International students find unique experience at UIC
UIC is proud to be a diverse and inclusive community with staff and students from over 30 countries and regions. It is a melting pot of ideas, ingenuity and innovation housed in a stunning campus in Zhuhai of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, China. Here is how some international students think of their experience at this unique liberal arts college.
What attracts international students to UIC
When looking for an overseas higher education institution a year ago, Ana Cristina Rios Powell from Panama hoped to find a university that welcomes international students and allows her to explore a new culture from different perspectives besides studying what she loves.
Ana (front) and her friends
Ana is now a first-year student in UIC's Cinema and Television (CTV) programme. UIC meets her expectations. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the full scholarship winner is doing her classes remotely in Panama despite the 13-hour difference.
Bae Geuna, a Marketing Management student from the 2020 cohort, joined her sister Bae Sojung (Culture Creativity and Management, 2018 cohort) and her cousin at UIC a year and a half ago. Not only do they feel welcomed, but they also found UIC the perfect place to learn the Chinese language and culture while improving English with an international curriculum.
Geuna (second from left)
Geuna (third from right) meets up with friends she met at UIC
Geuna's sister Sojung (second from right) attending a flower arranging course organised by UIC
UIC is also a good choice for postgraduate studies. "UIC is one of the great places to study and research for Chinese and international students with several types of scholarships," said Md Asrafuzzaman, an MPhil student in the Chemistry programme of the Division of Science and Technology.
Md Asrafuzzaman (first from left in the second row)
Following different schedules
Like other research postgraduate students, Md Asrafuzzaman has a relatively flexible schedule. He invests a lot of his time in UIC doing science practices. Apart from researching, Md Asrafuzzaman likes to visit the beaches during weekends, especially evenings, to enjoy the beautiful coastal view and sea breeze. He also joined a day trip to Foshan organised by UIC, and he found it an excellent opportunity to learn about Chinese culture.
Md Asrafuzzaman (fourth from right) in Foshan
As an undergraduate student, Geuna has a tight schedule. Besides the same curriculum as Chinese students, international students must take Chinese language courses for three semesters.
International students and staff enjoying Chinese language courses
Geuna has made some Chinese friends during her time at UIC. She stayed in Guangdong Province for the recent two Chinese New Year holidays and celebrated with her sister and friends. It has also helped her to blend in with the Chinese culture.
Chinese New Year reunion dinner at the place of Geuna's friend
At the same time, Ana, still in Panama, shows her concern for the second semester because some courses are arranged between 1 to 5 am in her local time zone. However, she said she would adapt her routine accordingly.
Interacting with teachers at UIC
UIC's education inspires to maintain a good student-teacher interaction with innovative educational approaches, mentorship and collaboration.
Although Ana could not attend the activities on campus or enjoy the beautiful city of Zhuhai, she could still feel the kindness of the teachers, staff, and students who contacted her. "They have all been understanding of my situation and have done anything possible to make me feel welcomed," said Ana.
Teachers at UIC are described by international students as "professional", "very attentive to students", and "patient" as they make sure students understand what's taught in classes. In addition, their doors are always open if students have queries in studies or life.
"It is very easy to overcome any difficult situation because UIC's staff and colleagues are always with you as your 'umbrella'," said Md Asrafuzzaman. He also mentioned the outstanding research facilities, excellent research environment and opportunities as his favourite things at UIC.
Md (third from right) and Prof Xu Baojun (third from left) from the Division of Science and Technology
What's in their future
Studying at UIC opens new doors for international students. Speaking of their plans, Md Asrafuzzaman wishes to gather more advanced knowledge and experience in research in China if possible. Ana's plan for the future is to graduate with honours and continue her studies in China or Europe. After polishing her Chinese skills at UIC, Geuna plans to take HSK (Chinese language test) 5 when she goes to Korea, and she would love to get a marketing job in a multinational corporation in China or Korea.
Reporter: Covee Wang
Interviewer: Grace Yu
Photos provided by interviewees
Editor: Deen He