Launched by the Belt and Road Architectural University International Consortium (BRAUIC) in 2021, the “Global Campus: Exchange Program for Summer Schools” offers students at BRAUIC member universities access to free summer programs provided by universities worldwide, aiming to promote the sharing of quality educational resources. The program has achieved remarkable results in its three years of implementation and has become a flagship project of the BRAUIC. In its first edition in 2021, 15 projects were offered by seven universities and participated by 114 students from 18 universities in ten countries. In 2022, a total of 16 projects were offered by nine universities, providing cross-cultural and collaborative learning experiences to 403 students from 74 universities in 32 countries. In 2023, a total of 20 shared projects were offered by eight universities, including Wuhan University, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember in Indonesia, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, University of Sydney in Australia, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Nanchang University, and Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture (BUCEA). Over 500 students from 23 universities in eight countries received free or tuition-reduced places under these projects.
The 2023 program includes international summer schools focusing on high-level academic lectures as well as Global Project-Based Learning (GPBL) programs that emphasize practical experience. Each program incorporates rich cultural exchanges and life experiences, allowing teachers and students to not only gain knowledge but also experience diverse cultures and make international friends. Furthermore, the event promotes communication and cooperation, the sharing of high-quality educational resources, as well as coordinated development among BRAUIC members.
“Business Communication and Leadership” program by the University of Sydney, Australia
2023 International Summer School on Smart Cities by BUCEA
GPBL program by Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Indonesia
BUCEA has played a proactive and crucial part in the “Global Campus: Exchange Program for Summer Schools 2023”. In July, it organized the 7th International Summer School on Smart Cities, inviting high-level experts from eight countries to give 12 lectures. Besides, it hosted seven social practice activities and provided tuition-free opportunities to 90 students from seven universities in three countries. A total of 102 BUCEA students benefited from the 2023 program, who participated in seven English-taught programs during winter and summer vacations, including course learning, academic seminars, language training, practical visits, cultural experiences, and social networking. This diverse array of activities helped students gain more knowledge and skills, broadened their international perspectives and enhanced their internationally oriented comprehension. Among them, eight students were led by one teacher to participate in the GPBL program in Indonesia, marking the first overseas student exchange for BUCEA since the pandemic three years ago.
The program also promoted intercollegiate exchange among various universities. During the International Summer School on Smart Cities, BUCEA, Ningbo University, Jilin Jianzhu University, and San Diego State University discussed intercollegiate collaboration and planning for future BRAUIC activities. During the GPBL program in Indonesia, HUANG Xing from BUCEA visited the rector and deans of various colleges of Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember in Indonesia, discussing and confirming further cooperation matters.
HUANG Xing working with Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember in Indonesia
The Global Campus program has effectively expanded the channels for teachers and students to participate in international learning and exchange and promoted the sharing of high-quality resources among universities. The program is a testament to the successful endeavors of BUCEA and BRAUIC in training globally competitive international talents, building BUCEA as an internationally renowned high-level distinctive university\y, serving the high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and building a community with a shared future for mankind. Going forward, BRAUIC will continue to offer more Global Campus summer programs and bring benefits to more students.
YANG Haoxi, a student from Nanchang University, participant in CommTECH Nusantara 2023 Virtual Exploration of Indonesia hosted by Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Indonesia (ITS)
I have always been interested in the educational model and learning atmosphere in foreign universities. In December 2022, when our school opened applications for the winter camp exchange program at Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Indonesia (ITS), I didn’t hesitate to submit my application form. Fortunately, I was granted this valuable opportunity! The winter camp lasted for nearly two weeks with rich and interesting offerings, including interactive Indonesian language classes, Indonesian music and dance classes, live tutorials on traditional cuisine, and sessions on traditional paper cutting. Each class had its own special design. This winter camp gave me a systematic understanding of the geography, culture, history, and ethnic customs of various islands in Indonesia. The most memorable experience for me was the puzzle challenge where I spent 13 minutes solving a beautiful Indonesian landscape puzzle and shared it on the interactive screen, winning great admiration from my classmates. During the program, I was deeply impressed by my fellow participants who actively engaged in classroom discussions, cooperated to complete special challenges, and were always willing to express how they felt. Along with learning and experiencing unique knowledge, I am also delighted to have made new friends in this program. Working together with my international friends, we created a graduation poster based on the Bangka Belitung Island. The poster received strong support and enthusiastic votes from the participants. In the final challenge, I invited my younger siblings to choreograph and record an Indonesian traditional dance. Unexpectedly, this creative performance won the “Most Popular Award” in this camp. This experience will remain engraved in my memory throughout my college years, always reminding me to step out of my comfort zone and embrace innovation.
Marina MUKHAMETKHANOVA, a student from Tyumen Industrial University in Russia, participant in 2023 International Summer School on Smart Cities hosted by BUCEA
I was glad to be able to attend the International Summer School on Smart Cities and receive knowledge from specialists in various fields of activity, especially the lectures of David PICAZO, CEO of Picazo Architects, and Professor Luca Maria Francesco FABRIS at Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy. The disposal of airplanes, ships and electrical equipment is an important task of our time. Together with the rapid development of society and the progress of technology, there is an inevitable aging and obsolescence of these objects. Professor PICAZO and Professor FABRIS demonstrated to us how to appropriately handle and maximize the use of resources while reducing the negative impact on the environment. I hope I can have more opportunities to participate in BRAUIC activities.
YANG Zhenhai, a student at BUCEA School of Geomatics and Urban Spatial Informatics, participant in Archipelagic State and Its Maritime Strategy hosted by ITS
This was my first time studying abroad and it was a memorable experience. I met many like-minded friends from all over the world and we learned from each other and worked together to complete our assignments. During our free time, we shared our learning experiences and personal stories in addition to talking about our cultural differences and the education systems in our respective countries. Some of them left a deep impression on me with their serious and rigorous attitude towards work. Additionally, the faculty and students at ITS were also very friendly. The program was well organized, allowing us to not only learn courses but also experience the rich local culture and natural landscapes. I am very grateful to BRAUIC for giving me this opportunity to study abroad and experience different education concepts, customs, and local lifestyles through its Global Campus: Exchange Program for Summer Schools 2023. It has allowed me to work with and learn from college students from around the world.
WANG Chun, a student at BUCEA School of Urban Economics and Management, participant in the Summer program 2023 “Business Communication and Leadership” hosted by the University of Sydney, Australia
I feel honored to have the opportunity to study at the University of Sydney under the support of “Global Campus: Exchange Program for Summer Schools 2023” launched by BRAUIC. My stay in the southern hemisphere has been brief yet extremely precious. As I got along with classmates from different countries in a completely new environment and experienced the local customs and culture of a foreign country, I was given an opportunity to broaden my horizons and know myself better. I have gained a lot during my stay at the University of Sydney. Business communication skills are the key to opening doors in society, guiding us to achieve higher levels of success. I have also honed my oral skills in class and interactions with professors boosted my confidence. During my time in Sydney, I got to see that it is a city that embraces diversity and openness, where various cultures coexist in every corner. There, I got to know cultures and views from different countries and encountered different perspectives and ways of thinking, exposing me to more facets of the world.
XING Zhaoshui, a student at BUCEA School of Environment and Energy Engineering, participant in CommTECH Nusantara 2023 Virtual Exploration of Indonesia hosted by ITS
I have a strong interest in the history and culture of Southeast Asia, and I was fortunate to have this opportunity to study for free through the “Global Campus: Exchange Program for Winter Schools”. During online project discussions, I studied the cultural customs, social activities, natural climate, dietary habits, and local languages of various islands in Indonesia. The rich, inclusive, and interactive nature of Indonesian culture impressed me a lot. I also noticed that many of the examples quoted by teachers during the lectures were a testament to the thousands of years of exchange and mutual learning between Chinese and Indonesian cultures. China and Indonesia are both countries with long histories, and our bonds date long back. The young people in the two countries are both influenced by Confucian virtues with a high respect for social justice. I hope that our university and sister institutions can organize more activities like this in the future, allowing young people from both countries to learn from each other and make progress together through more frequent exchanges.
LI Zhengdong, Deputy Director of the Department of Architecture, Ningbo University
I was honored to have the opportunity to lead five students from Ningbo University to participate in the 2023 International Summer School on Smart Cities organized by BUCEA. The summer school has an enriching curriculum, covering a wide range of fields and offering diverse research and cultural experiences. During this program, both Chinese and international students have gained knowledge and friendship through cross-cultural exchange activities. I am looking forward to leading another group next year. During this period, our university’s faculty and students also participated in the Second BRAUIC Young Scholars Forum. WANG Meihan, a student of ours, gave a presentation titled “Mastering Your Own Life: Being a Fearless and Innovative Young Entrepreneur”. She shared her experiences and achievements during her participation in the 2023 International Summer School on Smart Cities, focusing on independent innovation and leadership. She said that through communication and interaction with students from other countries, she realized how the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship was interpreted differently among various countries and cultures.
HUANG Xing, Deputy Director of International Education Center of International Development Research Institute, BUCEA
Global Project Based Learning “The Future of Sustainable Building: Innovation and Collaboration”, as part of “Global Campus: Exchange Program for Summer Schools 2023”, was held at ITS and participated by students and teachers worldwide from different cultural and educational backgrounds. As a group leader, I had the honor to participate in this event with eight outstanding students selected by our university. In the processes of theoretical learning, field visits, problem solving, model building, and result presentation, I witnessed firsthand the dedicated efforts, cross-national teamwork, and fruitful results of all our students.
Unlike most summer programs, this event focused on addressing real-life problems faced by local businesses and universities within the short term, which involved collaboration with local sectors such as architectural design, engineering construction, and transportation to find the best solutions through project-based discussions, analysis, and research. The event brought together students from ten universities including Konstanz University of Applied Sciences in Germany, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Shandong Jianzhu University, Anhui Jianzhu University, Chongqing Jiaotong University, Changchun University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember in Indonesia, and Bogor Agricultural University. In this professional competition requiring cross-national teamwork, students have greatly improved their professional skills, intercultural communication abilities, and English language proficiency.
During the exchange, our colleagues from ITS expressed a strong desire to further collaborate and communicate with our university. Their international department and various faculties all attached great importance to international student exchanges and research cooperation. ITS offers undergraduate programs that cover multiple areas with courses taught entirely in English, and they hope that our students can come and experience learning there. The outstanding volunteer students from ITS, who made an active contribution during this event, also come from English-taught undergraduate programs, impressing us both with their excellent professionalism and English-speaking skills.
The competition and international academic exchanges showcased our students’ solid professional qualities, teamwork abilities, excellent language skills, and capabilities of intercultural communication. It also provided our outstanding students with an opportunity to demonstrate their excellent skills on the international stage, serving as an important endeavor to cultivate innovative and internationally-oriented talent in civil engineering. In the future, the International Development Research Institute will continue to offer more international academic exchange activities with broader coverage and increasing frequency, so as to allow more students to benefit from the overall outcomes of our university’s efforts in cultivating talent with a global vision.