Summer Project in China

Having shown my desire to have an international experience, I was offered the opportunity to do a summer project at Capital Normal University in Beijing, China. This has the benefit for the University of increasing its international awareness and of course means I get the unique experience of performing a physics project in an intriguing country.

This has been set -up by a few members of staff in the physics department, in that they found a Chinese university to host me and the department will partly fund the experience. Fortunately I have been told living expenses are not much in China compared to Glasgow! The exact details are still to be confirmed but it looks like I shall be performing experiments with microwaves with a member of staff who has previously spent a year living in Glasgow (which should help with any communication problems due to my accent!)

In preparation so far I have had to fill out an application for Capital Normal University, attaching copies of my passport, official transcript and the signature of the head of the physics department who will act as my financial guarantorĀ for the trip in the unlikely event of something going wrong. CNU will provide student accommodation and help applying for a VISA should I need one.

As I am sure is understandable I am very excited but also a little nervous as I don’t know what differences to expect in day to day life in China such as the food there, the attitudes to western culture and the fact that I currently do not speak a word of Chinese! On the other hand, I am very excited about all the new people I will meet and places I will see and look forward to being out of my comfort zone for a while. The experience will give me the chance to find out if I might enjoy performing international research as a future career and will enhance my job prospects no matter what position I am applying for.

The Year of Study Abroad Blog Begins…


I’m a third year Physics student who has been asked to write about my experience of participating in the study abroad programme. I began making inquiries regarding a year studying in Canada in my second year and after speaking with Dr. Papoff who was in charge of international exchanges within the department, I attended an international lunch where I had the chance to meet some previous students who had done an exchange and some students currently visiting strathclyde. The students were enthusiastic so I decided to go for it.

The application involved getting the appropriate forms from the international office, getting a reference from one of my lecturers, and choosing my possible classes at the Canadian Universities. Although a perfect match of classes wasn’t possible, it was simple enough to choose close enough classes and infact meant I could customize my studies a little more than I would have otherwise studying here! After getting my forms signed off by Dr. Papoff I handed in my application, all I can do now is await the decisions of universities…

– Calum