A Public Relations Student in China

Being at uni isn’t just about slaving away partying procrastinating broadening your knowledge in the classroom.  There are so many opportunities to gain new skills, meet new friends and create some fantastic memories, if you know where to find them!  One such opportunity the Business School offers is going on a short-term exchange.

Last year in July I was fortunate enough to go on a 2 week short exchange to the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE) Summer Camp in Chengdu, China.  The university hosted around 60 uni students from countries all around the world – Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Vietnam, South Africa and the UK to name a few – to broaden our knowledge of Chinese culture, language and business practices.

'Melissa' in Chinese

‘Melissa’ in Chinese

We had a packed itinerary for the two weeks, with a perfect mix of attending lectures and experiencing Chengdu and Chinese culture. As a Public Relations student with limited knowledge about economics or China, it was a really enlightening experience attending lectures on topics such as the Chinese economy, Chinese healthcare reform, traditional Chinese medicine and a fascinating insight into queuing theory (with so many people, they need a really good queuing system!). It was also interesting to see their advertising and marketing practices; I regularly saw ads for hospitals on TV which we never see in Australia!

Some of the many cultural activities I did were…

  • TOOK PHOTOS OF ALL THE CATS I SAW (I saw 17 cats.)
  • climbed (what seemed like) millions of stairs to gaze at the enormous Giant Buddha at Leshan,
  • attempted to cook authentic Chinese food like Kung Po Chicken (managed to cut my thumb nicely, this is why I shouldn’t be allowed near sharp things),
  • visited pandas at the Giant Panda Breeding Research Centre,
  • pretended to be a kung-fu master during a tai-chi class,
  • had an unforgettable karaoke and clubbing experience on the very last night

Generously, SWUFE covered accommodation, meals, tuition and other costs, so all I had to pay for was the flight and travel insurance. Plus, the Business School gave me a scholarship which helped to pay for my flight, so overall it was an interesting experience which didn’t break the bank. I would have been crazy not to apply to go! If you see the SWUFE Summer Camp offered again in the future (it was offered again in July this year), definitely think about applying because you will have the best time of your life!

Short-term exchange opportunities are offered by universities around the world, particularly in Europe and Asia, and are typically held during our June/July break, and end of year break. Check out the Business School Exchange page to see where you could be jetting off to in the future! If you’re not a Business student, enquire with your Faculty to see what exchange options are available to you.

Good luck getting through your final assessment and exams everyone! The time for relaxing and sleep is near…

4 responses

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  1. Avatar
    Louise

    Hi Melissa,

    I was wondering what are the requirements for you to be accepted into the short term program? It seems to be quite competitive as only 60 students are allowed to go! Do you have any tips for a better application? 🙂

    • Avatar
      Mel

      Hi Louise! The typical requirements for applying for a program offered through the Business School is a minimum GPA requirement (usually around a GPA 4, but varies depending on the program) and a 200 word essay about why you want to go. Plus you also usually have to apply directly to the host university once QUT accepts you (these applications are usually a bit more in depth). My tip is to make sure you really emphasise why you want to go, what you’ll get out it and how you’ll apply what you learn from the program back home in your personal/professional life 🙂 Good luck!

  2. Avatar
    Jasim Khan

    Hi
    Oh what a wonderful trip it was.
    Disclaimer though is the hot humid weather and some viruses but you can always avoid that with the proper “Jand Washing” 🙂

    Miss you all. Made some wonderful friends like you. Happy to read this. Good luck for everything.
    Jasim

    • Avatar
      Mel

      HEY JASIM! 😀 Oh man it was such a great time wasn’t it. Hahaha classic “jand washing”, the food and the weather definitely took a bit (or a lot) of getting used to. But we had a lot of fun. Hope you’re doing well!

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