Could you spend your summer in China?

Applications are currently open for a twelve-day, paid-for summer cultural immersion trip to Nanjing, China with Study Abroad.

But hurry – the deadline to apply is this Sunday, January 26th!

Does an all-inclusive, free ticket to travel to the other side of the world seem almost too good to be true?! If you think this is something you would be interested in and would like to find out more, I have shared my experience of being one of last year’s participants on the trip below.

So, what was the programme like?

The trip was easily a highlight of my summer. It consisted of a two-week summer school at the Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology (NUIST). We stayed in a gorgeous hotel near the university campus, and every week day we attended classes in Chinese history, or philosophy, or learned some of the language, which we could then practise in the canteen and in the city centre.

In the afternoons, we were also taught cultural activities including Kung Fu, traditional Chinese dance, calligraphy, pottery making and dumpling making. In our breaks, we explored the vast and otherworldly campus of NUIST, made friends with the resident students, and ate our weight in the world’s most delicious noodles and rice.

Trying my hand at calligraphy in a culture class.

At the weekend, we were given guided tours around the city of Nanjing and explored all its corners, from the harrowing Massacre Museum to a nearby mountain, to a bustling night market complete with luminous golden dragon decorations.

However, the best day had to be when we took the bullet train to Shanghai. We visited a Buddhist temple, a traditional Chinese garden tucked away in the middle of the city, and as night fell we watched the sun set from a rooftop bar as we looked out over the iconic skyline of the Business District, which includes the second tallest building in the world.


The Shanghai skyline at night


Am I eligible?

If you are a current undergraduate, first, second or foundation year student, or are on a placement year, you are eligible to apply. Unfortunately, students due to graduate in 2020 cannot apply as participants must still be enrolled at the University at the time of the trip.

How can I make my application stand out?

Last year, when we arrived at our first pre-departure information meeting, we were told that there had been a lot of competition for our places – although 20 places were available, there had been over 100 applicants.

Entrance may be competitive, but don’t let that put you off – all you need to do is take an hour or so to make your “why me?” paragraph show how you would benefit from the programme, and what you would bring to it. I talked about a couple of aspects of Chinese culture and philosophy that I was interested in. I had taken Religious Studies at A Level, and mentioned how I had been fascinated by Buddhist thought and that I would love to see Chinese temples in real life.  I also wrote about my love of learning languages, saying I would enjoy the opportunity to learn Chinese and practise it right there in its original country. Whatever you choose to write about, if you let your enthusiasm and willingness to learn shine through, then you’re on the right track.

Additional information can be found at

To apply, visit

The deadline to apply is 23:59 on Sunday, January 26th. Good luck!

Written by Sabita Burke

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