Daizi from China, BA Theatre and MA Journalism
'Lots of Chinese students come to the UK to do business or management – so I was a bit different!'
Meet Daizi Long, a 23-year-old student from Enshi in Hubei Province, China. In 2010, she became the first Chinese student to take a BA degree in Theatre Practice: Creative Producing at London South Bank University… and enjoyed the experience so much that she is now doing an MA to pursue her dream career – journalism.
‘I knew that many Chinese universities had partnerships with UK universities, but most of them were subjects like business.
‘So when I arrived in the UK as a partner student from Hubei University of Nationalities, and was the first student on my course, it was a hard step to take; there were times when I felt lonely. Getting to know the language and the differences in theatre techniques was a challenge. But my course director and coursemates helped me a lot and my English improved really quickly.
‘The international office explained everything I didn’t understand in the UK. The student centre was great too – they helped me with my personal statement and CV, and I know people who’ve turned to them with all sorts of problems, from accommodation and money to finding an internship or a part-time job, and even relationship problems.
‘I’ve been able to do two completely different courses, and they’ve both helped me work out what I want to do as my career. In China, students study for four years on one course, and they might have classes in 10 modules every day; in the UK, it’s a three-year course, with just six modules every academic year, so I’ve really been able to focus on my interests.
‘Another thing I love in the UK is that the teacher doesn’t just stand at the front and speak to students; we have to think for ourselves and come up with our own ideas and discuss them in class. The tutors guide us to improve our projects and let us make the final decisions. It’s really improved my confidence and my personal skills.
‘I’ve made loads of friends through the Chinese Students and Scholars Association – I was even president for my university branch in my second year. It’s been great, organising Chinese activities, including a Chinese New Year Gala – and because it’s a national organisation, I’ve made friends from other universities too.
‘I don’t just have Chinese friends, though! One of my best friends is from Brighton, on the south coast of England, and I often go to visit him. I’ve travelled a lot in the UK – Scotland, the Lake District, and one New Year a group of us went to Liverpool to watch the football, because one friend is a big fan.
‘I’ve managed to get an internship at Xinhua News Agency in China now. I know that wherever I choose to work as a journalist, I’d like to promote culture and lifestyle – both the culture of the UK and of China.
‘My family thinks studying here is a very, very good choice because I’ll be more mature, more confident and more independent – and for me, I really love the UK!’