Student Spotlight: Kate Faulkner – Study Abroad, China

One of the many benefits that students have by studying with BMIHMS is the amazing opportunities they have access to. One of these great opportunities is the study abroad program. Both undergraduate and postgraduate students can elect to study in another country for a semester. Destinations include the U.S. and China.

I recently caught up with undergraduate student Kate Faulkner, and found out what it was like to participate in the study abroad program, living and studying in China. I even gained some tips when sampling local cuisines. Kate is a third year student, who is completing a Bachelor of Business (International Hotel and Resort Management). She is originally from Darwin, Australia.

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E.S. Kate, can you please tell me about your time abroad in China?

K.F. I have just returned to Australia after spending 10 months overseas studying at the BMIHMS China Campus in Suzhou. Whilst abroad I completed units that are relevant to and count towards my degree back here in Australia. I studied at the China Campus, which is located at the Suzhou Tourism and Finance Institute. In addition to completing my study, I was able to immerse myself in the local culture and travel throughout China.

When I wasn’t studying I was able to discover other locations throughout China. I travelled to both Shanghai and Beijing. Both cities were such a contrast to any of the cities back here in Australia. I was also able to explore Suzhou quiet extensively during my time abroad.

I was very fortunate to be chosen to work on a pre-opening task force team at the Sofitel Sanya. This opportunity gave me some really useful real-world industry experience, and I was able to explore the island of Sanya when I had some downtime.

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E.S. Moving overseas is a big thing, how did you adapt to your new home in a foreign country?

K.F. Contrary to what some may think, living in China was actually quite a simple adjustment. We live in such a connected world; at times I didn’t even feel as though I was living in a foreign country. The cultural differences between China and Australia were difficult to adjust to at times, and the language. Luckily the majority of students and staff at the campus, and on my placement spoke English.

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E.S. What was the most unique experience or encounter you had during your time studying abroad?

K.F. During my orientation the teachers took all of the class out for a traditional Chinese lunch. Those of us who did not speak Mandarin left the ordering up to the local students and teachers. There was so much food for us all. The dishes just continued to arrive at our table.

Each dish that I tried was really delicious and enjoyable. The final dish that arrived at our table was a soup. Like the others, it was very tasty and quite pleasant. My mistake was when I decided to ask one of the other students at the table what was in the soup. I politely placed my spoon back down on the table… The soup was based on offal products.

My advice for people trying a new cuisine is to either ask what is in each dish before sampling them, or don’t question them at all, and savour the experience.

All in all, the food was really nice, and full of flavour.

E.S. It sounds like you have had an amazing experience, would you recommend the study abroad program to other students who may be considering singing up?

K.F. I would highly recommend the study abroad program to anyone. Not only do you get to study overseas in a foreign country, you meet people you would not meet if you hadn’t done so, and you get to learn about a different country and it’s culture.  It is tough at times being away from your family and friends, but I have had the most amazing experience.

Thanks for sharing your experience Kate. Your time in China sounded fantastic.

For more information about BMIHMS study abroad program you can click here/contact.

Until next time. E.S.