Carter Huang – My UNNC Experience (English version)

In April 2021, shortly after I entered the second semester of my freshman year, I had been taking online courses in Jiangyin campus of Nanjing University of technology (NJUST) for nearly a year. The life there was also very good and the students were very familiar with each other. By chance, I found an opportunity to do an exchange offline in my home country on the 360 International website. Without any hesitation, I chose to apply for an exchange study at University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC). This choice may change my later life.

I also applied for PwC internship after this semester, and got an offer, with an internship period from June to August 2021. As Auckland is in winter at this time, the holiday is only one month. I must get the exchange opportunity to achieve both these two things. To this end, I also spent a lot of time on the selection and approval of these exchange courses. When everything was completed, I also had a great sense of achievement in my heart.

Mooncake from the school

When the time came to the beginning of September, finally I can enter the campus of UNNC. Everything here is very fresh to me. There are helpful volunteers, spacious and comfortable rooms and a clean and tidy campus. The most important thing is the enthusiastic people around here. We don’t have classes in the first week of school. The first week here is called i-week (introduction-week) in UNNC, two junior students will take us to register and be familiar with the campus. They will also take us to eat, drink and have fun around the school, which makes us very familiar with the life here. At the end of i-week, there will be a special Gala Show for freshmen, which you can regard as the show of many clubs and community.

As the first week goes by, we should focus on our studies. I found that my living habits have become better here. Because the lecture of online class from UoA is recorded, I can watch it at any time. But in UNNC, I have two classes at 9 a.m., which means I have to get up at 8 o’clock, which makes my daily work and rest more regular. We can have more participation in offline classes, and we also have more opportunities to talk face to face with professors. We will also be divided into different groups to complete the tasks, and there will be the same tutorial or office time as the UoA to help students solve their learning problems. However, it should be noted that the score ratio of courses here is different from that of UoA. In most courses, the final score will account for 70% – 80%, while the usual score is not very prominent.

IWeek walking around the campus

In addition to learning, the campus life here are also can’t be missed. The Global Engagement Office organizes various activities for international students to help them better integrate into or learn local culture, such as going to the cinema to watch movies, going to downtown to learn traditional culture, etc. Club activities are also one of the highlights here. There are variety of clubs and organizations for students join freely. For example, I joined SCDA (Student Career Development Association), in which I acted as a consultant. Through my previous experience and my international vision, I can help young people who are studying here find their own career development direction. On Monday and Thursday nights, I also signed up for the zero to hero 5km challenge, that can help ourselves achieve the goal of 5km running through continuous training. There are many similar activities, which are voluntarily organized by teachers. Among these activities, what interests me most is the  enterprise school recruitment activities. Every year, various large and medium-sized enterprises come to UNNC to carry out recruitment publicity, such as PwC, Byte-Dance, Ctrip, etc., which will be of great opportunity to students of all grades and enable them to understand and prepare for their career life in the near future.

Being able to do an exchange in my home country is an experience I have never thought of, it’s might be a choice of fate. This is also one of the few universities in China that can experience full English teaching, which is very helpful for students studying abroad. At UNNC, I met students from all over the world. Some of them are Chinese exchange students from other universities like me, such as the University of Melbourne and the University of Connecticut. There are also international students from other countries, such as Korea, Tajikistan, Burundi and so on. I like such a diversified and inclusive environment very much. Most importantly, you don’t have to worry about no Chinese food here! There is no curfew in this school. You can come in and out of the university campus freely for 24 hours. When you are hungry, go out for a barbecue or Hotpot. Go out for a driving tour with friends on holidays. In UNNC, you are the main character!

For my future career development, I still aspire to be an entrepreneur or business man. However, in this process, I will choose to work in different industries to help me better understand this society. At present, while studying, I also work as an intern in an international consulting company, so my daily life is very full. In the future, I also plan to take the conjoint-program of BCom/BArts, because I have always had a goal in my heart, which is to do something that can change the current social situation, such as helping the Chinese government improve the popularization rate of higher education, so that more children from poor areas or rural areas can contact the outside world and learn more skills. Therefore, I need to do more research and make more contacts to help me practice my goals. In UNNC, there are several special career planning teachers to help us plan for our future career. There are also some students with the same goals as me. This is one of the reasons why I think UNNC is very suitable for me.

In the future, if there are any students from UoA who want to do an exchange in China. I will recommend you take UNNC as a host university. It is not only the culture and philosophy here, but also the open and inclusive attitude towards all people here. Each student will have a personal tutor from the same school. They will provide you with solutions to difficulties in life or study. Although there are still many things not mentioned, if you come here, you will not regret it.

At present, there are five students from UoA studying here. I hope that more our students will choose to come to UNNC to start a brand-new journey and a different life experience.

~ Carter

With other UNNC students

Carter Huang – My UNNC Experience (Mandarin version)

在2021年的4月份,也就是我刚刚进入大一的第二个学期不久,当时的我在南京理工大学江阴校区已经上了快一年的网课,虽然那里的生活也很不错,同学之间非常熟悉,但是线上课程对我而言还是缺少了很多的机会,。没有任何的犹豫,我选择了申请去往宁波诺丁汉大学交换学习,这样一个机遇也许改变了我之后的人生。

由于今年的暑假,我还同时申请了普华永道的实习并拿到了offer。实习期限是2021年6月到8月,由于奥克兰这时候是处于冬季,假期非常短,只有一个月。所以我一定要拿到交换的名额才能够实现我两全齐美的想法。为此,我也花费了很多时间在课程的选择及审批上,当所有事情完成后,我的心里也有了很大的成就感。

时间来到9月初,我也如愿以偿步入UNNC的校园。这里的一切对我而言都十分新鲜,乐于助人的志愿者,宽敞且舒适的房间,干净整洁的校园。最重要的,还是那人间烟火气。在入学的第一周,我们不会上课,这一周在UNNC叫做i-week(新生入学周),会由本校的两名学生带着我们办理注册登记并了解校园,他们也会带着我们去学校周边吃喝玩乐,这让我们非常迅速地熟悉了这里的生活。在i-week的末尾,还会有一场专门开放给新生的演出,你可以将其视为很多个社团的表演秀。

随着第一周的过去,我们也要开始将心态调整到学习的方向上。在这里,我发现我的生活习惯变得更好了。因为之前上网课的讲座都是录像的,我可以在任意时间观看。而在UNNC,我有两门课的讲座是在早上九点,这意味着我八点钟就要起床,这让我每天的作息变得更加规律了。此外,在线下上课,我们能更加有参与感,我们也有更多的机会和教授面对面交谈。在这里,我们也会分成不同的小组来完成任务,也会有和奥克兰大学一样的tutorial或office time来帮助学生也解决学习上的问题。不过需要注意的是,这里课程的分数比例和奥克兰大学不太一样。大多数课程,Final的分数会占到70%-80%,而平时成绩则显得不太突出。

除了学习,这里的校园生活也是不可错过的。Global Engagement Office会为国际生组织多样的活动来帮助大家更好的融入或学习当地文化,例如去电影院观影,去宁波市区学习传统文化等。社团活动也是这里的一大亮点之一,各种各样的社团和组织令人挑花了眼,学生可以自由选择。例如我加入的SCDA(学生职业发展协会),我在其中担任着类似于顾问的角色,通过我之前所学习到的经验以及我所具有的国际化视野来帮助在这里的学习的年轻人更好地找到自己的职业发展方向。在每周一和周四的晚上,我还报名了Zero to hero 5km challenge活动,我们会通过不断地跑步训练,来帮助自己达到5km跑步的目标。这样类似的活动还有很多,都是由老师自愿组织的。在这些活动里,让我最有兴趣的还是企业校招活动。每年各种各样的大中型企业都会来到UNNC开展招聘宣讲,例如普华永道,字节跳动,携程等等,这对各年级的同学都会有很大的帮助,能够让他们尽早的了解职场生活并为之做出准备。

能够在自己的祖国交换,本身就是一种我从来没有想过的体验,这也就是命运的选择。这也是在中国,为数不多能体验到全英文教学的大学,这对在海外学习的学生非常有帮助。在UNNC,我结识了来自世界各地的同学。他们有的是和我一样来自其他大学的中国交换生,例如墨尔本大学,康涅狄格大学。也有来自其他国家的国际学生,韩国,塔吉克斯坦,布隆迪等等。这样一种多元化且包容的环境是我非常喜欢的。最重要的是,你不用担心在这里吃不到中国的美食!这所学校没有宵禁,24小时你可以自由出入大学校园。深夜学习饿了的时候去外面吃一顿烧烤或者海底捞,节假日与朋友一同出门自驾游,在这里你可以主导自己的生活。

对于未来的职业发展,我仍然是向往成为一名企业家。然而在这个过程中,我会选择先在不同的行业中打拼来帮助更好的了解这个社会。目前我在学习的同时也在一家国际咨询公司担任实习生,所以我每天的生活非常充实,偶尔也会有些疲惫。未来我还打算就读双学位课程,因为在我心中一直有一个目标,就是做一些能够改变社会现状的事情,例如帮助中国政府提高高等教育的普及率,让更多来自贫困地区或乡村的孩子去接触外面的世界并学会更多的技能。因此,我需要做更多的调查并结识更广泛的人脉来帮助我实现我的目标。在UNNC,这里有专门的职业生涯规划老师来为我们答疑解惑,也有怀着同样目标的同学与我共同进步,这是我为什么觉得UNNC是非常适合我的原因之一。

在未来,如果有奥克兰大学的学生想要到中国来交换。我会第一个推荐UNNC作为交换学校。不仅是这所学校的文化和理念,更是因为这里对所有人开放包容的态度。每位学生都会拥有一位来自相同学院的个人导师,不管是生活还是学习上的困难,他们都会为你提供解决的途径或方案。虽然还有很多地方没有提到,但如果来到这里,大家一定不会后悔。

目前,我们奥克兰大学一共有五门学生在这里学习。希望日后会有更多的奥大学子选择来到UNNC开启一段不一样的旅程,收获不一样的人生。

Christina: Course Content at CUHKSZ

Blog Post #2 (3rd November)

One of the things I value most about the ‘university experience’ overall is the wealth of opportunities that are laid out in front of us. It feels like those expand ten-fold while on exchange, particularly in such a buzzing place like Shenzhen. I’ve lived here for nearly two and half months, and have now thoroughly had time to find my feet to be able to lean in to everything on offer.

Christina_1b

Shenzhen is China’s newest hub of innovation and entrepreneurship, with a population of over 12 million, located right across the border from Hong Kong. Some of our course work here in China has us looking deep into companies that are right on our doorstep; in the weekend just passed we visited and toured a company helping start-ups in Hong Kong that we’d only recently studied a case of. It’s incredible to have such a level of access to see the paths we can choose to follow.

Christina_1a

With just over a year left of our degrees, graduate life is getting close and being here has expanded my horizons by miles. Seeing the possible lives we may lead as UoA graduates has me buzzing for what may come. As well as the chances to build our business networks, there’s personal growth together with the tribe of international students, exploring the city, beaches, hiking trails, having movie nights in, and getting out amongst the night life. Our cohort of New Zealand, American, and Chinese students has bonded so much over the past year, getting through the thick and thin of living in new countries and rising out of it stronger. Forever grateful to my cohort family!

Christina_1c

 

Christina

 

Rico: Exploring South-East Asia

After studying here at CUHK, Shenzhen for around a month now, I have settled in very well. I have gotten to know people all around the world. I was able to meet people from Germany, Netherlands, Canada, and of course, China. This was the first time in my life where I could not use English to communicate with every person I met. Through my conversation with the local people, I was able to realise how bad my Mandarin was. Sometimes I was unable to convey the things I wanted to, so I had to resort to charade and have them guess what I was trying to convey. Another problem that stemmed from my poor Mandarin was that a lot of Chinese people would come up to me and speak to me thinking that I am fluent in Mandarin, when in fact, my Mandarin is no better than a child in kindergarten.

Last week we had our National week holiday, which was essentially a midterm break. I, along with a group of boys, decided to use this opportunity to explore south-east Asia. We thought to ourselves which countries we would never go to after returning to our home country. After numerous research and debates, we decided to spend 11 days in Myanmar and Cambodia. Initially, I was scared to go to these two countries after hearing the crime rates and how they are still “Major developing countries”. It turned out my worries were for nothing. The Pagodas were amazing.

In Cambodia, we went to see Angkor Wat, one of the world wonders, it was stunning, to think that it something like it existed in this world. After my experience in these two developing countries, I finally understood how privileged I am and how hard my parents worked to allow me to be this privileged. I don’t think I will ever forget what I have experienced in that past week.

Rico

Tom: Uni work after National Day

The first few months in Shenzhen were quiet, and I was surprised at the lack of schoolwork we had been assigned. But since returning to university from the Chinese National Day break, my desk has been piled with assignments and mid-terms.

The Chinese National Day break allowed us to travel for ten days to two countries which I had never thought I’d visit in 2019 – Myanmar and Cambodia (with a day stop in Bangkok)!

A group of other international students and I started the trip in Yangon, Myanmar, with an overnight bus ride to Bagan which I’m sure none of us will forget. I had just fallen asleep but woke up a few minutes later in the middle of the night to gasps and the bus driving on two wheels. I saw my life flash before my eyes as it turned out that our driver had fallen asleep behind the wheel!

Bagan was a city that I didn’t know existed a month before we arrived, but it ended up being one of the best travel experiences I’ve ever had. On arrival, we hired e-bikes for an entire day for a few dollars and drove around the ancient city on our own accord. During the ride, we met a bunch of friendly locals and stumbled across plenty of cool spots among the 3000 ancient pagodas placed throughout the city. For the next two days, we had a tour guide take us around Bagan and do a bunch of unforgettable activities:

  • Visiting pagodas and getting to climb on top of one
  • Playing the traditional Myanmar sport of chinlone with locals
  • Cruising down the river on a private boat for a sunset
  • Hiking up Mount Popa which is famous for pilgrimage

Next up, we have Cambodia!

We made our way from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, waking up at 6 am to a thunderstorm and the beginning of our day tour of Angkor Wat. The complex is genuinely spectacular and interesting to see bullet holes in the walls and hearing from locals that there are still land mines planted around Angkor Wat by the Cambodian government. I had my first ever interaction with monkeys outside the complex and even had my chips stolen by one as I tried to take photos of them.

Now, we’re back in Shenzhen and it is time to get our heads in the books. It’s very new to see massive lines of people waiting for buses from the library back to the dorms just before they stop running at midnight!

Dylan: National Holiday Travel

It has been over two months now since the arrival in China. Since my last blog, I have gone on holiday to Myanmar and Cambodia. Both these places were very humbling, with each providing a unique and unforgettable experience.

There were six cohort boys on the trip, not including myself, and two other exchange students, one from Nederland and the other from Germany. We first visited Thailand for a day, which was a fleeting experience but was excellent none the less. Afterward, we were flying to Yangon, Myanmar, for a night before heading to Bagan on a 10-hour bus ride. Bagan was impeccable with its 3000+ pagodas available to see, which we sightsaw on hired e-scooters for a day. The other portion of the stay was with a tour guide. He provided greater insight into the City’s history and gave us a unique experience that we wouldn’t have been able to experience ourselves. We then headed back to Yangon for a night, where we needed to relax. Then we headed into the Cambodia portion of the trip. Spending two days in Siem Reap, where I, unfortunately, got ill, so I missed most of a day. However, I still was able to see Angkor Wat and the other ruins around the area. Finally, our trip concluded in Phnom Penh for a day, which we dedicated to the Killing Fields. It was an intense and saddening experience, but it gave some insight into how fortunate I have been to have had this trip. Overall, it was a fantastic time, and by the end, I was looking forward to my Chinese bed again.

Since arriving back in China, I have been very much involved in study and group work. Some highlights not involving the academics include the Shenzhen light show and the trip to Hong Kong, involving HK Science Technology Park and Explorium. The Shenzhen light show was world-class, with multiple artistic pieces by Australians, which was very cool to see. The Hong Kong trip with the Innovation Cohort was enjoyable, but I didn’t find myself interacting with the speakers too well at Science Park. Explorium, on the other hand, had a very engaging speaker. He gave insight into the work they do with Li and Fung Supply Chain and how innovation is such a crucial part of the business. Now I must continue with my studies as I have multiple assignments ahead, and exams are beginning to creep up.

Dylan

Finn: National Holiday – Shenzhen

I am currently over the halfway point in my exchange at CUHK SZ and it has been moving at such a rapid pace! I have just come off the back of midterms and I am starting to prepare for the last month and half of my exchange!

Finna_2c

A few weeks prior I experienced my first national holiday, this was around two weeks of no classes due to the holiday and provided the perfect opportunity to go travelling around Asia. Therefore, me and eight other students, some from the University of Auckland, and also some from varying countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, decided to travel to both Myanmar and Cambodia for the national holiday period. It was some of the most amazing experiences and ones that I will never forget, from riding scooters through fields of Pagodas in Myanmar, to taking overnight buses with a group of foreigners to go see Angkor Wat in Cambodia, exploring the unknown. It was the perfect opportunity to push my boundaries and comfort zone by exploring these countries that I would have never personally thought of travelling to.

That has been one of the great things about this exchange is that not only do you get to experience the university life in a different country but you make plans to travel around to these amazing places that were not even considered attainable when you were back living in your home country. I would have to say Myanmar was my favourite place of the two, due to the local experience we gained through a tour guide who knew exactly what we wanted and also Myanmar is relatively untouched in terms of tourism compared to a lot of South-East Asia.

After the holiday we arrived back on campus late at night, still dressed in the South-East Asian style which included Thai pants and Cambodian t-shirts, so we were getting some curious looks as we got out of our taxis and back to our dorms! Then it was back into classes and daily routines again which was a little bit of a struggle after feeling like intrepid explorers for a few weeks. Now that the midterm period is over it is really starting to feel like the end of this exchange will creep up! The University has organized a trip to Hong Kong this upcoming weekend to visit the science park and the varying businesses around the area, that will be interesting to gain an insight to business life in comparison to New Zealand. Also, I am planning to visit Beijing in the coming weeks hopefully before the exam period begins! It is a must for me to visit the Great Wall!

Overall, I have now started to feel more comfortable in my new environment and have appreciated the opportunities that have come my way in the last few weeks, it is still crazy to think that I am out here studying in a completely foreign country!

Finn

Timi: Uni Holidays at Shenzhen

So, since the last blog post, school work has really started to kick into gear. However, a great coping mechanism I’ve found is consistently having a new adventure to look forward to. The longest break of the semester is national day holiday. The actual national day is the 1st of October, but the holiday lasts a week. Because flights around the majority of south-east Asia are quite cheap, the issue lies in where to go.

If you want to leave mainland China but are travelling on a budget, I would recommend going to Taiwan. Taiwan has a lot to offer from the Beitou thermal Valley, to the Shifen Waterfalls and can’t forget the famous night markets and Bubble tea. Taiwan has something for everybody! Not to mention the exchange rate of the New Taiwanese Dollar to the Chinese yuan and New Zealand dollar is pretty great.

For a quick getaway, my favourite weekend trip so far has been to Macau. At first glance, one would think all the small island has to offer is just big Hotels and Casinos. However, as it was previously a Portuguese colony, there are lots of European architecture and influences throughout. With it being only an hour’s ferry from Hong Kong, I would highly recommend.

 

Timi

 

Connor: Second Blog Post – 4/11/19

And just like that, we have completed over half of our semester in Shenzhen, China. Time is flying by so quickly it is hard to keep up, so much is happening on a day to day basis with many adventures and laughs being had in between.

To begin where I left off, only a few weeks had passed since we arrived in Shenzhen, but we already had a sizeable friend group who we spent time with regularly. We all knew the Chinese National Holiday was coming up and we wanted to spend it together. Tom played the role of travel agent and came up with the idea that we should all go to Myanmar and Cambodia. A few people took convincing but after a short while everyone was excited, and we all booked tickets.

The day finally came, and we left for the airport at 1am on Thursday the 26th of September to board a plane to Yangon, the capital of Myanmar. We arrived early morning and checked straight into our hotel so we could have a rest before properly starting our day. After we woke up, we had a very nice and very cheap breakfast at a local café. From there we went to a very large pagoda and spent some time along the river front. As the sun set, we headed to a bar next to our hostel and had a few drinks, excitedly waiting what was to come. We went back to the hotel, collected our bags and headed to the bus station to catch a bus to Bagan. Bagan was unanimously the highlight of our trip, it is an old town that has thousands and thousands of temples, all within very close proximity to each other. We spent the first day on rented scooters exploring the temples and going off road and spent the following two days with an amazing tour guide who showed us all the main tourist attractions and took us for a cruise along the river at sunset.  After Bagan we headed back to Yangon for one more night before heading to Cambodia.

We landed in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in the evening and headed straight to the bus station. We ate dinner and then boarded another bus to SIem Reap. This is where all the temples are, namely Angkor Wat and Ta Phrom. There were a lot more tourists in Siem Reap and a nice bar street that we of course had to pay a visit. After visiting the main temples, we found that there was not that much to do in Siem Reap so we headed back to Phnom Penh for our last night on holiday. The next day we visited the Killing Fields and had a quiet day after that. We went to the airport in the early morning and flew home via Hong Kong.

It was an amazing experience and opened my eyes to how other parts of the world live on a day to day basis.

Connor

Brian: Celebrating my birthday whilst on exchange

Celebrating my birthday while on exchange

Four years ago, I started a tradition which I would do every year on the 23rd of October. That tradition was going up a mountain either before sunrise on the day of my birthday. It wasn’t until this year that I realized the significance of this activity or why I kept doing it for many years.

My tradition of climbing up a mountain started in my last year of high school. After having spent all day at the beach enjoying the company of long-term friends and newly formed friendships, we spontaneously decided to climb up a mountain in my hometown, Tauranga. I must admit, it wasn’t a unanimous decision to climb up, but I was afforded a ‘birthday card’ and so I played it. Despite having a long and tiring day, ultimately making it to the top of the mountain and enjoying the view of my city brought great fulfilment and joy within me. That fulfilment and joy became the inspiration to why I would continue to climb up a mountain every year.

Brian_2a
At a mountain in Schwangau, Germany for my 19th birthday

Fast forward to this year, I’m now living and studying in China. I knew before I got accepted to my exchange programme that I’ll be in China for my birthday so, I researched many mountains I could climb when the day comes. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that my birthday would fall in the middle of exam season. I can say that I was disappointed but that is not entirely true. This year I may have broken my tradition, but I gained a realization.

In the previous years, I climbed mountains because of the ‘fulfilment’ and ‘joy’ it brought me. However, having broken my tradition made me realized that these states of mind were merely results of actions and events I never understood nor appreciated. It was not the view that made me feel great but the sense of achievement I’m bestowed for that long and tiring day.

This year, I am beyond lucky to have been accepted into Auckland University’s Global Business and Innovation Programme (GBI).  This opportunity allowed me to live and study in the United States as well as China. To say that this experience comes with a few challenges would be an understatement. As well as intellectually, it has tested our patience, our ability to be independent and our capability to make and sustain relationships with others.

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At a hotpot restaurant with GBIs and other internationals

As I sat at a table at a hot pot restaurant surrounded by around 20 of my friends, many of whom have experienced the United States and China with me, I realized that this year, particularly this programme is my ‘longest and tiring day’. Though I may have not climbed a mountain, I received the greatest fulfilment and joy I have ever had. Having people whom I have shared many of the same events and challenges there with me was even more special. From figuring out our travel documents, helping each other from the difficulty of a particular class to being in a country that doesn’t speak the same language as we do, we have all gone through great obstacles together. These things and most importantly, the relationships I have formed is by far the highest mountain I have climbed and nicest of view I’ve ever seen this year.

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Refusing to grow up with one of my best friends, Timi

I could not have wished for a better group of people to share the challenges and joy of studying abroad.

Brian