UCD and the China Scholarship Council have been collaborating since 2007. In the academic year 2021/2022, UCD are hosting 100 UCD CSC Scholars who are on fulltime four-year PhD programmes. The UCD CSC Scholarship Scheme is not prescriptive in terms of discipline, and we have CSC Scholars registered to all of the six Colleges of the university. Below are testimonials from some UCD -CSC Graduates on their UCD experience plus a little advice to prospective PhD Chinese students.
Dr Xīnyí Jin *, Sutherland School of Law
Originally from Shijiazhuang, Heibei Provence, Xīnyí applied to UCD because of the university’s good reputation, excellent research profile and high standard facilities. More importantly, she says “I found an excellent a supervisor whose research area is similar to my research interests”. Xīnyí found UCD to be an ideal place to do research, rich in resources and favourable environment. Outside her studies Xīnyí enjoyed the Irish climate and natural environment.
Top tip from Xīnyí Any new and prospective students should be prepared to learn and to exchange ideas with other students and staff in UCD.
Dr Hàoyǔ Shen*, School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science
Hàoyǔ from Shanghai met his PhD supervisor during a summer school programme between Shanghai Jiao Tong University and UCD. During his PhD programme, Hàoyǔ developed a good understanding of his research area by undertaking a number of working placements across Ireland and exposure to advanced experimental techniques. He found that his western experience allows him to act as a conduit to strengthen the connection between China and Ireland. Hàoyǔ says he found the Irish people friendly towards Chinese which he feels is particularly helpful for those Chinese students who come to UCD on their own. Hàoyǔ finds the Irish weather pleasant i.e. never too cold or too hot but warns that it does rains a lot here!
Top tip from Hàoyǔ If you have decided to do a PhD, the most important thing is to choose a good supervisor. If the supervisor that most suits you is in UCD, then don’t hesitate to apply to do your studies UCD.
Dr Zǐhán Shen*, School of Physics
Zǐhán was a PhD student in the UCD School of Physics and she chose to come the UCD because of the synergy between her supervisor’s research and her own interests. Zǐhán enjoyed a high standard of international research conferences, seminars, and lectures. Outside of her studies, she found to UCD have state of the art facilities, especially in the gym. Zǐhán found UCD very international, and she made friends from all around the world.
Top tip from Zǐhán: You should contact your potential UCD supervisor(s) at the earliest opportunity. Then, discuss your research plans with both supervisors and their previous students.
Dr Yìchén Wang*, Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School
Yìchén, first became involved with UCD during his undergraduate degree in Zhejiang Normal University where UCD have a collaborative program. Thereafter Yìchén came to UCD to do his Masters degree in Business. He found that he liked it in Ireland and would like to stay for longer and did find that Smurfit UCD is very good. Yìchén took part in a lot of activities outside his PhD research e.g. he was a member of UCD CSSA Society, he has given tutorials in his School , and he enjoys going to the gym.
Top tip from Yìchén*: If you are considering applying for the UCD CSC Scheme you should be well prepared and have everything done as early as possible since there are several steps in applying for PhD and the CSC Scheme.
Dr Yīnuò Li, School of Politics and International Relations
Yīnuò was attracted to Ireland firstly, because it is a English-Speaking country and secondly, compared with UK, there are less Chinese here. This combination is good, she said, for improving English and for better understanding western society and culture. Third, she finds that Ireland is a pretty safe area with a low possibility of terrorist attack which is comforting to her family in China
Yīnuò chose UCD because her supervisor is an expert in the research areas that she was interested in. She liked the fact that UCD is located in the capital city which allows international students to fully experience the culture of the country. From an academic point of view Yīnuò found UCD a positive working environment, providing the opportunity to attend seminars given by experts.
Top tip from Yīnuò: It is very important to able to communicate effectively with your supervisor and others in your school. For this reason, it is imperative you work hard on your English language skills before applying. Either IELTS or TOEFL English language proficiency examinations are suitable for UCD applications. After you arrive here, balance your study life with you daily life!
Testimonials are from UCD CSC Scholars who have graduated from UCD. Names have been changed in accordance with EU General Data Protection Regulations.