Fudan University Summer School

The Fudan University International Summer Session is an established 4-week course study and cultural experience provided by one of the University of Birmingham's U21 partners, to international students.

The academic content covers a range of topics in History and Culture, Society and Politics, Business and Economy, and Global Issues. Students also have the opportunity to get to know China through historical and cultural visits, experience Shanghai and be part of the Fudan University community.

Ana successfully applied for our bursary to support her participation at the Summer School, she told us more about her experience:

Why did you choose to apply for this U21 event?

I had previously studied a couple of modules in Chinese history and politics and was very interested by China. It is a not a place many people get to visit, and I knew it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. I thought studying Chinese history in China would completely change my outlook on history, and I could also understand the culture and the people on a completely new level.

What was the best thing about your experience?

The best thing about this experience was meeting people from all over the world. Also, speaking to Chinese professors about Chinese politics and history was so interesting and one of the best experiences of this programme. I was able to ask Chinese intellectuals questions that I never thought I would get a chance to ask, and the answers I got were so interesting they truly opened my eyes to the Chinese culture and history as a whole.

What benefits do you think you gained in relation to your personal development e.g. your confidence, competence, knowledge, future employability?

I believe this programme helped me in so many ways, it hugely improved my confidence as you were thrust into a group and had to meet people instantly. I also feel I tested my own competence and ability in sorted the flights, visa and flying alone. It was something that showed me how much I can do alone, and really helped me mature very quickly. My knowledge of Chinese history, politics, culture and society developed hugely, I saw such interesting things through the architecture, art, and the people. I also believe this experience will benefit me hugely later in life, not only am I able to say I attended one of the best universities in China, I am also able to say I completed both courses and understand different cultures on a whole new level.

How did your U21 bursary help you?

The bursary helped me an indescribable about! It funded my flights, accommodation, my fees were sorted, and it funded most of my food. I would never have been able to participate in such an incredible opportunity without this bursary and the help of the university.

What did you think were the most attractive things about the University of Birmingham when promoting it to other international students?

I believed the campus and close community was something worth emphasising, it is a comforting and beautiful campus. I also expressed how multi-cultural and diverse not only the university was, but also the Birmingham as a whole. I explained to many how good the teaching was, and how simple it was to ask for help and advice from professors. I also mentioned how many societies and sports there were to participate in and how there was something for everyone, no one could feel left out or lonely here.

Is there anything you would have changed about your visit?

I do not think I would change anything, this was easily the best month of my life so far. I would maybe have done some more travelling afterwards, other than that it was all incredible.

What advice would you give to students thinking of applying for a U21 Award in the future?

I would tell them: “JUST APPLY, JUST DO IT NOW!” I very nearly did not apply as I thought I had no chance of being awarded the bursary, people even told me there was no point applying. However, I just thought, I have nothing to lose, why not. Then, several months later there I was standing on the Great Wall of China with people who became my best friends. Apply for an award that truly interests you and express how much this would help you. You have nothing to lose by applying.