Thanks to a Confucius Institute (CI) scholarship and a £400 bursary from #DMUglobal, a first year De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) Computing student is spending most of this month in China – and it’s her first ever trip overseas.
Undeterred by the prospect of travelling alone, Egle Sciglinskaite, from Surrey, applied for the scholarship to attend a Chinese language and cultural summer school held at the University of Science and Technology in Beijing.
She was successful, flew out last weekend and will enjoy a programme of Mandarin classes, cultural sessions and excursions to the likes of the Great Wall, Forbidden City and local teahouses on her three and a half week visit.
The summer school, staged by one of China’s most prestigious universities, will offer Egle an invaluable insight into Chinese culture, plus the chance to meet fellow students from all over the world.
“I have some friends from China and I know people who have been here recently but I’ve never been anywhere internationally before, let alone China,” said Egle.
“The scholarship attracted me because I believed it would help further my knowledge and understanding of China and improve my language skills.
“I wanted to gain more exposure to the Chinese language and culture but I also felt the trip would give me an opportunity to show that I can adjust to living in another country, far from home and demonstrate my independence and individual capabilities to future employers.
“I’m not sure yet what type of career I want but I do know that I want to work for a global company which would allow me to work overseas. I’ll be particularly looking to advance my Chinese language capability as part of the new experience and skills I’ll be picking up over the next few weeks.”
Egle will be attending daily Mandarin classes and two culture sessions a week, covering Chinese calligraphy, tea, t’ai chi and Chinese knots. As well as taking in the world famous tourist sites, Egle will also have a chance to discover Beijing’s less obvious attractions, in the hutongs, the gardens and ancient temples, for example.
While the CI scholarship covered course registration and tuition fees and some accommodation costs, the #DMUglobal bursary helped Egle with her personal expenses, which included her flight, student visa and some accommodation costs. The scholarship was only open to DMU students who had attended 30 hours of Mandarin classes.
#DMUglobal is the acclaimed international experience programme that offers all DMU students the chance to add an international element to their university studies.
Shen Yanjuan, Egle's Mandarin teacher at CI, said: “Egle is very enthusiastic about Chinese language and culture. Her hard work throughout the year will help her to make the most of her scholarship to China, where she will be able to improve her language skills and broaden her international vision.”
Posted on Wednesday 8th July 2015