“So far I’ve had a great experience from the program, it’s very nice to know that there are always people who I can call when I have questions and they’re there to help me. I’ve had quite a few problems with my course registration but we’ve more or less figured everything out and hopefully it will all work out for next semester. As for the classes, they’re absolutely fantastic. With four hours of Chinese language every day, I thought I would get very tired of just doing language courses however my teachers are great and they teach us in different ways so that we don’t get bored and teach us practical things such as where to shop for the cheapest things, how to bargain in Chinese and how to order food in a restaurant. The residence here is very nice, it’s more like a hotel than an actual residence but it’s very convenient because my classes are in the same building and lots of fun because there are a lot of foreign students living here so I’m making friends from all over the world.”
Christine, Carleton University/Nanjing University
“Most of my impressions at the NUAA have been extremely positive. The university was extremely helpful in arranging my accommodation on campus and the international community here really helped me out. Being an engineering student, my degree requirements are a bit stringent and thus I have had a few issues with course registration. The NUAA has been very helpful in providing me with course information to send back to Carleton, however there were a few issues with the courses I was told were being offered at the NUAA before I came here. Out of the five courses I had planned to take at the NUAA, three were no longer available. However the NUAA was extremely helpful in arranging alternate courses for me and Carleton helped me a lot by advising me as to which ones I should take in order to get credits. The NUAA even arranged some special courses that only I would take so that I could get credits worth a full course load back at Carleton. I ended up with a slight disruption to my degree program and am doing some fourth year engineering electives here instead of some core third year courses and I might have to do a few summer courses or an extra semester at Carleton. Thus engineering students coming from different Ontario institutions to the same institution in Jiangsu should be prepared and willing to go a bit off track from their existing course patterns in order to make the best of the courses being offered here.”
Syed, Carleton University/Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA)
“I participated with the Ontario-Jiangsu Exchange program from September, 2009 to Dec. 30, 2010. I was enrolled at the School of Architecture, Nanjing University, and pursued independent research towards my Masters of Architecture thesis project.
The flexibility of the exchange program was key to my academic success in China. Although registered in Nanjing, I based myself 1.5 hours away in the city of Suzhou; the location of my thesis site. New friendships and links were forged within the community that will further support the thesis work, and beyond. I am thankful to the people of Ontario and the Ontario-Jiangsu Exchange for the opportunity it afforded me. It unquestionably raised the responsiveness and responsibility of my thesis to the people it is designed to serve. I plan to return to Jiangsu in May 2010 for follow-up research.”
Jeffrey, University of Waterloo
“As an exchange student in OJS program, I am very grateful that I got this opportunity. I gain benefits from this experience both in my future career planning and a different life style in a Chinese university.
In the career perspective, I was very lucky that I got a job in Nanjing in a company that prepares exhibition. The company mostly works with foreign brands/companies. My job is to attract companies to come for the exhibition and introduce everything about the exhibition to potential investors. I am mostly responsible for communication between other companies and my own department. Because my background and I am fluent in Chinese and English, I got the position. I also introduced one of my friends from France; she is also an exchange student in Nanjing University, to work for the company. She was responsible for communication with French companies. It is nothing related to my major but it is also about learning the culture.
In the meanwhile, I joined one environmental NGO in China. It is called Friends of Nature (FON). FON is the oldest environmental non-government organization (NGO) in China, and has played a pivotal role in promoting environmental awareness and protection in Beijing and throughout China as a whole. From this path, I learned about the current situation of environmental protection in China. I promised to help them to get some sources of education about environmental awareness that can be taught in Kindergarten. I think it is also a way to help Chinese people learn about how to protect their environment. This is an opportunity that I got in this exchange experience that does something related to my own major. Started from here, I might be able to be a bridge for Canada and China in some environmental projects.
In the personal perspective, I got to taste a different university life style in China. It is so much different from the one I had in Canada. I met exchange students from all over the world, such as Singapore, France, U.S, Mexico and Korea, etc. We had lots of great times in China. We kept each other’s contact information; we will travel to each other’s country someday. I met workers in NJU’s international exchange department and we became friends. I had an interview with them before I left Nanjing to talk about my exchange experience and give them suggestion and opinions about how to improve their work to better help exchange students in the upcoming term. Such as some tips to help student settle down, arrange activities for students and take care of students’ visa, etc.
I strongly suggest promoting OJS in the upcoming future to university students. It is a great opportunity to learn about the culture and also a great opportunity to start a path if anyone who is interested in doing any business or projects with China.”
Chen, University of Waterloo/Nanjing University
“My name is Felipe I study at Soochow University. Suzhou is a great place, people are friendly and you can find anything you want here. It is also a cheap city with nice places where to go out. Suzhou is not as big as Nanjing but it is a city with 6 million people therefore you do not feel you are in a small town. The city pretty much is divided in three places. The first two places are modern places where you can find a lot of western restaurants and night life. The third one is the old and traditional area. Suzhou has beautiful gardens and many other things to see. It is 30 mins away from Shanghai which is really nice because a return ticket is only 10 bucks. The university is really nice too. The residence is less than 5 minutes way from the business and Chinese classes. The business professors are from Canada and USA. I personally think Suzhou and Nanjing are very similar cities. Suzhou is a little smaller but as I said before you can find anything here plus you will be right next to Shanghai which is a huge city.”
Felipe, Carleton University/Soochow University