Lamarah Williams Steele
Department: Department of Politics, History and the Brunel Law School
College: College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences
One of the main reasons I chose to come to Brunel was because of the many opportunities to study abroad or do a work placement. For my second year, I went on exchange to our partner institution, The University of Nottingham Ningbo, in China. Ningbo, a relatively small city in Chinese terms, is located three hours south of Shanghai and 45 minutes away from Hangzhou, a place that is commonly referred to a part of ‘heaven on earth’.
My exchange in China was an eye-opening academic and cultural experience. Although at an English institution, I had the opportunity to develop a basic understanding of Mandarin as well as experience - and begin to understand - Chinese culture. As an International Politics student, I found studying international relations theory in a developing country phenomenal; it opened my mind and widened my worldview. In addition to this, during Chinese New Year, I was able to travel to Japan and Malaysia, and at the end of the year spent some time in Hong Kong. China is a beautiful country, and being there on exchange was a truly amazing and enriching experience. It exceeded all of my expectations and I’ve made friends from all over the world.
It’s overwhelming to think that I have just returned from a year abroad, and despite how daunting it was initially; no words are sufficient to sum it up. While it was challenging, it was also so rewarding, and I urge everyone to make use of the opportunity.