I am currently studying abroad at Tsinghua University 清华大学 in Beijing 北京. One month has passed since I arrived here, yet it feels like I have been here for a year already. As a student here in China there are new impressions waiting for you at every corner and every activity you find yourself doing. From simply purchasing a bottle of water in the grocery store by using your phone, or asking for directions by pointing and waving, to navigating the user interface of a public transport application purely in Chinese because there is no English option. You are forced to learn every day, and it really changes the perception of time. The month here feels like a year, and it is a lot of fun. If you are considering to go abroad to a foreign country, don’t. Just decide to go right now and experience the thrilling unknown! You will not regret it!
I first heard of IPIT at my home university NTNU in Trondheim, Norway. The combination of countries and continents involved in the organization piqued my interest. I had always known I wanted to go abroad for a year as an exchange student, but I had never considered China. After reading about IPIT and the cooperation between the universities I quickly saw this as a great opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the culture of the fastest growing economy in the world. The more I read about Tsinghua the more determined I became, this had to be a brilliant place to learn and have new experiences. The university is internationally recognized as one of if not the best university in all of Asia, and their computer science department is no less.
Applying for studying abroad through IPIT was the simplest part of the process. If you are afraid of paperwork and confusion I can comfort you, there was no tedious process. By applying at my local international office at my home university NTNU the same way as you would anywhere else, the agreement through IPIT allowed me to travel to Tsinghua for a year. In addition to that the IPIT fellowship grant is also making the stay here even better. Having less worry about funding the education and cost of living makes you able to study comfortably, and use your spare time for domestic exploration.
During public holidays and periods with less work, I make sure to travel the land and learn about China. So far I have visited Hangzhou in the south, and Hohhot in the north. I have already learned so much, and I look forward to learning so much more. From culture, people and language, to different use of everyday technology such as mobile phones, user interfaces, and teaching facilities. I highly recommend anyone who has the opportunity to seek education and exchange through IPIT to do so.
The great wall