An Ideal Study Destination
2 Jul 2019
In 2016 a young Chinese man named Shiqi Zou joined a group of fellow students by embarking on a study tour as winners of the Chengdu to the Gold Coast competition. Shiqi goes by the English name of Jason and while he had previously travelled to the US and Japan this was his first journey to Australia and he freely admits he knew little of this country.
According to Jason staying with a host family on that two week study tour allowed him to gain an understanding of what life is like on the Gold Coast more intimately and rather than feeling like ‘just another foreign visitor’ he got into the rhythm of the city. “I even saw a wild koala up close one morning in a tree not far from the front door of my homestay family’s house – I was so impressed!”
A Life Changing Experience
Jason says that two week experience totally changed his intention of studying abroad. “After I returned home I received an offer to study at the University of Glasgow, but I chose to study a double Masters degree in Hotel Management with an MBA at Southern Cross University instead. The Gold Coast has so much in common with my hometown of Chengdu, it’s a city where people enjoy life, rather than being overwhelmed by the fast pace of a city like Sydney.”
Jason was so taken with his Gold Coast experience that he volunteered to be an ambassador for the city upon his return to Chengdu, visiting schools to share his study experience throughout the different districts of Chengdu. In May 2017 he was part of the friendship signing ceremony agreement between Chengdu Railway High School and Emmanuel College on the Gold Coast.
It wasn’t long before Jason’s civic responsibilities extended to an official role accompanying the Nigerian Ambassador to UNESCO as part of an international education forum in Dujiangyan City. During the event Jason served as the interpreter for the 38th President of UNESCO and Luo Qiang, Mayor of Chengdu, as well as hosting the dinner for the closing ceremony of the conference.
Last year Jason wrote his first novel, a story based on the animation industry and was voted one of the ten best new novelists for the platform. He’s since signed a contract with Hedgehog Cat, one of the most influential online book platforms in China.
But it’s his return to the Gold Coast that has him most excited right now. Jason loves the city so much that he has no hesitation in recommending it as the ideal study destination. One of the real attractions in returning to the Gold Coast for Jason is the opportunity to live in a city where he feels at home among the locals. “I enjoy learning and living with locals, rather than moving to another place and hanging out with just Chinese friends, so I’m really looking forward to the new experiences and friendships I’ll make this time around.”