Hi there! My name is Cherise and I have recently begun my exchange at the Beijing Institute of technology. It is currently only week two but I have been up to so much! Classes have started rather staggered (so half of my classes started in week 1 and the others will start in week 5) we only have lectures, which are held in a similar style to those at UTS. The subjects offered here are also very interesting and differ from those on my program back in Sydney. I am most looking forward to doing subjects on sustainable vehicle technologies and advanced automated vehicles.
From day one I have experienced quite an extreme language barrier, but alas google translate is always there to help! Most google applications (without a VPN) are blocked in china, however google translate always seems to work regardless. I am taking the Chinese language course while I am here too which has enabled me to meet more of the international students here this semester. I am living on campus with three lovely girls in my room from Germany and France, and its been so fun to learn about their cultures too. The rooms provided are basic without cooking facilities, however it is cheap to eat at one of the 7 dining halls on campus with meals averaging $3!
As pictured below, there is a massive sports hall at our university which was actually used in the Beijing 2008 Olympics! It’s pretty majestic and has badminton courts, table tennis rooms and so much more. I personally don’t play any sports but its nice to walk around at night to see all the courts full and people playing together.
If I had some tips for future students I would say, make sure you have purchased and signed into you VPN before you arrive. Learn some basic Chinese (like the food you enjoy eating :D), and make the most of your weekends and days off class to visit attractions in Beijing and neighboring provinces. When you apply for your visa, its most likely you will only get one entry into China, but while at the university you are able to apply for multiple entries. I am currently planning a short trip to Vietnam and Seoul on the long weekends during semester and would highly encourage others to take advantage of the cheap flights from China too! When you get to China it is essential to make a bank account to use wechat pay (which is seriously so 2030 Australia is yet to catch up), make sure you go to a big bank like China Construction Bank or ICBC, as they are more used to dealing with foreigners. Best of luck if you choose to go to China on exchange! 😊
Bachelor of Engineering
Beijing Institute of Technology
Australian Government New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient.
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au