On January 4, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) welcomed a group of students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to take part in the MIT Independent Activities Period (MIT-IAP). Eight students studied Mandarin and experienced life in China for two weeks.
In recent years, MIT has created a “global classroom” to promote students to travel abroad to conduct in-depth field projects. The Chinese courses offered by the MIT School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (SHASS) also came out of the United States. In 2020, MIT selected SUSTech to conduct its MIT-IAP and field-learning activities in Shenzhen. SUSTech Global worked with SHASS to design the Shenzhen MIT-IAP Project.
MIT-IAP Shenzhen 2020 featured a morning Mandarin lesson, taught by SHASS teachers and assisted by SUSTech student volunteers. SUSTech Global would lead the MIT students in a variety of learning experiences around Shenzhen, with each student conducting a research project of their choice to report on at the end of their stay in China. The MIT-IAP students lived on campus, talking with SUSTech students, and experiencing life as a Chinese university student.
The 2020 MIT-IAP Shenzhen project enabled the MIT students to be immersed in Chinese context, both in and out of the classroom. With the help of the teachers and student volunteers, their Chinese level has improved significantly, while gaining a new insight into Chinese development in the modern era. Students also developed an increased interest in traditional Chinese culture.
The MIT-IAP students also experienced traditional Chinese culture at the Artron Art Center, Phoenix Tea House and other venues around Shenzhen. Participants were able to experience Shenzhen as not only an emerging international city but as a center for traditional Chinese culture. Students experienced guzheng performances, calligraphy exhibitions, as well as sculpture and porcelain displays.
The MIT-IAP Shenzhen project also included discussions with local non-government organizations that seek to support the diversity of Shenzhen.
In the final days of their time in Shenzhen and at SUSTech, the MIT students expressed their thanks to the student volunteers who had given up their time to help them throughout their two weeks in Shenzhen. In return, the SUSTech students have found that they had learned a lot from the MIT students and were keen to travel to Boston to experience the education that MIT offers.
Translated and Adapted By SUSTech Newshub
Proofread ByXia Yingying
Photo BySUSTech Global