Memorable experience in MA Arts Management Showcase

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.

Click here to view the whole programme of ESRC Festival of Social Science 2023

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.

Ruinan at the panel discussion | Photo provided by Ruinan PENG

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.

Ruinan at the panel discussion | Photo provided by Ruinan PENG

Author: Ruinan PENG
Editors: Lauren McShane and Liang WANG

My Volunteering Experience

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!

Call for Volunteering for CNY Celebrations

Happy International Volunteer Day (05/12)!

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.

The Beginning of Winter

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:

BIT Campus

Dear colleagues and friends,

Warm greetings from Beijing Institute of Technology!

Our Winter Program for Chinese Language and Culture is going to come!

There are both ON-CAMPUS (2-week) and ONLINE (2-week) programs available in this 2024 winter. HSK3 (Chinese level) is required for on-campus program.

Fees:

On-campus programs: USD800/ person for partner university

Online program is also totally FREE and no number limit.

Duration:

Jan 7–Jan 20, 2024 (on-campus/online program)

Nomination from partner university is necessary and sent before Nov 15th, 2023 for on-campus program and Dec 15th 2023 for online program.

Application Deadline:

30 Nov, 2023 (on-campus program)

24 Dec, 2023 (online program)

Application Platform: apply.isc.bit.edu.cn

Looking forward to your nomination and students!

If you are interested in this programme (online), please contact Dr Wang (liang.wang) for further information and nomination.

Provisional schedule

The time displayed here refers to Beijing Time (+8)

My Conference Assistant Experience at Queen’s

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

Recruitments

【招募古筝表演】
招募人数:1人
参演日期:9月20日 周三
参演地点:Queen’s校园
参演时间:中午,不超过半小时
是否有偿:是
要求:Queen’s 在读学生
联系人:王老师
联系方式:liang.wang[at]qub.ac.uk
招募截止日期:9月10日

A guzheng for display at the Language Centre office. Photo: Liang WANG

【招募拍摄助理】
招募人数:2人
拍摄日期:9月23日 周六
拍摄地点:Queen’s校园和市中心
拍摄时间:全天8小时(最多)
是否有偿:是
要求:须为Queen’s 持有Tier4 签证的在读学生、擅长拍摄建筑、对构图有审美、自带设备更佳
联系人:何老师
联系微信:carriehe2016
招募截止日期:9月15日

Queen’s Media and Broadcast PG students (Mengjia QU, Jiaqi LI and Xiaoya WU) working onsite. Photo: Liang WANG

Call for volunteers 常招志愿者

We are looking for talented students and staff members to volunteer for our Chinese language and cultural events 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.

We look forward to working with you in our future events.

My first visit to Suzhou

As the Chinese proverb goes, ‘What Paradise is to the Heaven, Suzhou and Hangzhou are to the earthly urban (上有天堂,下有苏杭 shànɡ yǒu tiāntánɡ, xià yǒu Sū-Hánɡ)’. This blog post will give you a glance over Suzhou city (苏州) in Jiangsu province, following Jiangyue CHEN (陈江月), a QUB graduate in TESOL, who recently relocated to Shanghai (上海) for her new job and paid her first visit to its neighbouring city.

I set off from Shanghai at 9:00 in the morning and arrived in Suzhou in just half an hour by high-speed train (高铁 gāotiě).

The screenshot of the e-ticket from Jiangyue’s mobile app.

Suzhou is a charming city in the southeast of China, famous for its long history, rich culture and exquisite ancient gardens. Suzhou has many attractions worth visiting, among which Hanshan Temple (寒山寺 Hánshān Sì), Pingjiang Road (平江路 Píngjiāng Lù) and Couple’s Garden (耦园 Ǒu Yuán) are three must-sees.

Hanshan Temple 寒山寺

Hanshan Temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in China, dating back to the 6th century. It is named after a legendary monk and poet named Hanshan, who lived here with his friend Shide. Their poems are full of Zen wisdom and life humor, and are collected in the book “Cold Mountain Poems”. Hanshan Temple has a tranquil and elegant atmosphere, with various buildings such as the Mahavira Hall (大雄宝殿 Dà Xióng Bǎo Diàn), the Bell Tower and the Puming Pagoda. It also houses many precious relics and artworks, such as the Tang dynasty bronze Buddha, the Song dynasty stone carving of the Diamond Sutra, and the Ming dynasty wood carving of the Eighteen Arhats (十八罗汉 Shíbā Luóhàn). Hanshan Temple is famous for its bell ringing ceremony on New Year’s Eve, which attracts thousands of visitors every year to listen to the 108 strokes of the giant bell and pray for blessings.

Pingjiang Road 平江路

Pingjiang Road is the most well-preserved historical street in Suzhou’s old city area, reflecting the style of the Tang and Song dynasties. It was an important grain storage and transport center in southern China during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Pingjiang Road is 1606 meters long, and was selected as one of the “Top Ten Historical Streets in China” in 2009. Along Pingjiang Road, there are many quaint shops and bars, selling various Suzhou specialties such as food, handicrafts, tea, etc. There are also many cultural celebrities’ former residences and historical sites, such as Sai Jinhua’s former residence, Zhang Xueliang’s former residence, Couple’s Garden, etc. Pingjiang Road has a beautiful night view when the lights are on. You can take a hand-pulled boat on the river and enjoy the scenery.

Couple’s Garden 耦园

Couple’s Garden was originally named Shiyuan Garden, built in the late Qing dynasty by Shen Bingcheng, who changed its name to Couple’s Garden after he met his talented wife Yan Yonghua. They lived here for eight years in seclusion. Couple’s Garden is a good place for couples to visit, as well as for those who want to appreciate Suzhou gardens in a quiet environment. Couple’s Garden is a twin garden, with an east garden and a west garden. The east garden is the essence of Couple’s Garden, with magnificent yellow stone rockeries and “Three Friends of Winter” made of boxwood and privet trees. The west garden is small and exquisite, a good place for reading books. Couple’s Garden also has many details and cultural elements that show the love story of Shen and Yan, such as Chengqu Caotang Hall, Wusuyun Pavilion, Tingqin Pavilion, etc. Couple’s Garden is surrounded by water on three sides and connected to the street on one side. It also has a private pier where you can take a boat to explore the surrounding water town.

There are many more interesting places in Suzhou worth exploring. The Suzhou Museum is another must-see place on my list. However, it requires bookings at least one week in advance and I missed it. Never mind, I will save it for next time – not too long!

Local delicacies

Besides these three attractions, Suzhou also has a lot of delicious food to offer. Suzhou cuisine is one of the eight major cuisines in China, featuring fresh ingredients, light taste and delicate appearance. Below are three dishes made of fresh water produces – I ordered and tasted the first two:

San-xia noodles (三虾面 Sān-xiā miàn), or Trinity of Shrimps style noodles, is a seasonal specialty in Suzhou. The name comes from the three parts of fresh water shrimps used in the serving: shrimp meat and shrimp roe and eggs. The noodles are topped with a generous amount of shrimps, as well as eggs, lard and scallions. The dish is served dry, with a clear broth on the side. The noodles are chewy and the shrimps are tender and fragrant.

San-xia noodles (三虾面) served in a large plate, with side dishes to accompany | Photo: Jiangyue CHEN

Crab roe rice (蟹黄饭 Xièhuáng fàn) is also a seasonal delicacy that can only be enjoyed in autumn, when the hairy crabs are at their best. The rice is cooked with the roe and meat of the crabs, as well as some seasonings such as ginger, soy sauce and sugar. The rice is rich and creamy, with a strong crab flavor and aroma. The dish is usually served with vinegar and ginger shreds to balance the greasiness.

Serving the crab roe on rice in a bowl | Photo: Jiangyue CHEN

Drunken crab (醉蟹 zuì xiè) is a cold dish that is made by marinating raw hairy crabs in yellow rice alcohol, salt, sugar and spices for several days. The crabs are then refrigerated until they are ready to eat. The crabs are soft and juicy, with a hint of alcohol and spice. The dish is said to have health benefits such as nourishing the blood, clearing the heat and moistening the lungs. I hope to try this dish on a later visit.

In addition, I have enjoyed tasting various local snacks and drinks, as below. Hope you all get a chance to visit Suzhou and taste the difference one day.

Author: Jiangyue CHEN
Editors: Isabella Souza McLaughlin, Liang WANG

Related reading

Happy Eid al-Adha

Eid al-Adha (古尔邦节 Gǔ’ěrbāng jié, 宰牲节 zǎishēng jié), which is considered one of the two Eid festivals observed by Muslims (穆斯林  Mùsīlín) each year, is celebrated on 10th Dhul-Hijjah, the 12th month in Islamic calendar, all over the world.

The festival commemorates the story of Prophet Ibrahim (先知 易卜拉辛 xiānzhī Yìbǔlāxīn) and his willingness to sacrifice (牺牲 xīshēng) his son as an act of obedience to Allah (真主 Zhēnzhǔ). This year, the Belfast Islamic Centre (BIC) together with the Belfast Multi-Cultural Association (BMCA) held an Eid Festival in the Botanic Gardens on Wednesday 28th June 2023.

Ying GAO (高莹), one of Queen’s Management School students, enjoyed her participation in the celebration of Eid al-Adha. Below is what she described and the photos shared in her social media:

My Muslim classmates invited me to join this event as of the biggest celebrations of their calendar. In the morning, there was Eid Al-Adha salah (礼拜 lǐbài), summoning hundreds of believers to come to pray together. After the salah, my friends and I went to see various stalls displaying traditional items: Henna, Halal food (清真食物 qīngzhēn shíwù) to purchase, and face painting. Everyone dressed up in modesty for the festival. Traditional clothing options for women for Eid are Abaya and Headscarf. For men, it is Thwab with Ghutra and Igaal. I wore a cheongsam (旗袍 qípáo) to attend the event and wowed my friend. They showed me around in the garden, introduced me to their friends, and introduced me to different kinds of food. I love the traditional dessert (甜品tián pǐn) called bakhlava. Studying in Queen’s gives me a good chance to explore and understand different cultures, creating memorable experiences.

ying gao

Author: Ying GAO
Editors: Lauren McShane, Liang WANG and Heng WANG

Be a better self – From Belfast to Beijing

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.

Lina

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

Continue reading

Call for participation

Translating Age – Sharing experiences of being an older woman in a new country

This post is circulated on behalf of Professor Tess Maginess from School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, who are looking for older female participants of diverse cultural backgrounds, including those from the Chinese community to share their experiences of living in Northern Ireland. Any queries related to this project need to be directed to Professor Maginess (see contact information below).

解读年龄 —— 年长女性在新移居国的经历分享

如果您是一位年龄超过55岁、现居北爱尔兰的女性,我们将帮您有机会认识来自不同文化背景的女性并分享你们的经历。我们非常欢迎您的加入!

我们将邀请您参加由英国女王大学开放学习部成人教育项目举办的免费工作坊!这些工作坊都非常随意,您不需要任何资质即可参加。

我们希望通过聆听来自不同国家的故事、诗歌 (等) 来了解大家在移居国的老龄生活。如果您希望在谈论您的感受时得到一些帮助,您可以带上您家中的年轻成员一同参加。

参加本项目有何好处?

  • 分享您自己的文化并了解其他文化。
  • 分享您作为一位年长女性的经历。
  • 结交新朋友。
  • 学习新技能并获得大学的“认可”。
  • 让别人听到您的声音。
  • 学习如何成为一名合作研究者。
  • 参与制作一个包含您的观点和您自己的故事、歌曲、诗歌、手工作品的网站。

项目何时开展?

项目工作坊将于今年9月开始,秋、冬季(新年)期间每周一次。

如何报名参加?

请发送电子邮件至Tess Maginess教授 t.maginess@qub.ac.uk 或 Federica Ferrieri 博士federica.ferrieri@outlook.com