New UESTC summer school offers UofG students trip of a lifetime to China

Published: 15 April 2024

UESTC's International Cooperation Section Chief, Carrie Yu, met an enthusiastic group of UofG undergraduates to promote some exciting new 2-week 'Summer Schools'

During her 3-month visit to the UK, UESTC’s top international section chief, Ms. Zhiyi (Carrie) Yu, has been meeting a range of professional service colleagues and managers at University of Glasgow in a bid to gain a deeper understanding of our values, our working practices, and the many relationships underpinning the successful international partnership made manifest in Glasgow College UESTC. As part of her mission, Ms Yu seeks also to inspire and inform us about China, its diverse people, and culture.

The most definitive relationship at any University, is of course, that between staff and students. University of Glasgow is dedicated to offering its students meaningful opportunities to travel, to study abroad, and to look beyond borders; for example, through various ‘Study Abroad’ and exchange schemes. UESTC is one of the country’s leading universities, and indeed, ranks among the best of the world’s ‘scientific universities.’ That they are offering to host UofG students from all disciplines for two weeks is genuinely exciting. Judging by the response to Ms. Yu’s recent promotional session of the ‘Cultural Immersion Programme’ and ‘Future AIoT Summer School’, our students think so too.

Carrie Yu at promotional event with students

In an engaging multimedia presentation which fired the imagination, she gave the audience an overview of both UESTC and Chengdu (Sichuan’s capital city; known for science, education, industry, business, commerce, and IT, as well as its exciting culture, its Giant Pandas, and spicy hotpots), and the 2 week ‘Culture Immersion Programme’. She also promoted a specialist programme being offered primarily to students of engineering and computer science – the ‘Artificial Intelligence / Internet of Things (AIoT)’ Summer School. Both programmes are summarised below.

The Programmes

The AIoT program offers an in-depth study tour themed on the Future Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence Technology. Through academic lectures and hands-on projects, students will gain access to world-class laboratories, enabling them to delve into advanced specialties, engage in interdisciplinary collaboration, and explore cutting-edge designs in emerging engineering domains.

The program emphasises disciplines such as Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, integrated circuits, and intelligent communication systems, tapping into renowned expertise in communication, radar, and signal processing.

The aim is to provide an immersive experience, fostering both academic knowledge and cultural understanding among participants.

The Culture Immersion Programme (also 2 weeks in duration) offers a unique blend of Mandarin language courses, cultural lectures, and field trips. It’s designed to be a gateway to understand China’s ancient history, diverse culture, and core values. Students will learn in a relaxed, informal environment with a small group of around 30 students. Mornings will be spend in conversational classes and afternoons doing Chinese traditional crafts or visiting local cultural attractions. Highlights will include learning how to write Chinese characters and enjoying sampling the “culinary heritage of the Sichuan Province, where Chengdu is situated. Trips include visits to the Sichuan Opera, the Chengdu International Financial Square, and the Sanxingdui Museum which showcases some recent (and stunning) archaeological finds from ancient civilisation.

Modest programme fees (between £550 and £700) cover the cost of tuition, day trips, food on the campus, travel accident insurance, and course materials.

Staff who took part in the International Summer School promotion event

Also giving presentations were Kathleen Menzies, TNE Operational Administrator within the James Watt School of Engineering, who spoke on a personal level about her own exciting Summer trip to Chengdu in 2023, sharing the perspective of a first-time traveller to China who does not speak the language, and Exchange Coordinator (Careers, Employability and Opportunity) Zita Toth, who talked students through the application process, the support available for funding, and arrangements for visas and travel. Mark Hinds, Senior Exchange Coordinator (Careers, Employability and Opportunity), who helped organise the event, was also there to lend his support.

Mark told us:

"We were delighted by the turnout for the event and the high levels of student engagement throughout. UESTC have put together a really exciting summer programme and it’s clear our students agree! Both of our speakers had such genuine enthusiasm for the programme and for Chengdu. This has been reflected in the high number of applications we received for the programme.

Zita and myself can’t wait to support our students and hear their own stories from China later in the year. It’s been a pleasure to work with Carrie throughout the process we look forward to continuing collaboration in the years to come."

A collection of small toy pandas given as promotional gifts to students by UESTC

The students had many questions after the presentations, their imaginations fired at the thought of having an adventure somewhere so far from their homeland. They loved the small toy clip-on pandas that Ms. Yu gave everyone as a little gift of remembrance, and many eagerly took note of the contact details which she shared for those wishing to continue the discussion.

The list of lucky students granted places, and those who will be awarded scholarships, will be released soon by colleagues in the ‘Go Abroad’ team.

First published: 15 April 2024