“Originally, I want to continue my study to attain my master’s degree. The reason I chose to go to the UK is that I have been fascinated with its geography, history and culture since I learnt those knowledge in our CBI courses.”
“To be honest, studying abroad is not easy, especially for the first several months. I have to manage everything on my own. There are also many extracurricular activities. To keep a balance between study and activities keeps me live a busy life, but I also gained a lot. Besides, professors in my university have a relatively high requirement on academic study, which requires a logical thought in thesis writing”
As Jieming puts it, the University of Edinburgh enjoys a pretty long history. From Nobel laureates and Olympic champions to space explorers and prime ministers, the University of Edinburgh has been influencing history since it opened the gates to its first students in 1583. For Jieming, a university with such a long history is full of stories, which intrigues her to explore.
How to Make Decisions?
“I did a lot of research by myself. For instance, I referred to the internet to find out relevant comments. I also contact several intermediary agencies to acquire more information. As for majors, we need to find out where our interests lie, after all study for master’s degree is a stage to explore new findings. It will be dull to learn something that we are not interested in. In my university, there are many students whose original professional background is irrelevant to their current major. They changed their major based on their interests.”
In the University of Edinburgh, there are two different types of class——lecture and workshop. Lectures are like big class in Chinese universities. Students gather in a large classroom to have class. After lecture, professor will assign reading tasks as a complementary material. Workshops provide opportunities for students to discuss materials concerning the content of the lecture.
As for Jieming, her favorite course is “Language and Learner” which focuses on some theories of Second Language Acquisition. It also includes many other subjects like Education, Linguistics and Psychology, which is also interesting.
“Shortly after my arrival, I participated in the Ceilidh dance(凯利舞), a kind of Scottish dance. We gathered together to dance, which was of great fun. At the end of the dance, a native told us about the local traditions and customs. We also got on the stage to play bagpipe（苏格兰风笛）, which is of great local peculiarity.”
“The New Year Celebration in Edinburgh is spectacular. Also, the pub culture is prevalent in Edinburgh, so on that day people flock to streets to party. I was excited because I had an extra 8-hour in 2016 due to the jet lag.
Different from the universities in China, the University of Edinburgh does not have a real campus. The teaching buildings are located in a specific area which is entirely open to the public. There is no fence to enclose the university.
“My favorite spot is the lawn in front of the library. It is called the Meadows which cover a great amount of land. When spring arrives, with the decoration of cherry blossom, it becomes even more attractive. In sunny days, students will sit on the lawn to enjoy the sunshine or have barbecue party. ”
“Personally, It’s better to step out of the zone of Chinese students to interact with people from different countries, for the circle of Chinese students is rather limited. It’s also important to get to know different cultures and living habits by communicating with foreigners. The interlocutors don’t have to be native people. We can also communicate with people from other countries. ”
4. City, People and Culture
Edinburgh enjoys a long history and is of great vigor. With the arrival of spring, more activities are held, especially in August when the Edinburgh International Festival takes place and art ensembles from all over the world give performance there.
In summer, the daytime is quite long and the sky might still be bright even at midnight. That’s why people like to take a walk. There is a street called “royal mile” on which many artists give their performance.
Edinburgh is quite lively in summer and even the queen comes to the Palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh to avoid the heat in summer. Royal Mile connects the palace with castle, which enables people to communicate with the history at any time.
Just like the city, people in Edinburgh are quite passionate. They are not that reserved as we think.
“I did pay special attention to culture shock. When I first arrived, I was excited about the new environment and not afraid to communicate with local people. Two months later, however, I found myself reluctant to talk to others, feeling that my Chinese way of thinking is at odds with western way. Gradually, however, I forced myself to interact with others and everything got better. More or less, there is always a process before we fully overcome culture shock.”
“Don’t worry too much. Organize your time wisely, try to experience local life and don’t be too occupied with your study. Going abroad is a special experience and it might be your only chance, so don’t confine yourself in your dorm or the library. Maybe that will make you busy all the time, but you will have unexpected experience. However, study is still important.”