SUSU Student Gained Construction Experience at the Largest University in China

A 3rd year student of the SUSU Institute of Architecture and Construction Anastasiya Larionova took part in a student exchange program between Zhejiang Ocean University and South Ural State University.

SUSU confidently supports student exchange programs. In particular, the university has established close ties with Zhejiang Ocean University. During the period from the beginning of March till the middle of June, 5 students from SUSU went to Zhoushan, and at the same time, 10 students from the Ocean University came to gain experience in construction at SUSU.

Director of the Institute of Architecture and Construction Dmitriy Ulrikh and a student of the institute’s Construction of Unique Buildings and Structures degree program Anastasiya Larionova speak to us about the exchange program and about how students are taught at Zhejiang Ocean University.

− What does the program involve?

Dmitriy Vladimirovich: We have been working with universities in China for a long time now, students have been traveling there through exchange programs for years. In terms of the 2017-2018 academic year, from March to June, 5 students from the Institute of Architecture and Construction studied in China. We are planning on expanding this practice and repeating it annually. Our plans include founding a joint Master’s program with Chinese universities.

− Anastasiya, why did you decide to participate in the exchange program?

Anastasiya: Deputy Director for Research of the Institute of Architecture and Construction Sergey Pogorelov came to our lecture, spoke to us about the program, and suggested participating. I had heard about this program before when I worked on a project in the institute with students from China. But this time I decided that I wanted to test my strengths abroad. Another plus of this was that the cost of education for us in China is the same as at SUSU. Since I have a state-funded scholarship, I studied at Zhejiang Ocean University for free. I want to note that the cost of education in China for Chinese students is 300,000 rubles.

− What opportunities did you have at the Chinese university?

− It is a good university which offers many opportunities. The campus has a large, four-story library, basketball and volleyball courts, and a climbing wall, where students of Zhejiang Ocean University complete physical culture lessons. There is also a rich creative atmosphere. There were various concerts and performances; I even participated in a few of them. There were various excursions for those who love to travel and see new places, and these trips were organized by the students themselves. They took us around Zhoushan, nearby cities, and different reserves. We were delighted on the excursions because they showed us the beautiful landscapes of China. I never thought before that it could be so beautiful there. The nature there simply amazed me and many other students. The residents there are seriously passionate about nature and the environment, and many of them work on the aesthetics of it.

− What skills did you gain at the Chinese university?

− Over the 3.5 months I studied, I noticed that the teachers and researchers in China approach academic tasks differently. We had the same subjects as the ones we study at SUSU, for example, soil mechanics and construction mechanics, but at Zhejiang University, they gave us different methods for solving problems. At the same time, the final answer was exactly the same, but they used totally different equations. For example, in the construction mechanics course, the Chinese students used more of their knowledge in geometry. With time, I understood that the methods they teach us at SUSU are better for me. When I was at different build sites, many of the work techniques seemed unfamiliar and strange to me. But despite this, I found it very interesting to watch how the engineers and architects worked. Overall, China, probably like any other Asian country, is a different world. It is very entertaining and interesting. They have different traditions, manners of speech, fashion, habits. There’s a different nature, weather, climate, a different language, and that’s why they had a different approach to teaching students. In the south of China, there is a lot of greenery on the streets: beautiful lawns, bushes with flowers, trees in bloom, in some places you can even see palm trees. Due to the climate, they treat construction differently in China.

− What basics of knowledge did you have to have to go study in the exchange program?

− Since we studied in China in the same program as at SUSU, we needed to know the basics of all of the subjects studied at our own university. I didn’t need any additional knowledge. In terms of the Chinese language, this was purely optional. But I can say that the students and teachers in China liked it when we spoke at least basic Chinese to them – we said hello, goodbye, said please and thank you. And of course, knowledge of English was welcome.

− How did your studies at Zhejiang Ocean University end?

− At the end of my education, they sent me a certificate which showed my grades in a 100-point system from China. They also told us that we have the opportunity to study in the Master’s program. Since I have 3 years of study remaining at SUSU, I have not thought about their offer yet. Overall, all of our students were very thankful to SUSU for the opportunity to study abroad, and we are very thankful to the professors from China for the knowledge they gave us. They tried very hard when explaining everything to us and were always ready to help.

Marina Kovyazina
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