Final-year student, Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Studies
For Angel Stowers, visiting China when she was in high school wasn’t just an opportunity to experience Asian culture; it also inspired her to study Chinese at university.
“In Year 11, I had the privilege of travelling to Shanghai, alongside other Chinese and business study students. This being my first time to Asia, it was my very first experience of being immersed in the rich culture and in an environment that allowed me to use the little knowledge of Mandarin I had at the time. This experience led me to studying the Chinese culture and language I’ve developed such a passion for.”
Deciding where to study was easy, Angel says.
“When I was choosing what university I wanted to study at, I always kept in mind the kind of environment and class style I learn best in. I was drawn towards AUT, knowing that it’s the ideal university environment for practical, visual learners like myself. I also liked that AUT’s classes are smaller, which allows for more one-on-one time with lecturers. That is an important aspect when learning a completely new language.”
Highlights and opportunities
There have been many highlights throughout her time at AUT, says Angel.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the variety of courses I’ve taken as part of my Chinese Studies major, and enjoyed interacting with students from other Bachelor of Arts majors in some of my other courses.”
She also appreciated the many opportunities her studies opened up.
“Over the past few years, I’ve also had the privilege to be invited to many different programmes, conferences and events that relate to my area of study, which enabled me to learn outside of the classroom. This included receiving two scholarships from the North Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence; in 2018 to study at Peking University in Beijing for two weeks, and in 2019 to study intermediate Chinese in Taipei, Taiwan, at the National Taiwan University while learning business in Taiwan for a month.
“I recently also had the opportunity to work on a North Asian Māori and Pacific Creative programme as a programme manager. This has allowed me to expand my Chinese knowledge in an international business context, stepping away from the linguistic aspect to learn more about the essence of Chinese culture in business. This gave me the chance to broaden my knowledge of both passions of mine, Chinese and business, and has now sparked a career interest I hadn't thought of prior to this opportunity.”
Advice for other students
Angel’s advice for other students is simple: make the most of the opportunities.
“My advice would be to never shy away from opportunities that will allow you to grow and learn, no matter how daunting it may be. Being in spaces that challenge you and that are out of your comfort zone will benefit you more than you may think. It will be difficult and it will be scary, but trusting yourself and giving whatever it is a go, will be all worth it in the end.”
She would highly recommend AUT’s Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Studies.
“I’d definitely recommend this programme to others, especially if you have an interest in languages and cultures. There are honestly endless opportunities and ways to learn within this degree.”