China

University of Auckland students have the opportunity to study at twelve partner universities in China: China University of Political Science and Law (Law only), Chinese University of Hong Kong (incl Law), City University of Hong Kong, Fudan University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Engineering Only), Nankai University, Peking University (Law only), Renmin University of China (Law only), Sun Yat-Sen University, Tsinghua University (incl Law), University of  Hong Kong (incl Law) and the University of Nottingham at Ningbo.

Let’s hear what our students have to say…

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  • I wanted to challenge myself by being out of my little comfort zone. Also I wanted to dramatically improve my spoken Chinese language skill as well as written skill by interacting with the native speakers in the excellent Chinese university. Tsinghua University was such an excellent choice of host university, because it is originally well-known for its high quality of education service. (Sam Bak, Tsinghua University)
  • I had been to Hong Kong as a tourist before, but, this time, as an exchange student, I felt so excited when I first arrived both in Hong Kong and at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Hong Kong is an extremely prosperous city, everything is so different compared to New Zealand. For example, there are lots of beautiful lightings all around the city, people usually stay up and get up until very late, there are lots of delicious street food and snacks in Hong Kong, everyone somehow seems to be so busy and stressful all the time as they rush even when on the street. (Sandy Jiang, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • I made many lifelong friends from all over the world during the semester, and also realized that I do indeed have a “kiwi accent” something I never realized I had. This exchange has shaped me into a more mature and independent person and is definitely an experience of a lifetime I will never forget. (Fiona Fang, University of Hong Kong)
  • At first it was really daunting to think about going on exchange – the whole thing gave me jitters since I was really afraid of stepping outside my comfort zone and being alone, but I gave it a shot and I don’t regret it. (So Yu Han, University of Hong Kong)

On culture

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  • Peking University has a beautiful campus, which turned vibrant shades of red and yellow as fall set in. The large Weiming Lake froze over and students were able to go ice-skating and play winter sports on it. The campus is located nearby other leading universities in the north-west corner of Beijing. Student life thrives in this part of town. China also has excellent railway networks and cheap domestic flights, making faraway provinces easily accessible for weekend trips. (Lucy Toepfer, Peking University)
  • Food in Hong Kong also forms a large part of its identity. The exchange students and I tried a variety of street food, local food and alternative food. One of my best memories was having lunch with my friends, searching for snacks immediately afterwards, then planning for dinner! (Yanqing Wei, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • There’s always something to do outside of the university and is super easy and cheap to get around quickly using the city’s comprehensive underground metro. For shopaholics, there are an absurd amount of malls if you’re into tax free shopping and also markets where you can haggle your way to a good bargain. For a day time adventure away from the concrete jungle, Hong Kong offers plenty of breathtaking nature hikes as well as the standard tourist attractions. At night, popular activities include a visit to the horse races, followed by a night out in Lan Kwai Fong to experience of the world’s best night life. (James Hui, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
  • Hong Kong. This city is so vibrant and alive; a city that never sleeps. Neon lights, billboards and signs light up the streets. The night life at LKF, eating the quintessential dim sum at 3am in K-town. Learning the slang from locals. The fast moving pace of the city and its people. It never seems to stop. (Fiona Fang, University of Hong Kong)
  • While researching about Hong Kong, people described Hong Kong as a melting pot of different nationalities and cultures but I found that people in Hong Kong well preserved its own, unique culture, while getting along with people with different nationalities. (Michelle Kim, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • When I first arrived in Shanghai, I was amazed by the range of things this large city had on offer, there was a wide selection of food, including all kinds of cuisines, my favourite was the xiaolongbao which is a kind of shanghai traditional bun. (Muyang Wang, Fudan University)
  • I lived like a Beijinger in my second semester. I rode a bike to and from uni, dodging between cars and the hundreds of scooters on the road at any one time. I spoke only in Chinese almost all the time and found myself having complicated and interesting conversations with both teachers, friends and people I met in my day to day life. This brought with it a huge level of satisfaction which helped to make time fly by and as such my memories of my second semester are dominated by recollections of the time eating with my classmates or preparing together for our exams. (Tom Henderson, Tsinghua University)

On orientation

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  • During orientation week, we were shown around the campus and our colleges. Through the semester, CUHK also organised a lot of cultural trips and activities for us. For example, we visited the Big Buddha, the Ngong Ping fishing village and also the Hong Kong Legislative Council. (Yanqing Wei, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • The orientation programme organised by the university is great with many opportunities to meet other exchange students and also to familiarise yourself with the campus. (James Hui, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
  • Orientation week at the host university allows me to meet many new friends from all over the world. (Sandy Jiang, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • The University of Hong Kong was great with catering orientation for exchange students with a 1-day programme from different speakers to introduce you to the university services and the Hong Kong culture. (So Yu Han, University of Hong Kong)

On housing

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  • Each student at CUHK is affiliated with a college, where we also stayed. SH Ho was my college. One of the best memories was having afternoon tea with some other students of the college with our college master. CUHK offered on-campus accommodation to the exchange students. We typically shared a room with one or two other local/international/exchange students. My roommate was an exchange student from Taiwan. At first, I was very nervous about having a roommate because I have never shared a room with someone I didn’t know or for such a long period before. However, my roommate unexpectedly ended up being one of my best friends from my time on exchange. (Yanqing Wei, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • The university accommodation is comfortable, although it is a lottery for which hall and roommate you get, as some are better than others. The best part is that all your friends live right next door so a good time every night is guaranteed. The university halls do not provide any cooking facilities therefore cooking your own meals is problematic. However, there are so many options when it comes to food on campus especially if you love Asian cuisine. (James Hui, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
  • I was one of the lucky people that got university administered accommodation and lived in the Student Flats on Sassoon Road, where I met some amazing people by living with five other girls and experienced sharing a room with two other people. It was small, like typical HK flats due to the dense population in Hong Kong but it was very affordable since it was university administered. (Fiona Fang, University of Hong Kong)
  • The accommodation at my host university was very small but exposed me to a very simple way of living- that I think is important that you learn to live in simplicity. I think it definitely makes you appreciate New Zealand and its luxuries. (Jessica Young, Tsinghua University)
  • The international students and exchange students all live in a special area called the Fudan International students’ village. They have very nice facilities there and some dorms even have a view of the bund, the international students village hosts activities during festivals which makes it very easy to make friends. In Fudan, almost all students live on campus, this makes bonding easy which makes the environment very friendly and everyone is quite approachable. (Muyang Wang, Fudan University)

On academics

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  • I did not only learn Chinese language/culture but also learned various fields of study such as journalism, communication and Beijing’ foreign policy towards its neighboring countries. For example, students were encouraged to develop their own theories in order to write the term-papers. They were allowed to choose what topics they want to write about in their essays, and I enjoyed writing my essay regarding my favorite topics such as China – Korea international relations etc. I was glad that I made a right choice for the host university, because I believe that non-Chinese language programs gave me a huge motivation to continue to study Chinese even after I complete my bachelor degrees. (Sam Bak, Tsinghua University)
  • Studying there through the Auckland Abroad programme is a fantastic opportunity and privilege. My lecturers were among China’s top legal academics and were very clear and forthcoming in their analysis of legal development in China. My favourite class was Chinese constitutional law. (Lucy Topefer, Peking University)
  • The class sizes at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s law school were smaller and tutorials or seminars occurred weekly. This allowed us to interact more with our teachers and classmates, ask questions and engage in discussion. (Yanqing Wei, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • The courses at UST are relatively similar to UoA in content and difficulty, and all courses are taught in English. HKUST uses a bell curve grading system where there is no set passing grade and instead an established percentage of students obtain each letter grade. This makes passing courses very easy but also getting good grades a challenge. (James Hui, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
  • The courses and professors teaching my programme at Tsinghua were very useful- luckily the programme was in English! During my time at Tsinghua, we had some of the top regional architects from Asia come to tutor us with great knowledge and networks in the field of Architecture. (Jessica Young, Tsinghua University)
  • The language class was amazing. Learning a language full time with people who don’t speak your native language forces you to use the language you are learning. This incredible environment allowed English speakers, Europeans, Koreans and people of other nationalities to communicate in any way they could using Mandarin. I made some good friends who I spoke only Chinese with and this is an opportunity I have sorely missed upon coming back to New Zealand. (Tom Henderson, Tsinghua University)

On travel

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  • Some favourite memories involve exploring Beijing’s hutong labyrinth, summer camping on the Great Wall, and watching the sunrise from the Summer Palace. (Lucy Toepfer, Peking University)
  • Because of Hong Kong’s central location you can easily plan quick weekend trips across Asia to places such as Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, China or a day trip to Macau. (James Hui, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
  • I made a lot of friends with local students and international students, to travel around Hong Kong. From touristic places such as Star Ferry, Big Buddha, and LanKuaiFung, to local places such as Shatin. Shatin is my favorite shopping centre! (Michelle Kim, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • Hong Kong is a very vibrant and busy city, with a cultivated and reserved culture but also with very dominant values. With 20% of its land only used for urban and residential areas, and 80% of it being undeveloped, it has something for everyone. While being famous for being the shopper’s paradise for almost anything and having great dim sum, I escaped the densely populated city by exploring different hiking trails, seeing a different side of Hong Kong with a newfound appreciation. (So Yu Han, University of Hong Kong)

Tips

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  • While I was on exchange, I had good opportunities to interact with other groups of people that I never experienced when I was in NZ. If someone loves talking with new people and getting new friends, being on exchange is a great chance to enjoy! (Sam Bak, Tsinghua University)
  • As an exchange student it is easy (and valuable) to befriend other exchange students, especially when studying in a country in which you face a language barrier. It is important however to make connections with locals too. (Lucy Toepfer, Peking University)
  • Ultimately, the people I met were the highlight of my exchange. Words for those going on exchange – it will fly by very fast, so make lots of good friends and try lots of new things. (Yanqing Wei, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • Studying Abroad at HKUST has been the most unforgettable experience highlighted by the amazing people I’ve met along the way. The piece of advice I could give to anyone thinking of studying abroad is just take a leap and go for it! (James Hui, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
  • The advice I would give students thinking about exchange programme is to challenge yourself and choose a destination that is not so common and will push you to work harder and smarter and will also challenge yourself in terms of your personality. Being out of your comfort zone will force you to grow so I think choosing a destination where you can learn and somewhere that is not a common holiday experience is a great opportunity to be exposed to a new culture and understanding how other people live. (Jessica Young, Tsinghua University)

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