Life in Ningbo is very refreshing, relaxing and overall just amazing. Ningbo is located away from all the hustle bustle, a very suburban area with vast lands, a stark contrast from Sydney. My host university UNNC (University of Nottingham Ningbo) has a beautiful campus, with scenic views, such as rivers and parks, on the routes to my classes. They are very supportive of international students and have hosted aplenty of events to make me feel welcomed and warm.
The campus is like a small village, with everything you need in it. We have plenty of canteens (we have Chinese food and international franchises such as Subway!), we have fruit and vegetable shops, supermarkets, barbers and hair salons, printing and technology shops, and even ATMs!! You really don’t have to leave the campus if you didn’t want to, it basically has everything you need to survive.
Our campus has a large variety of sports and classes available such as frisbee, yoga, volleyball, aikido and many more. I’ve joined the boxing club and the rock-climbing club (YES I know its amazing, our campus has its own rock-climbing gym). It’s a great way to mingle with the locals and create deeper friendships with the other international students from around the world.
China has surprised me with many unexpected things, but probably the most mind-boggling thing is how advanced their systems are. Whether it’s the public transport or the fact that you can scan a barcode on your restaurant table and leave (The barcode lets you pay without a waiter!), the country is more advanced than what I am used to.
A massive culture shock for me was the fact that most of their restaurants sell food that is meant to be shared. They sometimes don’t sell individual meals, and you have to pick a few dishes and rice to share with everyone. This shows that the Chinese people value spending time with each other and are definitely close-knit.
I’m studying direct equivalents for my Civil Engineering bachelors, but I’ve also picked up a few extra language classes. Who would’ve thought I would learn French and Chinese in China?!
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Bachelor of Business
University of Nottingham Ningbo
Endeavour – Cheung Kong Student Exchange Program Mobility Grant recipient.
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au