An unexpected downpour made this year’s Initiation Ceremony for Freshmen the shortest one in the history of UCAS. Several speakers scheduled to deliver speeches were “surprised” by the rain. International student representative Frederik Visti Groenbaek, who is pursuing his master’s degree in Innovation Management in the Sino-Danish College, was one of them. Luckily, we invited him and his Danish friends for an interview one day ago.
With his blue shirt and light grey trousers, Frederik first struck us more like a business elite just walking out of his office than a freshman on this campus. At first sight, he approached us and shook our hands gently. We sat and talked for an hour, looking out a French window onto the square where this school's welcoming ceremony was to be held.
Frederik VistiGroenbaek was admitted to the Sino-Danish Center for Research and Education (SDC). Established in September 2011, the SDC was jointly developed by UCAS, the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science (the former Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation), and eight Danish Universities (including University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University, University of Southern Denmark, Aalborg University, Roskilde University, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen Business School and IT University of Copenhagen). SDC provides a platform for undertaking joint research activities and exchanging scientific staff between China and Denmark. All SDC courses are taught in English with a teaching philosophy marked by a fusion of science and education. The faculty members consist of over 120 Chinese and 200 Danish lecturers, who encourage interdisciplinary approaches, creative thinking and innovation. SDC practices a dual-supervisor system, combines advanced research and educational resources from China and Denmark and cultivates top-level talents with an international perspective and international competitiveness. Graduates are conferred degrees from both the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Danish cooperative university while meeting all the requirements from both universities. There are around 50 PhD students and 160 master’s students from China, Denmark and other countries that come to SDC to study each year.
We congratulated Frederik on being chosen as the representative of SDC to deliver a speech in the upcoming ceremony and asked why he chose UCAS to pursue his master’s degree. He said UCAS impresses him a lot for its hardware conditions such as the spacious campus, the perfect sport facilities and superior campus environment. However, the campus culture was what compelled him most to choose UCAS. “I have been China for many times, and I love living in China. Here in UCAS, I can study with Chinese people and Danish people, and I can use my skills because I can speak Chinese.” He admitted that many differences exist between Chinese and Danish school systems, but now he stands in the middle and draws lessons from both sides. As for the reason why he lost his heart to UCAS, he smiled and responded, “This is a very nice project, and I want to be part of this.” His study in SDC epitomizes the collaboration between Denmark and China and may shape future relations between the two countries.
Frederik also shared with us his general plan for the future. “I will look for job opportunities and I’d love stay in China. If something better presents itself in Denmark, I may go back. But If I can choose myself, I’d like to stay in China for several years.” His schedule for the first academic year is full of study, and during the first half of the second year or the 3rd semester, he will work as an intern at a company like Lego that does business between Denmark and China. During his 4th semester, he will focus on writing his thesis.
As for suggestions for fellow international students, Frederik emphasized the importance of being open-minded. He said, “You need to be prepared to do things differently. Change is good. That's the whole point of exchange.” At the end of the interview, a few friends of Frederik's shared their impressions of him. The most used words included reliable, thoughtful and well organized.
Another college that attracts international students is the International College of UCAS (IC-UCAS), which is often mentioned in comparison with SDC. The establishment of International College aims to expand the university’s internationalized cultivating model, attract excellent overseas students and create a multinational academic atmosphere. Students enrolled in IC-UCAS are mainly from developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. IC-UCAS will further expand and improve the “two phase” cultivation mode in which language and cultural study and professional courses are centralized in Beijing campuses, and scientific research are primarily done at the various CAS institutes. Statistics show that IC-UCAS has recruited a total of 510 international students, among whom 296 are doctoral students, and 203 are master’s students. Among those students, 241 will stay in Beijing for further scientific research after one year’s centralized study.
We would like to wish Frederik and his friends a nice stay here in UCAS, and hope they can make a difference in the increasingly globalized world both for the development of China and their own countries.