Editor's note: Another year and another class of graduating students will say goodbye to their alma mater and start a new journey. The four years spent at UIC is some of the best years of their life. How many stories and sceneries have been treasured along the way? What does college mean to them? The following stories are by some Year 4 students.


Zhang Han: Learning about own interests while practising

Year 4 UIC Finance graduate Zhang Han chose UIC because he wanted to fight for postgraduate opportunities in world-renowned universities. He sees college as a place to find possibilities and where he can change for the better.

WeChat Image 20200707175416

Zhang Han

When Zhang Han first entered UIC, he was not very good at expressing his ideas. It was especially stressful for him to make presentations. However, since the presentation is a mandatory element in most of the subjects, Zhang Han couldn't do much but to keep practising. Gradually, he was able to express himself freely, which made him feel satisfied.

When he first enrolled in college, Zhang Han was stressed and impatient because of the grades. During various courses that UIC offers and the practice work he had been doing, he developed a more diverse view of achievements and growth, and as a result, he could explore the future with more direction, positivity and optimism.

Completing all tasks in an orderly manner was a challenge for Zhang Han. He explained that UIC has short semester and tight schedules; he was often overwhelmed by successive exams and homework. To adapt to the intense studies, he started to organise complex learning tasks by summarising them into specific achievable small tasks and allocated them to each day. By completing the tasks one by one, daily learning life became more clear and fulfilling. Zhang Han said that it is also very important to be patient and have a belief in oneself.

pou 20200717155642

During his senior year, Zhang Han received offers to study postgraduate degrees from many prestigious international universities. In the end, he finally chose to go to Johns Hopkins University to study for a master in marketing. Zhang Han said that his experience at UIC has proven that his theory of only through practice, can a person find out what they enjoy doing. Through study and internship experience, Zhang Han found his interests in general management and chose to study marketing management. Zhang Han hopes that in the future, he can keep advancing, and be an open-minded person to embrace this big world.


Liu Jialiang: Dreaming bigger with international perspectives

Liu Jialiang, from Year 4 Management of Human Resources Programme, has been spending his winter and summer vacations wisely: participating in an internship, volunteering overseas as well as taking part in exchange study programmes in several countries and regions including South Korea, Indonesia, Austria, Canada and Hong Kong. Jialiang's rich practical experience has broadened his international horizon and helped him successfully be admitted to the University of Toronto where he will study for a Master's in Industrial Relations and Human Resources.

WeChat Image 20200706143210

Liu Jialiang

Due to UIC having long winter and summer vacations, Liu Jialiang spent that time wisely to volunteer programmes overseas as well as also participating in courses, research and internship abroad. The arrangement was full and rewarding. During the summer of his freshman year, Liu Jialiang started his first trip abroad as a volunteer when he went to Bali to teach the Chinese language to local children. In every subsequent vacation, Liu Jialiang would not just relax; he successively participated in courses provided by Hong Kong Baptist University, University of British Columbia, as well as study tours to the University of Vienna, Korea University and Yonsei University. In addition to enriching his knowledge, Liu Jialiang also learned about the culture and education models of different countries and established his goals for further studies.

pou 20200717155703

Liu Jialiang at the closing ceremony of the Korea University's winter programme

It was during the winter vacation in his sophomore year when Liu Jialiang applied for a winter study tour programme in the direction of culture and art at the University of Vienna. In the summer vacation of his junior year, Liu Jialiang participated in a University of British Columbia (UBC) summer course organised by UIC International Development Office (IDO) and spent an unforgettable summer vacation in Canada. Through this programme, Liu Jialiang learned about strategic management, case analysis, entrepreneurship and innovation. He received a recommendation letter from a professor and took an IELTS test in Vancouver. This experience has helped his application for graduate school.

pou 20200717155712

Liu Jialiang (third from left) and his classmates during a study tour in Vienna

Speaking of the biggest change in the university, Liu Jialiang believes that it is the expansion of international vision and the improvement of thinking ability. The full English teaching environment of UIC has given him more advantages in studying abroad, and the close teacher-student relationship has also helped his development.


Min Yusi: Immersing in the world of literature

Min Yusi, a Year 4 English Language and Literature Studies graduate, is a huge fan of literature. Among many universities in China, she was attracted by the teaching models of UIC. Developing her hobby into her professional field, Min Yusi is happier and more fulfilling in her busy life at UIC. In the future, she will go to University College London to study a master in comparative literature.


Min Yusi

Min Yusi enjoys the lectures the most at UIC since many of the classes are interesting and informative. During her four years at UIC, she not only read many excellent literary works but also has improved her interpretation ability of the text and some self-study ability.

pou 20200717155733

Min Yusi's graduation thesis is titled 'Investigating the Motif of Anxiety in the Novel and the Film Watchmen'. She uses Kristeva's theory of abjection to analyse the construction in the novel and the movie, as a way to explore the internal relationship between the two, to decipher what some scholars claim to be "Inadaptability" of the novel. This is an unforgettable research experience for Min Yusi as this paper also shows what she has learnt at university such as text interpretation, critical thinking, literary research skills, English academic writing ability, etc.

Min Yusi's most memorable college experience involved the planning and design of two professional theatrical performances, 'Anonymous' and 'Emotional Creature'.

pou 20200717155746

Min Yusi (tenth from right) and her classmates after their drama performance 'Anonymous'

Min Yusi explains that drama learning is part of literary learning as drama performances open up a way for the student to 'participate' in the text, as it allows them to empathise with the characters and analyse the text better. This is the first time that Min Yusi has used overall planning to participate in the creation of a drama; she was mainly responsible for the scene design and sound effects. In this process, she learnt how to communicate with people more effectively, and through cooperation, she established stronger connections with classmates and the teacher.


Reporters: Samuel Burgess, Covee Wang