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On August 19th, a grandiose final meeting was held for the Chinese students who had spent two weeks at Halmstad University. These tailored-made summer courses for Chinese students have been organised since 2014, and this year the number of participants was more than ever. Nearly 100 students made the long trip to Sweden.
After two weeks of studies, excursions and activities, everyone was in high spirits when the students received their diplomas.
The purpose of these summer courses is to give an insight of what Halmstad University can offer in terms of both education and research. For many of the Chinese students, this was their first visit to a Western teaching institute.
– I want to study abroad after completing my bachelor's degree in China. Therefore, the summer course has been a good opportunity to see what it is like to study abroad, says Jie Chen, one of the students who chose to spend two weeks in Halmstad.
One of the things that Jie Chen appreciated during his stay was the Swedish way of teaching, and he says:
– The Swedish teachers are happy to share their knowledge and get you to think for yourself. In China, we learn more from studying books. The teachers here are also very nice and will help us when we encounter problems. They have great patience, even when it comes to answering the simplest questions. Of course, there are Chinese teachers who use similar teaching methods as this.
His student colleague Siynan Xie agrees and comments:
– In Sweden we have made several field trips and excursions. This is quite different from China, where we have more classroom-bound education. Here we have to find the results ourselves which helps deepen our knowledge.
The first international education course for Chinese students at Halmstad University, a summer course in IT forensics for a total of 20 people, took place in the summer of 2014. Now the interest and scope for summer courses has increased dramatically. This year, educational courses were held in four subjects – IT forensics, renewable energy, electronics, and environmental science. A total of 96 Chinese students participated.
One of the aims of the summer courses is to arouse enough interest for the student to come back and study at a master's level; something that Siynan Xie is interested in and says:
– Coming to Sweden has been a good experience for me. I plan to study abroad after my bachelor's degree as I want to experience life outside of China.
The two-week long courses are worth three higher education credits. Teaching is partly in the form of lectures, lab work as well as field trips; however, the stay in Sweden also included various social activities and excursions, such as a barbecue and a visit to the Liseberg amusement park.
Text and pictures: JOACHIM BRINK
One major goal of the summer courses is to attract Chinese students to come back and study at master's level. Two former summer students who have taken this step are Kunru Chen and Gu Zhaowen. We asked them to talk about why they chose to study in Halmstad.
Kunru Chen, from the master's programme in embedded and intelligent systems:
"Halmstad University is cozy and simple and very different from China – here I have more resources, space and assistance. I also have more private time. In China, it is different, with many more courses taking place at the same time. The set-up in Halmstad suits me better.
I participated in the summer course two years ago and it definitely influenced my decision to come back here. It's a different world which suits me here. I do not feel as stressed; in fact, I would like to study here forever."
Gu Zhaowen, from the master's programme in applied environmental science:
"The biggest difference between Halmstad and China is actually the course content. It complements what I have studied in China. I was here last year and missed the people. People are very nice here. I was a little hesitant to come back, but felt it would be a wonderful experience to be here for a whole year. Especially during the winter! "