As I handed in my final exam paper, I realised that this was it - not only had my studies in China come to an end, but my five years of studying as an undergraduate student had been finally completed. I know it is about time for me to step into the ‘real world’, but the thought of leaving university already is a little too overwhelming.
Given it would be my last few weeks at university, I used my time wisely. Other than my final exam revision, these are some of the things that I have been doing over the past weeks.
First, I wrapped up my responsibilities as a member of the Keyboard Society and bid farewell to the members that I became so close to over the semester. During our final meeting, everyone performed a piece and was given encouragement awards.
On New Year’s Eve, I was fortunate enough to attend the concert of world-renowned Chinese pianist, Li Yundi – a musician whom I admired since high school. Afterwards, I accompanied my Tsinghua friend to attend the NYE countdown!
There are two must-see places during winter season in China – and these two places are very contrasting in nature. The first place is Hainan Island (one of the few places that the Chinese can escape into warmth), and the other is Harbin, a place where you can experience what it feels to be in like -30 degrees temperature. With a few friends that I met on exchange, we decided to go to Harbin. Other than the incredibly freezing temperature, the annual Ice Festival this place holds was absolutely stunning! Once you enter the festival, everything you see is made with snow and ice. This includes beautiful artworks, snow rides, statues and even a pub!
My exchange experience has been very rewarding. Not only has my Mandarin improved to a greater level, but I also have acquired various soft skills that I probably would not have been able to develop by just staying within my comfort zone in Sydney. I thank the Sydney University Business school and the International Office for providing me with the chance to go on exchange as well as giving me generous financial support. I also am very grateful to the Chinese Government for providing me with a full scholarship to study here in Tsinghua.
My past exchange experiences in China (this year) and Korea (last year) have definitely broadened the way I view the world. These experiences have also allowed me to attain an international standpoint to both my academic and personal development. I strongly encourage everyone to go on exchange. You don’t want to miss out on it!