Sophia: Soochow Short Term Programme (December 2021)

I have capitalised on my summer holiday by participating in Soochow University international programme (SCUIP). Soochow University is an AACSB accredited School of Business founded in 1900, the first western-style university in Taiwan.

These three weeks of intensive virtual learning was taught in English with various courses to choose from, both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. It was delivered smoothly through a well-organised virtual learning platform (Microsoft team) and a supportive team of student advisors. Meanwhile, participants can communicate in the group chat. I have chosen to study a stage three International marketing course. It was a relatively small class with a combination of undergraduate and postgraduate students from all disciplines. The course consisted of interactive lectures, tutorials, readings and assignments (a mid-term test + ten-minute group presentation). During this course, I have experienced Taiwanese culture and education and established a global network with lecturers and students.

One of the challenges was the time zone differences. The virtual course was taught based in the Taiwan time zone, which was five hours behind NZ time. However, there’s a degree of flexibility as Soochow University offers three sessions (morning, afternoon and evening), varying on your chosen course. Another challenge was that I had to prepare for a group presentation within a few days. It was very intensive as I was constantly learning new things in daily lectures while applying them to my presentation within a short timeframe. Meanwhile, the time zone differences also fostered a communication barrier between my team members worldwide. However, I have overcome these challenges and achieved excellent performance. I have gained better insights into international marketing and global business operations by the end of the course. Moreover, I learned some basic Japanese cultures and vocabulary through the weekly Japanese culture workshop extra-curricular activity hosted by Kansai University, which is in partnership with Soochow University.

Overall, it was a fantastic experience and I would definitely recommend students participate in this virtual international programme. I have harvested a lot of knowledge and skill within these three weeks. It has opened up broader perspectives and opportunities which would be beneficial for future careers. Lastly, thanks to The University of Auckland for providing me with the funding to attend this programme.

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