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About the Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Scholarship programme

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Leah Moulden

Charles Sturt University, Australia
Exchange to Yangzhou University, China

Arrival
I was fortunate enough to have travelled to China prior to my scholarship but a short visit never prepares you for living in a country. I flew with the 2 companions with whom I was going to study with for the next 6 months. This made our flight more interesting and we had a chance to get to know each other. When we arrived, there were university officials to meet us at the airport and take us to our hotel for our first night in Shanghai. Our first Chinese meal in a local restaurant was certainly a surprise V green tea, hot orange juice, and an array of unusual breads, meats and rice.

The next day we took a bus to the city that was to become our home for the next 6 months V Yangzhou. It was only 4 hours from Shanghai and was an extensive sized city but we were to become accustomed to being stared at. Locals seemed to find the sight of 3 foreign girls riding around on their new, shiny bikes quite amusing! We managed to have the last snow of the Chinese winter V what a sight!

The university welcomed us and made our transition easier with maps of the city, local information and contacts to help us if we needed it.

University
The university had the same amount of students as the population of my home town! We lived in the International Dormitory with about 50 other people from various countries including Africa, Iraq, Iran, America, Korea and Japan. It was interesting trying to communicate with these people in our basic Chinese language.

Our rooms were large and equipped with their own bathroom, heaters and air conditioners, beds and work desks. It was comfortable and would soon begin to feel like home. We all made an effort to make our stay feel personal and secure.

Our classes were on another campus but off the living quarters. We would ride our bikes to class every morning at 8:30am. Our teacher understood and was helpful when she realised none of us had any experience of the Chinese language. Our lessons consisted of 3 sections V listening, reading/writing and speaking. All 3 parts made the others easier and our life in China became more interesting when we could converse with locals in their own language!

Travel
During the semester, during the breaks and after the term, I took advantage of being in another country and travelled as much as I could. I managed to see about 50% of the country (which is a lot!) and got around on planes, trains, buses and boats. China is a country of many regions and much history. My experience in China was unforgettable and I would encourage all students to take advantage of this opportunity!

Advice
6 months can be a daunting amount of time to be away from home, especially if you have not travelled before. Remember that friends and family are only an email, phone call or MSN chat away. Speak to them regularly and if you feel homesick remind yourself why you are there and remember that the time away will go so quickly. It wont be long before you are back in Australia wishing you were still on your awesome Asian adventure!! Dont forget to take your favourite things from home V personal care products, snacks, photos, shoes and underwear can be hard things to find in China!

 

 

 


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