BA History student Tzuching Chu tells us about studying at the University of Birmingham

Tzuching Chu in front of clock tower on campus

I’m Tzuching Chu, I study History as a third year, and I’m a Taiwanese-American whose family currently lives in Hong Kong.

I think the Special Subject I’ve been taking this year, Women and Social Movements in Brazil, is a fascinating way to examine the history of one nation through a certain lens with various facets.  It helps that this module is part of a line-up that places special emphasis on analysing primary sources, which gives it a different feel compared to other modules I’ve taken.

As an international student I believe the closest equivalent are AP exams, which I took for World History and US History. Both were a lot more focused on reading the secondary material or textbooks and more focused on the facts, rather than the theoretical side being practiced here at the university. In addition, university has had me do a lot more primary source research for my essays in some form.

The most challenging part was dealing with heightened anxiety from university work, but my Personal Tutor and the Wellbeing Officers in the History department gave me a lot of helpful advice on how to persevere and move past them.

In my second year during the Silk Roads module, I got to experience some hands-on interaction with various coinage that was in circulation during the era we were studying. It was personally very exciting to actually get a feel of the coins that would’ve been used by people several centuries ago, only to make their way to this university for history students to study.

I would like to enter the publishing industry or something humanities related.

Before the pandemic, I was taking Wing Chun classes at the University Sports Centre. I’m also part of the Anime and Manga Society, which is a fun way to meet people interested in the same books as me.

The best thing about my course is the means of refining analytical studies of various ideas or points of history and figuring out how they affect the present and what relevance they carry into tomorrow.