Chinese business students visit Memorial
It took 18 hours of travel to get here, but Chinese student Jiang Junjie said it was well worth it.
“Sometimes I would get up early to go and look at the lakes and nature,” Junjie said. “It is so beautiful here. The Newfoundland view is like a postcard. It will give me good memories.”
A group of 23 students and four teachers from Xi’an Jiaotong City College (XJTCC) in Xi’an, the capital city of Shanxi province in China, arrived on July 15 to take part in a four-week Global Business Summer School at Memorial University.
Ma Yuan, a visiting student, said the life at Memorial is a good one.
“The people were very friendly to us,” Yuan said. “I’m very happy to be here. I enjoy this life, it is a very happy life. The student life here is good. The people are more friendly and I love the peace.”
The group enjoyed hiking Signal Hill, checking out the Rooms, and were fortunate to be in town for the Royal St. John’s Regatta. “The Regatta was very cool,” YiMeng said. The group also met St. John's Mayor Dennis O'Keefe (pictured above).
The students particularly enjoyed a boat tour to see the icebergs, according to Junjie.
“We took a boat to see icebergs, it was a good trip,” he said. “We also had a lighthouse picnic. It was a sunny day with blue skies, and we got to test some beer at Quidi Vidi (Brewery).”
According to YiMeng, the visiting students enjoyed learning about the local history, music and culture, all of which was sporadically part of their time spent at Memorial this summer.
“Here, people say ‘hey’ to strangers,” YiMeng said. “Back home we don’t do that. It’s nice.” YiMeng added that she can’t wait to go home and share the pictures of the trip, as well as the culture and history with her friends and family.
Professor Carrie Wang said this was the first time XJTCC chose to send a group to study at Memorial but that it is “very important” to future collaboration. “Memorial is a top-level university with great facilities.”
Dr. Larry Bauer, associate dean of academic programs at the business faculty, added: “Our hope is that the students and their teachers will love Memorial, love Newfoundland, and go back to their college and help raise awareness about Memorial and our province. It was very much a relationship-building kind of experience. The better we understand them [and] the better they understand us, the stronger our relationship will be.”
The lifestyle and culture in St. John’s was different for the students. One of the big differences, for Ma Yuan, was the amount of people who are active outdoors. “There are a lot of people who run along the roads or go swimming. We don’t have that back home, we have too large of a population. It was interesting to see. I’ve enjoyed the trip and traveling, it is nice to experience a different life abroad. I will tell my classmates and family about it when I get back to China.”
The learning style at Memorial is also much different from what the students are used to, according to Professor Wang, and the experience was a positive one for them. “The atmosphere is very professional for students here and very efficient for learning” she said. “Students get to ask questions here and there is good discussion. We didn’t just want to travel, we wanted to experience living here. It is a better chance to learn. The students learned time management and habits by having to look after themselves. It was a humbling experience. The students have to think for themselves here.”
The professor said the group would like to thank Memorial University, Larry Bauer and his family for a wonderful experience.