How exciting when you were selected for a panel discussion on your research work and experience as part of your postgraduate degree study at Queen’s?
Today we invite Ruinan PENG (彭瑞楠), MA in Arts Management 2022-2023, from School of Arts, English and Languages, to share her wonderful experience of being invited for the Arts Management Showcase event on 7th November 2023.
What’s it about the Arts Management Showcase event?
The MA Arts Management Showcase is actually part of the annual Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science, which provides a great opportunity to display outstanding Queen’s MA Arts Management students’ research to the professional circles and the public for a wider social impact.
At the event, the convention is that a senior guest speaker would be invited to share his or her research on the culture and arts field, followed by a presentation of selected outstanding postgraduate research work and a round-table discussion with the guest speaker. Therefore, this showcase event is an ideal opportunity to demonstrate Arts Management teaching and research outcomes at Queen’s and communicate with professional researchers in arts management from outside Queen’s.
What was your experience on the day?
As one of the four student speakers, I presented my dissertation (学位论文 xuéwèi lùnwén) which was about curating (策展 cèzhǎn) and audience engagement (观众参与 guānzhòng cānyù) in contemporary art exhibitions (当代艺术展 dāngdài yìshùzhǎn), exploring how curating constructs audiences’ experiences and facilitates audience engagement in contemporary art exhibitions. Alongside me, Dr. Christina Ballico, and my classmates, Holly and Stephanie, presented their research in terms of ‘music city’, ‘arts engagement of the working class (工人阶级 gōngrén jiējí)’, and ‘music education development in Northern Ireland’. Their presentations were interesting and insightful, illustrating a bigger picture and sketching out the details about how to develop an inclusive, equal cultural engagement for cities, artists, and the public. Also, their research methods and case studies expanded my knowledge of conducting arts management both in the academic and professional domains.
There was a Q&A panel and a networking (会后交流 huìhòu jiāoliú) session following the end of the presentation.
What was your feeling about such an experience?
It was not only a rewarding moment to ‘show off’ my efforts in my independent research but also a lovely reunion with my supervisors, classmates, and friends. Reviewing my experience of studying at Queen’s, I had a strong sense of achievement (成就感 chéngjiùgǎn) and gained many opportunities to improve my language and intercultural skills, and develop my research abilities, thanks to the small-scale class, diverse classmate backgrounds, high-standard course programme, and professional and dedicated teachers. I treated this event as my reward for my study at Queen’s and hope that more Chinese students at Queen’s step onto this showcase stage in the future.
Author: Ruinan PENG Editors: Lauren McShane and Liang WANG
Happy International Volunteer Day! On this special occasion this year, we would like to invite you to join in our celebration with Xinxin, one of our proactive students who has had great volunteering (志愿 zhìyuàn) experience at Queen’s and else where.
Xinxin WANG (王心欣), a postgraduate from Queen’s Law School, has just successfully completed her Master of Law in International Commercial & Business Law this Winter 2023. She is from Tianjin, China. Before she came to Queen’s, she has had good working experience in China, focusing on accountancy and business advisory services.
Photo of Xinxin at CNY Celebration in 2023 at Queen’s University | Photo Credit: Liang Wang
Volunteering, hard work? Yes! And paid? No! That’s volunteering, but it makes me feel great and meaningful rather than seeking financial rewarding. It brings me a diverse feeling of life and to obtain satisfaction from helping others. There is a saying in Chinese, “与人玫瑰，手有余香 (yǔ rén méiguī shǒu yǒu yú xiāng).
What kind of volunteering experience have you had so far and how did you feel about such volunteering experiences?
In the celebration of the Chinese New Year (Year of the Rabbit) held by our University, I worked with other Chinese students and teachers as volunteers (志愿者 zhìyuànzhě), and I felt great that we could celebrate this most important Chinese festival together at Queen’s. This was my first time celebrating Chinese New Year away from my family. The wonderful experience released me from being overly homesick and helped me earn a sense of joyful reunion with my folks and friends at Queen’s as a big family.
In the ‘One Young World 2023 Belfast’ event, which was a big celebration for the world’s youth leaders in politics, journalism, commercial area, sports and so on, I was the helper for the opening ceremony and workshops. As a volunteer, I could have the opportunity to meet figures who are successful and influential in various industries. I felt grateful that I could have the opportunity to communicate with the organisers and speakers who inspired me with their stories and experiences in different commercial areas, which broadened my horizons and expanded my network with people from different cultural backgrounds. When I received the “Thank You Event” invitation from the organising committee and an invitation to be a referral for a friend in her volunteering work application last week, I felt warm and touched because my efforts and kindness are highly recognised, which also could build my confidence about the future.
In sport events like the Antrim Coast Half Marathon 2023 and 3K & 5K Running, I assisted with registration and passing waters to athletes during running and I was encouraged by their spirits and enthusiasm towards sports and life.
In the past, I also worked as a volunteer in many events in China, like helping with delivering food and nucleic acid amplification tests during the COVID-19 blocking period; helping in Beijing Olympic Games 2008 and tour guide of Tianjin Museum in 2006. From my volunteering experience, I became more and more knowledgeable and collaborative and made many friends.
What was the value of volunteering experience to you?
To me, the meaning of volunteering experience is far more than finding a paid work, especially when I study and live abroad, which offers me a sense of belonging and helps to expand my network with diverse team and people with different occupations and cultural backgrounds. More importantly, I could have a chance to know better about the ways of working in my current capacity, which could allow me a quickly adapt to the working environment in the future.
What message would you like to pass on to like-minded people looking for volunteering opportunities?
If you also want to practice in the real world, no matter what your expertise or employability skill are, please do not hesitate to seize the volunteering opportunity, and go for it!
The Language Centre is organising a Chinese New Year Celebration Information Session to mark the International Volunteer Day (05/12) on Monday 04/12 (13:00-15:00) at the Auditorium, McClay Library. If you are interested in what’s going to happen and how you can get involved, feel free to pop in and join us in the session.
Call for volunteers
As the Year of the Dragon (龙年春节) is arriving in Feb 2024, we are looking for talented students and staff members to volunteer for our Chinese New Year celebration at Queen’s. It could be in the form of a variety of cultural performances, or language/culture-related topics and skills, and is open to both Chinese-speaking and non-Chinese speaking volunteers.
If you would like to express your interest in volunteering for the preparation and delivery of the proposed events, feel free to scan the QR code, or click the Form URL below to submit your interest.
We also look forward to working with you in our future language and cultural events.
Language Centre Course Enrolment
The second enrolment for courses, including Chinese, to start in January 2024 has now been available online. Anyone wishing to learning Chinese can find relevant course timetable and registration information from The Language Centre Homepage.
Calling all QUB learners of Chinese for a Chinese Winter Camp (online)
The Beginning of Winter (立冬 Lìdōng) falls on Tuesday 7th November this year. Welcome, winter!
The Language Centre has received an invitation from Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT, 北京理工大学), which is one of our Queen’s partner universities in China, for all learners of Chinese at Queen’s to attend their ONLINE Chinese language programme in January 2024. Read on for the details:
Being an international student at Queen’s never means that one has to bury their heads into books and articles for their academic study. Instead, proactively partaking in a range of academic and social events can benefit them hugely.
In this post, Yufei Yang (杨雨菲), a MA candidate in Children’s Rights, tells us how she felt about being an international conference assistant during her study at Queen’s.
“While assisting at the conference, this international event enabled me to connect with participants from around the world, representing diverse cultures and backgrounds.”
Yufei yang, pG student from school of social sciences, education and social work, qub
In September, as an international student assistant, I had the privilege of participating in the “CHILDREN’S RIGHTS PARTICIPATION & EDUCATION SYMPOSIUM,” marking one of the highlights of my inspiring cross-cultural (跨文化 kuàwénhuà) journey since I came to study at Queen’s. This conference brought together distinguished scholars and experts from Poland (波兰 Bōlán) , Ireland (爱尔兰 Ài’ěrlán) , China (中国 Zhōngguó) and many other nations, engaging deeply in discussions about children’s rights (儿童权利 értóng quánlì) and education (教育 jiàoyù).
Presentation at the conference | Photo: Yufei Yang
While assisting at the conference, this international event enabled me to connect with participants from around the world, representing diverse cultures and backgrounds. It was an enriching experience that highlighted the richness and excitement of cross-cultural communication (跨文化交际 kuàwénhuà jiāojì). Interacting with representatives from Poland, Ireland, and other countries provided insights into unique perspectives and practices regarding children’s rights and education.
Conference Panel | Photo: Yufei Yang
Through group discussions (小组讨论 xiǎozǔ tǎolùn) and workshops (工作坊 gōngzuòfǎng), I shared best practices from my home country alongside international participants, delving into the challenges within the realm of children’s rights and education. Scholars (学者 xuézhě) from various nations passionately presented their research progress and reports, not only enriching academia with new insights and innovations but also inspiring other professionals.
This collaborative effort fostered a better understanding of each other’s cultures and backgrounds, emphasizing the significance of respect (尊重 zūnzhòng) and understanding (理解 lījiě). Beyond academic exchange (学术交流 xuéshù jiāoliú), the symposium showcased the power of international cooperation (国际合作 guójì hézuò). Our collective focus on the future of children’s rights and education reinforced the understanding that these goals can be better achieved through global collaboration (全球协作 quánqiú xiézuò).
Overall, this symposium on children’s rights and education served as a vibrant cross-cultural adventure, underlining the value of international academic exchange. It opened doors to broader explorations for the future, igniting a passion for the continued pursuit of knowledge.
Author: Yufei YANG Editor: Lauren McShane and Liang WANG
July is a bustling season for graduation and it is the time to wish the graduates a great success and a bright future. No matter where they go, they are closely linked to Queen’s as a valued alumnus member.In May 2023, Queen’s held a series of activities for Chinese alumni in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou respectively. Many outstanding Queen’s alumni from different parts of China excitedly joined one of the sessions with a welcome-home atmosphere.
On this special occasion, we are glad to invite Lina SHI (史丽娜), aka. Selena in English, an MA graduate in Arts Management from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences in 2018, to share her Queen’s experience and life after graduation. Currently, she is working in the KPMG Beijing Office.
To my memory, this is the second alumni association held in Beijing. Although I missed the first one, I feel honoured to have become one of the four volunteers at the reception this time to introduce the alumni association event to the delegates.
Volunteer’s view of the Alumni Event in Beijing | Image: Lina SHI
Seeing such activities as a precious opportunity for them to take a break from their busy professional and family lives, Lina was delighted to meet and chat with each other at the Beijing session.
I am delighted to find that Queen’s graduates are now doing well. Whether within national institutions or within foreign and local companies (本土公司 běntǔ gōngsī), Queen’s students contribute their knowledge and abilities to their positions. Undoubtedly, our Queen’s educational experience gave us solid academic standing when it came to job hunting post-graduation (毕业求职 bìyè qiúzhí). As a result, you would find that Queen’s graduates occupied many varied positions in a wide range of fields, including international companies and even Chinese government offices (国家机关 guójiā jīguān).
Social time after the Alumni event | Image: Lina SHI
When asked what the best experience she ever had when studying at Queen’s, Lina attributed her highlights to her intercultural learning experience during her internship:
I would tell any future student that if you choose to study at Queen’s, it would be a wonderful learning journey. Many things and people made the experience feel unforgettable for me. For example, I gained valuable internship (实习 shíxí) experience in Belfast.
As part of the assessments for my major, Arts Management, I needed to independently source an internship in arts management at local arts institutions. To be honest, it was hard for international students at that time. But don’t worry, every classmate finished their arts internship work in the end. It was an extremely helpful experience for my career.
I spent three months working in an arts management internship at Ulster Youth Orchestra (管弦乐队 guǎnxián yuèduì). The Ulster Youth Orchestra exists to enable young people from throughout Northern Ireland to achieve their musical potential through the provision of the highest quality of professional tuition. I worked in UYO’s administrative office, located in Royal Avenue, Belfast. I was very lucky to join the rehearsal for the 25th Anniversary Concert in 2018.
A grand view of the Orchestra performance at the Ulster Hall, Belfast | Image: Lina SHI
Generally, my internship duties (职务 zhí wù) included putting forward arts fundraising applications to the UK and local government, communicating, and preparing rehearsal venues, cooperating with local other arts institutions, recording membership information and managing and archiving sheet music.
My manager and colleagues are very kind with international students like me. On the day of my birthday, Paula, the arts manager of Ulster Youth Orchestra, sent me a card and balloon to celebrate. What’s more, she treated me to a nice dinner with the team when my internship ended. The experience is very beneficial to the work I do in Beijing now.
A Thank-you card to Lina | Image: Lina SHI
We hope that sharing Lina’s experience has given you hope and motivation for choosing Queen’s University Belfast! As QUB’s motto goes, ‘Shape A Better World’, you have been shaped by Queen’s and you are shaping Queen’s and a wider society as well. Hope the better world will be more beautiful with the better you in the future!
Author: Lina SHI Editors: Lauren McShane and Liang WANG
Are you a Chinese student planning to study Nursing at Queen’s? On this IND we invite Sun Xingge (孙邢格), one of our few Chinese MSc students in Advanced Professional and Clinical Practice from School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast, to share her experience of Nursing study and work in Belfast.
With a Queen’s charted flight during the COVID-19 pandemic, I started my nursing journey at Queen’s and after two years I successfully got my MSc degree in 2023. That, however, is far from the end of my journey. I have won the international studentship from the Department for Economy in Northern Ireland, which will fully fund my PhD studies at QUB. So, my journey with Queen’s will continue…
I have been studying nursing for six years since my undergraduate study in Zhengzhou University. I am a qualified nurse in China. In the UK, I have practised at the Ulster Hospital as a student nurse and worked as a healthcare assistant in a care home in Belfast. In 2022, I also visited the Princess Maxima Center for Pediatric Oncology in the Netherlands as a nursing student. Currently, I work as a research assistant in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at QUB and will continue to do PhD study here from this October on.
My nursing journey has been great in Belfast and QUB. I have enjoyed studying and working in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, which has given me so much support in so many different areas.
Studying at Queen’s and in Belfast
Language Support: As international students, we need to improve our English academic writing. Our School understands this well and provides us with Academic English courses. Within one year’s programme, the courses involve critical thinking, proofreading, presentation skills, reference styles, and many more. We are also able to book a one-to-one tutorial if we have any questions. In addition, our tutor celebrated festivals with all the international students together, such as the Chinese New Year celebration event, which was very rewarding.
Photo credit: SUN Xingge
Dissertation Support: I was able to choose a supervisor according to my dissertation topic. Luckily, I had two very professional supervisors who are also very patient with me. They arranged meetings with me every two weeks starting in November 2021 to guide me through doing a systematic review. During this period, they gave me feedback promptly and answered any other questions from academic support to mental health.
Research Support: As a postgraduate student, our School provides us with studentship research schemes with 1200 GBP stipend for 3 months. There are five research projects recruiting students to join each semester. For students who would like to pursue PhD studies in the future, this is a good opportunity to accumulate research experience. Luckily, I joined two schemes. I worked with a professional research team with a focus on kidney diseases. During this period, the research project supervisors arranged regular meetings, shared study materials, and taught me different research methods, which have enhanced my research abilities.
Facilities and resources: There are four libraries at QUB. I can self-study and also book a study room for group study at any of them. As a nursing student, I can access the medical library easily to borrow books relevant to my modules. There are also many online resources on Queen’s My Future platform, accessible to all students, which help me learn different skills, for example, how to build an advanced search using different databases, and how to use Endnote to manage my research results.
Working at Queen’s and elsewhere
Career Support: Notably, Queens also offers you further career support, such as booking a free career consultation via My Future. I also registered as a worker at Qwork. This platform provides job positions for internal applicants, which I strongly recommend.
In terms of clinical practice, the School of Nursing and Midwifery also provides us students with clinical placement to experience the medical system in the UK firsthand. I thoroughly enjoyed my practice in the Medical Acute Unit, at Ulster Hospital, as a student nurse.
I worked with a multidisciplinary team in an English-speaking environment. I participated in the ward handover, provided personal care for patients, and wrote clinical notes under the supervision of my clinical facilitator. After 6 weeks of clinical placement, I gained good experience which would help me seek a clinical part-time job in Belfast.
With great luck I applied for and successfully attended the summer school in Holland through My Future. During the summer holiday in 2022, I attended the Princess Maxima Center for Pediatric Oncology to study childhood cancer for a week. While I started to better understand the European medical system, I was able to communicate with medical students from all over the world, who shared their innovative ideas and opinions for further medical development, which have brought diverse viewpoints and opinions that uplifted my outlook on nursing.
In addition, I worked at a care home for 10 months in Belfast. It was a very memorable experience for me. I provided basic care for the residents and did the daily food management and safety checks. My employer also offered me online and offline training, including first aid, infection control, and fall prevention. I have not only gained professional knowledge but also the skills of care, communication, problem-solving, and teamwork, as well as enhanced my oral English. The work helped me to better understand the medical system and professional culture in the UK.
In retrospect, my studies at Queen’s has made a huge difference in my life. All the lecturers and tutors at the School of Nursing and Midwifery are professional and supportive. My life has very fulfilling at QUB and in Belfast. I take advantage of my free time to travel to a lot of countries. I have been to France, Germany, Finland, Holland, Ireland, Italy, etc. I am so grate for my funder, supervisors, families, and friends who have helped me develop great passion for my personal and professional growth alongside my Nursing journey!
Photo credit: SUN Xingge
Contributor: SUN Xingge Editors: Lauren McShane and WANG Liang
What does International Women’s Day mean to you? Different people may have different focuses. At Queen’s, the campaign theme for this year is #EmbraceEquity
Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity
Today, we are pleased to introduce WANG Xinxin, a Queen’s School of Law student (LLM candidate in International Commercial & Business Law) to share her feel of being a departing daughter from her family, a female international student with great passion for her study and intercultural life in Belfast and elsewhere, through quoting the lines from one of her favourite ancient poems, the Ballad of Mulan.
We also thank WANG Xinxin for kindly sharing her Instagram account with us, which includes a video clip of greeting messages to her family and to all, in Chinese. If you have difficulties in understanding Mandarin, just click this Instagram post to read the English lines she added in the comment area.
We would like to invite all to come join in this is a special day of greeting and a call for celebration. Tell us how you celebrate this special day in the reply box below. We would love to hear more stories from you, too.
The first half of the CNY celebrations went on extremely well, featuring the student-led Interactive Chinese Culture Displays and Demos, the CNY2023 Launch Event, and the art exhibitions both online and in-person. We would like to send our ‘thank-you’ to all of you who have contributed, participated in and helped with promotion. We hope that you have enjoyed yourselves.
In the following part of the CNY Programme, we continue to warmly welcome you to attend a series of culture talks, a fun time table tennis event and a guzheng introductory workshop. All QUB students and staff members are welcome!