Charlotte Black in front of the Zhenyang Gate, Beijing.

Two humanities students gain prestigious scholarships to study in China

Two Humanities students have gained highly competitive scholarships from the British Council to spend a year abroad studying in China.

Charlotte Black (BA English) and Vivian Law (BA History) will spend the third year of their four year programmes at Fudan University, Shanghai and Tsinghua University, Beijing. They will embark on an intensive study of Mandarin Chinese thereby gaining a strong command of the language in addition to a greater sense of cultural awareness.

The scholarships are among thirteen offered by the British Council to British students to study at mainland Chinese universities in 2013-14 to outstanding British students. These scholarships will cover costs such as accommodation,  living expenses and medical insurance. The awards are funded by the British Council China and form part of a new three year campaign called Generation UK which aims to encourage and support UK student mobility to China in order to create a generation of globally astute and business aware young people.

Charlotte travelled to Fudan University at the end of August and is currently preparing for university registration in early September. She comments “I couldn’t have made the application without the support of my tutors here at Exeter, and I hope the receipt of this award will endorse my desire to work internationally in the future.” On her year ahead, she adds “If there’s one simple image that I’ve been looking forward to since I was accepted to my course at Fudan, it’s a morning cycle to Chinese class - just like in traditional Chinese movies about university life! Fudan Campus is renowned for being beautiful, like our own University of Exeter, and I can’t wait to be cycling along as one of its many students.”

Fudan University is located in Shanghai and is ranked 90th in the QS World University Rankings 2012-13. It has a student population of 26,000 including over 3,500 international students. In addition to Chinese language teaching, the university has opened courses such as Chinese literature, Chinese history, Chinese economy, Chinese philosophy and Chinese law for interested international students. 

Charlotte’s success is a further example of the College’s growing relationship with Fudan University, which has developed significantly this year on the topic of Shakespearean Adaptations within the Department of English.

Vivian left for Beijing at the beginning of September and is preparing to begin her course at Tsinghua University. She comments, “I’ve never been to China, so I can’t wait to travel the country. I want to explore Beijing and see the tourist attractions but hopefully by the end of the year I will have integrated myself well with the locals and discover other less known places within the city”. She adds, “I strongly believe that my Year Abroad will be a great learning experience, not only in opening my eyes to the other opportunities, cultures and network of friends available in the World, but also an opportunity to develop language and interpersonal skills which will undoubtedly benefit me throughout my studies and beyond”.

Tsinghua University is located in Beijing and is consistently ranked as one of the top two universities in China. Over 39,000 students are currently enrolled including approximately 2,500 international students. The University offers intensive language courses to international students.

Dean of the College of Humanities, Professor Nick Kaye, comments, "I am delighted to be able to congratulate Charlotte and Vivian on being awarded these prestigious scholarships. Humanities is establishing strong academic partnerships with leading Chinese universities, including shared research activity and links through study abroad and teaching, while developing our own undergraduate programmes in Chinese language and culture. The programmes at Fudan and Tsinghua are a very exciting opportunity for students across the College."

Four other students from the College will be spending the next year studying in China. Andrea Bonfanti and Jack Chalmers from Penryn Campus, and Emmanuel Hanley-Lloyd and Tom Kelly from Streatham Campus, will be supported in their studies by £4000 scholarships from the University of Exeter. This funding follows recent agreements made between the University of Exeter and the universities of Fudan, Peking and Tsinghua.

Jack is currently in Beijing and is soon to start his programme at Peking University. He comments, “When my seminar leader mentioned there was an opportunity to study at China’s most prestigious university for a year, solely spending my time learning Mandarin, I jumped at the chance and applied straight away."

Andrea will be studying at Fudan University and commenting on his experience, remarks, “Meeting new people and experiencing new cultures is just amazing, there’s always so much to learn”.

Two students from the University of Exeter’s Business School, Louise Garret-Evans and Charlotte Aspinall, have also attained British Council scholarships to study in China.

For further information on the British Council’s new initiative to encourage British students to study in China, see the Generation UK website. For more information on Study Abroad options offered by the College of Humanities, please visit the Study Abroad webpages.

Date: 17 September 2013

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