Starting from our accommodation to eating outside was all truly exceptional. The guided to tours to the Guangzhou city and a spectacular evening cruise on the Pearl River was definitely worth it. In between the program, we were taken to a city called Foshan for a 2-day trip. Foshan is an emerging industrialist place in the Guangdong province. They are also less condensing than Guangzhou. The weather took couple days to get accustomed to as it was scorching hot at Guangzhou as it was summer.
Towards the end of the program, it was quite saddening to leave the place that had been our home for the last couple of weeks. The memories and I had made will be forever be cherished and all because of the support provided by the UTS BUiLD program. I am already planning my next visit to Guangzhou.