8 July 2013
I cannot believe that I’ve already been here for a week. In fact, since I arrived before the course started – it’s already been more than a week!
It was all made very real to me this afternoon because I said goodbye to four new friends of mine – a fun-loving and rambunctious group from Griffith Uni – who couldn’t stay for the whole three week program and were flying back tonight. Two students from Griffith still remain, supported by their university; this also makes me realise how incredibly grateful I am to the BUiLD Program for enabling me to experience the Sun Yat-sen University International Summer Program.
The Program here at SYSU is amazing, as is the team organising and executing it. Coco and her team of local SYSU student ‘buddies’ have been taking exceptionally good care of me and the other 40 or so international students who are participating in the Program. There are people here from the whole world over: apart from myself and the Aussies from Griffith, there’s another Australian studying in Singapore who is doing the SYSUISP, as well as a bunch from Britain and Scotland, a few from Germany, as well as from Denmark, France, Korea, Taiwan and Italy.
The program involves Mandarin language classes at beginner and advanced levels, and a choice of either Chinese economics or Chinese political and cultural studies; I chose the latter. But there’s also the activities around the study courses (which themselves only take five hours out of the day); for example, this week we’ve already been on one company tour (to the gardens and onsite museum of a traditional Chinese medicine company), had traditional calligraphy lessons, enjoyed a guided tour of Guangzhou and an evening cruise on the Pearl River, and of course, been introduced to the course organisers at orientation.
I better sign off now – class starts again in an hour! And the weather has just turned for the worse – I can hear some pretty serious thunder, but thankfully no monsoonal rain like some days this past week…
I hope to write another blog post soon – or at least post some cool pictures – so keep checking back to this page when you get a chance!
Sending a warm hello from Guangzhou, China.
Rob, Sun Yat Sen University Summer Program 2013
This is a photo of one of the central buildings – the ‘small auditorium’ – on the SYSU campus. =D