Simone Payne

What does a day in the life of Dual Degree Program student look like in China?

During a day in China you could go to grab a bubble tea and some dumplings from the street vendors, go take a walk around the West Lake during the day, and still have enough time in the evening to study.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced when studying abroad? How did you manage to overcome it?

The biggest challenge was speaking out in Chinese without worrying about the incorrectness of my pronunciation and grammar. In the end, it's okay to make a few mistakes and the more you practice the more comfortable it becomes.

What surprised you the most about your Chinese experience, if any?

Each of the locations in the city is very different. From the campus, to downtown, to the tourist district, each location catered to different types of people and had very different aesthetics.

What was the best, memorable moment of your experience so far?

There are so many different and interesting things to experience while studying at Zhejiang University. I would recommend just going out and collecting as many memories as you can.

What are some must-do things in Hangzhou?

Going to the West Lake. It is very large, and there are a lot of scenic spots and historical structures to see all the way around it.

What is the most valuable lesson you learned from your overseas experience? What were the greatest rewards?

I learned about the value of not wasting time worrying about the most practical use of my time. Instead, it is better to enjoy things as they come up. Of course, the same does not apply when a major project or exam is on the horizon.

What advice do you have for future Dual Degree Program students?

Bring warm winter clothes with you. Many classrooms don't have very good heating so you will need them to stay warm. Also, bring good rain wear for the rainy season.

How did this international experience shape your outlook about your career and life in general?

When it comes down to it, anyone can work anywhere in the world that they want. It is just about deciding what you want to do and what you are willing to do to accomplish it.