Joshua | Exchange to University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China

Photo of Joshua with a group of people

Joshua undertook a semester abroad in China at the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA). He writes:

It almost feels like yesterday when I embarked on my semester long journey to the world’s most populated country: China. Without learning more than only the basic words in Mandarin, the mere thought of living in a country where English was rarely spoken was truly daunting. However, this made me all the more eager to conquer this challenge and put myself well outside my comfort zone.

I completed my semester abroad in Nanjing, China, at the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics; NUAA. With Nanjing being the previous capital city and now the “Southern Capital” of China, there is a great historical significance and prominence that I definitely felt.

The facilities at my host university were extraordinary. I had the opportunity to use high powered wind tunnels, computer aided design software and much more. One of the main projects during my semester was to build a remote-control, propeller powered aeroplane. This project was excellent because I was able to use all the skills that I have learned through my years at RMIT University, and also gain further, valuable knowledge that has helped me enhance and improve my skills.

Throughout the semester, I also explored the marvellous sights that China had to offer; from the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an, to the Great Wall of China in the nation’s capital; Beijing, and everything in between. During my travels, I became immersed in many different cultures and was fortunate enough to visit many momentous sights and landmarks. Almost every weekend a new city and province was ticked off, creating a compilation of memories and photos that I will cherish. 

During my endeavours, I travelled with fellow students on exchange that came from all over the world. Being able to travel with so many people from all corners of the globe allowed me to gain valuable insight into the cultural, similarities and differences between their home country and mine. I learnt about many new traditions, ways of living and a bit of the local language.

Being able to travel with so many people from all corners of the globe allowed me to gain valuable insight into the cultural, similarities and differences between their home country and mine. I learnt about many new traditions, ways of living and a bit of the local language.

Despite already knowing how unique the Australian language was, it still astounded me the amount of people that were unable to understand my vocabulary and sentences. Through this, I comprised a list of all the words that ‘only Australians’ say; ranging from ‘Macca’s’ to ‘chuck-a-u-e’ and even ‘eski’. I cannot imagine being able to get around Australia without knowing this simple slang. Nonetheless, it was a great and interesting experience teaching my international friends these words and preparing them for when they come to visit me down under.

Studying abroad was an incredible opportunity for me to grow and put myself well outside me comfort zone and the norm I am so used to. The knowledge I learnt from my studies, the cultural aspects that I have experienced and the friendships that I have made during my semester exchange was truly amazing and has enabled me to open my eyes and see just how amazing this world really is.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.