Computing students at Bath College have spent three weeks in China developing an international outlook on their chosen career.
The Bsc (Hons) Applied Computing students have been inspired to work overseas after gaining first-hand knowledge of the opportunities available in East Asia.
Seven students spent three weeks in Shanghai, as part of Bath College’s exchange partnership with the Shanghai Technical Institute of Electronics and Information (STIEI).
The College has been sharing good teaching practice with STIEI for about three years but this was the first visit for students.
The Computing students were joined on the China trip by three engineering apprentices from Bath-based company Rotork and the College’s Learning Development Coach Gwyn Chamberlain.
They spent two weeks living in university halls of residence and attending lectures while carrying out a research project into the domestic use of ‘the internet of things.’
This was followed by a week’s work experience in Shanghai’s Rotork office, which included helping with day-to-day jobs in the sales department and IT department.
Student Jodie Collier, 22, said: “I’d never been away for that long before and I was completely out of my comfort zone, so it really increased my confidence.
“If it wasn’t for the College, I would never have had an opportunity like this. I want to work in software development or project management and now I find myself considering further travel.”
Student Chris Mulgrew, 21, said: “The trip taught me how to adapt to a completely different environment. The software was obviously in Chinese and there were huge cultural differences, but whatever happened, you learned to fit in.
“I’m now looking at teaching English or IT abroad. I loved everything about China and it’s made the world feel like a smaller place.”
Student Lewis Hack, 20, added: “This trip is a real CV boost, it will hopefully open up job opportunities for us all.”
The Computing students became close friends with STIEI students and are likely to be remembered for their on-stage rendition of Take That’s ‘Back For Good’ at a karaoke night.
They also got to squeeze in some sightseeing, visiting the Oriental Pearl Tower and Shanghai Museum, as well as gardens and Temples.
Jodie said: “It’s a huge and very busy city; it’s completely different out there. There’s always a sea of people around you.
“But everyone is very welcoming, friendly and extremely accommodating. They couldn’t do enough to help us.”
Lewis added: “We were guests in their country and they really looked after us. At times it felt like we were celebrities!”
Bath College’s Higher Education Lecturer John Curry said the experience had helped students prepare for the international workplace.
He said: “The exchange visit has been a great learning experience for the students. They’ve been introduced to one of the places the working world could take them.
“I hope the two institutions can continue to work together and future Computing students can benefit from similar trips.”
Four staff exchanges between Bath College and STIEI have taken place. Staff from STIEI were in Bath for three weeks in the summer last year and Bath College’s Level 3 Business students will visit Shanghai in October this year.
The College also has links with Shanghai SIPO Polytechnic and Shanghai Jiguang Polytechnic College.
Pictured above: Bath College’s BSc (Hons) Applied Computing students on an exchange trip to Shanghai.