“Life here is really busy, but colorful,” says Xiaqing Li, one of five physics majors from Shandong University in China who spent the 2012-2013 academic year at Duke. The students lived on West Campus and took physics classes, electives, and did independent study research.
While the five students had five different experiences, they all agree they enjoyed choosing their own classes and schedules, being immersed in a foreign culture, and experiencing new ways of learning.
“I think it’s good to study abroad and have a different experience,” says Xiaomeng Jia. “I learned a different culture, a different kind of lifestyle, and a different way of thinking. And I introduced my way of thinking to my friends as well. It’s the best experience in my life up to now.”
This was the first year that Shandong students studied at Duke; in the fall three more students from Shandong will follow in their footsteps. In addition, two physics students from Wuhan University will spend fall term here. Wuhan University is the partner university for Duke Kunshan University (DKU), Duke’s campus in China.
“As a university, we have a strategy for making new connections to China,” says Prof. Robert Calderbank, dean of natural sciences and professor of computer science, math, and electrical and computer engineering. “Part of that strategy is making good connections with places like Shandong University that are top-tier Chinese universities. We’re really excited about this opportunity to bring some of their very best students to Duke.” (more…)