British education shared by the world while postgraduates came together in Oxford. (Oxford CSSA met with NUS Graduate Students’ Society on March 12th)
NUS GSS: Graduate Students’ Society (National University of Singapore)
OXCSSA: Oxford Chinese Students and Scholars Association
The streets sparkled in the early spring sunshine in Oxford. Unlike the miserable winter, the rain only drizzles sometimes, moistening the green. What a perfect time for a spring outing! And here in this lovely spring, we have our most welcome guests-student representatives from the NUS GSS thousands miles away.
The very first meeting took place just in front of the gate of Trinity College. The unevenly divided ratio between male and female in the group could be a good warm-up for the ‘Take Me Out (Oxford)” event taking place the next day. As old saying goes about the four joys in life: Have a welcome rain after a long drought; run into an old friend in a distant land; wedding festivities night, have passed the examination. I guess we have got two out of these four today. Apparently we have all passed our exams and as for the second one, Liwen and Qilin’s connection goes far back to their old school.
Singapore adopted part of British education system, which makes our guests from NUS even more brotherly in terms of both education and nationality background. We talked and laughed all the way from the Tom Quad of Christ Church College to the Garden Restaurant of Balliol College and followed the track of Zhongshu Qian and Jiang Yang to the symbolic Bodleian Library. Every single brick and tile tells a story of ancient mysteries and great enlightenments. But we might never know what were those great minds like J.R.R. Tolkien or Oscar Wilde thinking when they walked on these mossy pathways. We used a lot of “the oldest”, “the biggest” while introducing Oxford to our guests from NUS. Are these young spirits from NUS also wondering where will this thousand years of history lead us to? Since that’s a question we all have in mind too.
On our way to the meeting room, Zheng Liu from NUS suddenly pointed at a building and shouted “this building, we have one in NUS which was built according to the construction drawings of this exact building!” we all burst into laughter and seems like we just found another bond between Oxford and NUS. The meeting room is in the Chemistry Research Lab, which might a weird location to pick. However, as the successor of the very first Chemistry Lab established in UK, it inherits hundred years of history and also carries a bright future. The transparent glass structure also demonstrates another side of Oxford.
The meeting mainly covered two aspects: introductions of the two universities and the cities they are located in; Details of the structure, operation and management of organizations. The NUS Graduate Students’ Society (GSS) has been the only postgraduate student catering postgrad need at the National University of Singapore (NUS) for 29 years. GSS is a flagship lead by a core executive committee and to reach out to every graduate student in the university. Every year GSS organizes around 30 events with active participation of over 3000+ graduate students and have displayed their credibility both in and outside NUS. And we all know very well about the CSSA in Oxford. The discussions focused on organizational structure, allocation of human resources, range of audiences for each event, ways to stimulate enthusiasm, budget and financial management etc.
The day finally came to an end and we all had to say goodbye. However we believe this relationship the two societies are building will go a long way. We sincerely hope you will enjoy the rest of your stay in UK, our dearest friends from NUS GSS!
NUS GSS Reps:
Zheng Liu, Siqi Wang, Xiaoxi Li, Qilin Zeng, Yiyun Kuang, He Shuai, Ryan Lim, Audrey Lim, Lyana Wang
Jiayu Yang, Liwen Tu, Liu Shi, Yiwen Fang
Authors: Qinning Lou (English), Yiwen Fang (Chinese)
Photographers: Liwen Tu, Audrey Lim