Virtual Summer Schools: Ilka’s Placement

Thanks to Keele Global Opportunities, I was able to attend the Beijing University Summer Language Course in August this year to improve and enhance my Chinese Language abilities. My name is Ilka and I’m going into my second year at Keele. Most notably, I’ve been taking Chinese as an elective since the very first semester and had planned to go abroad this year to test my abilities. As I am hoping to take the HSK exams – a Chinese Language Certification– later this year, this would have been invaluable practice to me. Unfortunately, due to Corona I was not able to go.

Photo by Bruce Röttgers on Unsplash

However, Keele has been very supportive to make up for the missed experience. It has been an incredible month! Naturally, being a country so far away from here with a culture so different, the course structure itself was a learning experience. Since the beginning of August, I’ve been taking 2 hours worth of Chinese lessons five times a week delivered through Zoom and WeChat by the professors of Beijing University. The course included homework and a final examination, much like the one we are used to here at Keele. This course has not only motivated and pushed me to reach my goals but also connected me to a new network with Chinese learners from all over the world.

This would not have been possible without the help of Keele University. I am happy to be part of a university that supports international opportunities like these that connect people from all over the world and provides a little extra to the traditional learning experience to those that are willing to put the work in. As this experience has been so beneficial to me, I’d recommend approaching Keele Global Opportunities to everyone who is interested in going abroad or even virtually connecting with other international learners. It’s been a blast!

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