Cailin Murphy: Scholarship in Shandong

Name: Cailin Murphy

Home University: University of Leeds

Programme: Shandong, Joint Provincial Scholarship, September - February 2014

Why did you decide to apply to the Generation UK - Scholarship programme?

After studying abroad in Denmark, I knew I wanted to have another experience of living in different country, and have the chance to try something completely new to me. I knew the British Council were a reputable organisation to be involved with, and that learning Mandarin would be both hugely interesting and beneficial for me to improve my career prospects.

What was the most exciting part of your experience in China?

Being able to travel around China speaking in Mandarin, having not known two words before arriving. I was able to go to remote areas, see incredible sights and climb mountains only speaking in Chinese to other local tourists, much to their surprise. I learnt so much about Chinese culture, made strong friendships with people all over the world and was able to do this in part with my new language.

What have you been up to since you finished the programme?

After travelling in China, I travelled around Asia, still managing to speak a little Chinese in places. I have just got a job with a UK university where I will be researching how the university can develop business in new areas both globally and at home, with China being one of the target markets.

Do you have any plans to return to China in future or pursue Chinese language study further?

I chose to take HSK3 myself after the course (I passed!) and now hope to take HSK4 in the next year or so. I'd like to return to China to visit some of the many places I missed.

Would you recommend the Generation UK programme to your friends?

Any opportunity to push yourself in a completely different situation is something everyone should take up. It can be hard, but also immensely fun. The friends you make, the places you see and the things you learn make it all worth it. To employers, it's very interesting and definitely helps you to stand out of the crowd.

Cailin took part in the Generation UK-China Scholarship programme, receiving the Shandong, Joint Provincial Scholarship.