Victoria Richardson: Scholarship at Fudan University

Name: Victoria Richardson

Home University: University of St Andrews

Programme: British Council China Scholarship - Fudan University, 10 months

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

I studied International Relations at university and focused my degree studies on Asian politics, economics and security. 

Towards the end of my degree I became particularly interested in Chinese politics, and chose to write my dissertation on this theme. 

During my final year of university, I was also lucky enough to take part in the Study China programme and spent three weeks at Beijing Normal University. 

This was a great experience and provided a taste of what China has to offer. 

Following graduation, I was looking for an opportunity to return to China, and realised that learning Chinese would be a great addition to my skillset in an increasingly globalised economy. 

Whilst looking for opportunities to head back to China, the 'Generation UK – China programme' project caught my eye. I applied to all of the opportunities available and was awarded a full scholarship to study Chinese at Fudan University for one year. 

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

I have had so many exciting experiences in China - it is impossible to pick just one

I met an amazing group of people from around the world, and made many wonderful friends. 

I enjoyed travelling throughout China, Taiwan and the Philippines over the Chinese New Year. 

This was a great experience and allowed me to learn more about China's diverse and dynamic culture.

I really enjoyed studying Chinese - although at times this was daunting for someone who had never studied an Asian language before - nevertheless this has been a rewarding journey and it gives me a lot of satisfaction to see my proficiency in Chinese steadily improve. 

I have loved living in Shanghai (quite a contrast from St Andrews!) and have found it to be an incredibly dynamic city, with many exciting opportunities up for grabs. 

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

After graduating I returned to the UK for a much needed catch up with my family and friends. On the way home I made a memorable detour to visit my Russian roommate from Fudan in Moscow. I have now returned to China to work.

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

Yes, since completing the programme I have returned to live and work in Shanghai. I continue to develop my knowledge of Chinese through self-study, language exchange and immersion in Chinese culture. 

Would you recommend the Generation UK – China programme to your friends?

I would have no reservations in recommending the Generation UK – China programme to anyone who is open-minded and up for an adventure!

The programme is a wonderful opportunity to develop your language skills, experience Chinese culture first-hand and make friends from all around the world. If you wish to develop your career in China, or internationally, I believe the programme is a great investment in your future.

Find out more about the Generation UK - China Scholarship programme.