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Special report: Q&A: How studying in the UK broadened the horizons of one Chinese university student

Updated: Dec 31, 2023

This special report has been prepared by Nguyen Ha Linh, Zhao Mingjun, Charmaine Magbuhos, Raphael Perri, Shen Chen and Erdenenyam.P., reporters in the Global Business Journalism program's In-depth Reporting and News Writing course.

The United Kingdom is becoming the destination of choice for an increasing number of Chinese students who seek an international university education. One of them, Wu Jingjing, traveled from her home in north-central China to attend the University of Cambridge in England. The Asian and Middle Eastern Studies major discussed her reasons for pursuing her higher education in the U.K. with Global Business Journalism reporter Erdenenyam.P. Here are highlights of their conversation:

Q: What influenced your decision to pursue your education in the U.K.?

A: The University of Cambridge is a very renowned university, I thought it would be very good if I can study at Cambridge, so that's why I decided to study in the UK.

Q: Foreign universities can be expensive for Chinese families...

A: I think my case is kind of special. I decided to study in the U.K. because I received a funding that would support my studies at the University of Cambridge.

Q: What facets of your Cambridge education have been particularly valuable?

A: I think one thing is about academic discussions. In the past, I had academic discussions, but mostly with my colleagues and classmates, so the discussions were sometimes not very academic. Sometimes we focused on one topic, but after we started to discuss it, the focus gradually changed and the things we talked about were not very focused on one issue. But at Cambridge I had a lot of opportunities to discuss in a one-to-one with my supervisor. I think this experience really helped me because this kind of discussion is very intense, and I really needed to prepare a lot for each of our meetings. The meetings really helped me learn how to present my ideas, how to ask questions, how to give rebuttals and how to get a good grasp of the opinions of others. So this experience really helped me to think, develop, improve and communicate my ideas. And it became a very important step in my academic development.

Q: Any other valuable lessons that you gained during your academic journey?

A: The other thing is that I think I developed my academic writing skills during my studies at Cambridge. In my past education experience, I had never received very detailed feedback to any of my writing works. At Cambridge, I had a lot of opportunities to write essays, book reviews and summaries. And I received very detailed feedback from professors regarding each piece of my writings. This feedback really helped me develop my academic writing skills.

Q: How has your educational experience in the U.K. influenced your career prospects?

A: I think my educational experience in the U.K. has made me realize that there are more possibilities for future career development. in the past, my goal was to become an academic. But I think my life in the U.K. offered me new understanding that the world is very diversified. I think I still want to become an academic, but it would also be nice if i could become a freelance journalist or a policy analyst.



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