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Thursday 20 August 2015

Solent's Asian Experience

This summer, seven students from a variety of courses were given the opportunity to attend two universities in China so they could experience the country’s culture, history and arts.

The trips were funded by Southampton Solent University, the Three Gorges University and Jian Qiao University. We spoke to a few of the students to find out how they enjoyed their time in China and what they got up to while they were out there.

Students enjoying a dragon boat ride

Four students – Adam Mitchell, Hannah Dowding, Emily Mesher and Patryk Wirenski – attended Three Gorges University located in Yichang City in the Hubei Province.

The University sits in a beautiful rural setting at the mouth of the Xiling Gorge and comprises 29 colleges and 70 undergraduate programmes.

Over the course of the three weeks, the students truly immersed themselves in the culture, making friends, trying the cuisine, Bashan dancing, Tai Chi, paper-cutting, as well as trying their hand at the Chinese language.

First-year BSc Audio Engineering student, Adam Mitchell, was very excited about the trip, and Hannah Dowding (BA (Hons) Illustration) couldn’t wait to learn all about China.

“I’m really looking forward to the lecture programme as it sounds really diverse and interesting. Can’t wait to start illustrating everything we experience there!” says Hannah.

The Great Wall of ChinaStudents visited the Great Wall of China


Two of the students, Emily Mesher, who is studying BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism, and Adam Mitchell, enjoyed the trip so much that they decided to stay on and explore Beijing. Emily started her own blog to document her travels.

BA (Hons) Illustration students Patryk Wirenski and Hannah Dowding started their ownTumblr blog so they could share the illustrations produced during their visit.

Hannah Dowding was inspired by the trip and is going to create her final year project based on her time in China.

“We’ve learnt so much from the lectures, and the staff and students we have met have been incredibly helpful and friendly,” she says.

“They have gone out of their way to help us practice what we’ve learnt in class and to teach us extra. It has been an incredible experience and I can’t recommend it enough to students who wish to apply for similar opportunities!” 

Students at Three Gorges University

Meanwhile, Ryan Selwyn (BA (Hons) International Tourism and Management), Louise Davidson (BA (Hons) Fashion with Public Relations) and Lily Fitzgerald (BA (Hons) Fashion Promotion and Communication) headed to city-based Jian Qiao University to learn about a Chinese board-game called ‘Go’ that is over 2,500 years old.

Jian Qiao University is situated in the Pudong district of Shanghai, which is located east of the Huangpu River across from the historic city centre of Shanghai in Puxi.

‘Go’ is a game of strategy with a deep-rooted history and is a well-known tradition in China. Students had the chance to learn more about this game, and its origins. They were even able to put their new-found knowledge to the test when they played against local school children.

Louise Davidson was very excited about this ‘once in a lifetime experience’.

Attending the summer schools in China was a fantastic opportunity for current undergraduate students to learn about this culturally-rich country, benefitting them as individuals educationally and personally.