Student travel

A picture of a student standing in front of a temple

Dr Lee Kai Hung has generously donated £100,000 to match other charitable gifts, creating a fund to support University of Manchester students who wish to fly to the Chinese-speaking world to study languages spoken in China, or conduct research about Greater China. Preference is given to the former.

The travel fund will also support students and early career researchers from the Chinese-speaking world to come to the University of Manchester to study or conduct research.

Lee Scholarships will typically range from £500 to £1500, and be used to cover student travel expenses.

How to apply

Please fill out this form and email it together with a one-page CV to mci@manchester.ac.uk with the subject line, ‘MCI student travel’. The deadline is the Friday, 3 May 2024.


2023/24 awardees

In this academic year, we are delighted that our Travel Fund has enabled several University of Manchester undergraduate students to travel to the Chinese speaking world. Find out about the group below.

Sol Stappard

Sol Stappard

I'm Sol Stappard, 23, from West Yorkshire, currently on my year abroad in Nanjing, China. I have studied Mandarin for two and a half years after switching from my Chemical Engineering degree at Nottingham University.

My goals this year are twofold: to enhance my professional Mandarin proficiency and deepen my cultural understanding of China by being on the ground immersing myself in Chinese society.

This grant supports both objectives. For instance, I plan to explore less-visited areas and meet the peoples that reside there.

In the summer and winter holidays I plan to travel the southwestern border with Laos and Myanmar and the northeast border with Russia and North Korea, this will allow me to see first-hand the lives of those at the fringes of Chinese society and to what extent these regions have been able to share in the economic prosperity brought on since Deng Xiaoping's reform and opening policy in the 1970s.

Finally, I believe this experience will help in my early career development as I will be able to bring a more accurate, holistic, and 3-dimensional view of China to the table contributing in a meaningful way to furthering mutual understanding and cooperation between both the UK and China.

Esmé Forrester

Esmé Forrester

Esme Forrester

My name is Esmé Forrester, and I am from Ipswich. I am about to go on my year abroad to Taiwan to study at National Taiwan University as part of my Spanish and Chinese undergraduate degree.

I am incredibly excited to experience life in Taipei! I started Mandarin ab initio in my first year although I studied Spanish at A levels.

I hope that my time in Taipei will help me to develop my Mandarin skills so that I can have as much confidence in speaking and listening as I do in Spanish.

Another aspect of National Taiwan University that interests me is the university’s emphasis on environmental protection because after graduation, I would love to utilise my language skills to facilitate discussions on climate change between the UK and China.

Eva Pimblett

Eva Pimblett

Eva Pimblett

My name is Eva Pimblett and I study Spanish and Chinese at the University of Manchester. During the third year of my degree, I will be studying in Taiwan at National Taiwan Normal University.

I am looking forward to the unique opportunity to study traditional characters in Taiwan, alongside the simplified characters I currently study in my degree.

The ability to read and write Mandarin with two writing systems would help me in my hopes to pursue a career in literary translation.

Studying abroad as an exchange student in Taiwan will also allow me to greatly improve my Mandarin language skills and to learn more about the literature and cinema of the Mandarin-speaking world. The MCI travel fund will help me to achieve these goals and develop these interests during my study abroad placement.

 

2022/23 awardees

In this academic year, we are delighted that our Travel Fund has enabled nine University of Manchester undergraduate students to travel to the Chinese speaking world. Find out about the group below.

Abigel Vizi

Abigel Vizi

I'm from the small town of Saint George in Transylvania, Romania. I’m currently studying at the University of Manchester, majoring in BA Chinese Studies. As part of my degree, I will spend my third year in Taiwan, studying at National Taiwan Normal University.

Being able to study at NTNU for a whole academic year will allow me to significantly improve my Chinese language skills and immerse myself in the local culture. I hope to use this knowledge and experience to fulfil my ambition to obtain a job at the UN in China, linking my passion for the Chinese language and culture with my drive to make positive change.

Erin French

Erin French

Erin French

Hello, I'm Erin French. I am originally from Liverpool but have spent the last 2 years living in Manchester studying Spanish and Chinese at UoM.

I will be spending my 3rd year at university studying abroad at National Taiwan University in Taipei where I will continue studying mandarin as well as other Taiwanese culture and history related modules.

After finishing my degree, I hope to return to Taiwan as an ESL teacher not only to continue to build my Chinese skills but also aid children in tackling language barriers and help them build international relationships more easily in the future.

Benjamin Hehir

Benjamin Hehir

Benjamin Hehir

I am Benjamin from London; however, I study at the University of Manchester. I am currently reading Chinese Studies BA (Hons), which has granted me the opportunity to Residence Abroad at the National Taiwan University, Taiwan.

I have chosen a range of classes taught in both Mandarin and English as, while I am in Taiwan, my main focus is to improve my Chinese proficiency as much as possible.

Additionally, being very career-orientated, I am keen to use my time to develop my knowledge of the Chinese Insurance markets when possible. Ultimately, I wish to be able to combine the two to enhance my future job search.

Teddy Hatter

Teddy Hatter

Teddy Hatter

Teddy Hatter grew up in South London, and studied Mandarin at both GCSE and A-Level.

They are now studying Chinese Studies (BA) at the University of Manchester. Beyond language, their studies have focused on the experiences of ethnic and religious minorities in China.

Teddy is now entering their placement year, and from September will be studying at National Taiwan University in Taipei.

They hope to use the skills they develop at National Taiwan University to eventually work in a Mandarin-speaking environment, and are keen to increase their field of communication to broaden their understanding of Chinese culture, history, and current affairs.

Gianmario Cosmai

Gianmario Cosmai

Gianmario Cosmai

My name is Gianmario Cosmai, I am a 20 year-old student at the University of Manchester, currently in my 3rd year of Politics and Chinese. I come from the region of Apulia, in Southern Italy, but I have grew up in Brussels for seventeen years before moving to Manchester.

I am passionate about geopolitics, foreign affairs, business, sports, cinema and languages (I am fluent in English, Italian and French; and I have upper intermediate levels in Chinese and Spanish). My future plans include improving my level of Chinese, learning other languages and getting more actively involved in politics.

I am about to leave for Taipei where I will spend my next academic year at the National Chengchi University.

In Taipei I will take intensive courses of Mandarin and Political history of Taiwan. Moreover, during my stay I am planning to start collecting material for my final-year dissertation on the diplomatic relations between Taiwan and the EU. I am honoured to be an MCI-UK award recipient!

Joseph Stoddart

Joseph Stoddart

Joseph Stoddart

My name is Joseph Stoddart, I'm 21 years old and I'm originally from Liverpool. I came to Manchester 3 years ago to study for a Bachelors Degree in Politics and Chinese, and I'm currently preparing to undertake a year abroad studying Mandarin in Taiwan.

I will be situated in Taipei at the National Taiwan University where I hope to develop my language skills to a respectable degree of fluency.

This award from the Manchester China Institute has made my plans proceed a lot more smoothly, and alleviated much of the financial burden that studying abroad can potentially bring.

In the future I plan to make use of the skills gained from my period abroad to further my career goals, where I hope to work for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office upon graduation.

Keisha Lam

Keisha Lam

Keisha Lam

I’m Keisha and I was born and raised in London. I’m currently studying Modern Language and Business & Management (Chinese) at the University of Manchester.

As part of my degree, I have the opportunity to study in Taiwan where I will be able to focus on improving my Chinese at the National Taiwan University in Taipei.

I believe that learning Chinese is a very useful skill and will be valuable in my future as I hope to be involved in international organisations or work in communications related roles.

I am excited to be studying abroad and am keen to explore and learn about the local culture.

Overall, it will be an invaluable experience which I can benefit from in the future.

Aidan Findler

Aidan Findler

Aidan Findler

Hi, my name is Aidan. I lived almost all my childhood in a small village in rural Dorset, and then came to the University of Manchester because I was in desperate need to experience some urban living!

I am currently studying a BA (Hons) in French Studies and Chinese Studies, having continued studying French from A level, but taking on the challenge of Chinese ab initio.

During my time in Taiwan, I will be studying at the National Taiwan University, in Taipei, and living nearby in Xindian District - I can’t wait to get out there!

In the future, I wish to put my language skills to good use. In whatever career I go into, I aim to use the skills I learnt in my degree to be a friendly and welcoming presence.

Alexander Whinnie

Alexander Whinnie

Alexander Whinnie

I study Politics and Chinese at Manchester and at Taiwan National University I'll be taking mostly Mandarin classes.

I'll also be taking some modules in other departments to push my academic Chinese ability to a higher level and facilitate my future postgraduate goals of being able to study in the PRC at a C9 league university.

In regard to broader ambitions for the future, I plan on using my Chinese cultural and language skills to be involved with research related to the PRC's major systemic issues.

After listening to a Fairbank Center podcast delivered by Scott Rozelle about wealth inequality within China, I see the growing gulf within human capital between urban and rural Hukou holders as a pressing long-term systemic hindrance to the economy, thus ideally I would like a future career with the scope to be able to resolve and further understand this issue.