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 Home  ›  Admissions  ›  Student Testimonials

Mr. Mehrdad Mehrbod, from Iran

PhD Candidate, Division of Logistics and Transportation

"Before coming to China, I thought that I will stay at Beijing during of my whole PhD education. Therefore the news of going to Shenzhen at the end of first year was not interesting news for me till I arrived at Shenzhen in 4th August 2010. It was early morning when I got off the train. I found that this modern metropolis is proud of its beautifully maintained civic greenery and is partially ringed by green hills, lakes and rivers.

University town of Shenzhen where the graduate school of Tsinghua is located is like part of paradise with natural beauty and greenery. The existing of three graduate schools with different departments, facilities and a main library at Shenzhen university town and also being at the center of industry zone in south of china and close to Hong Kong as a financial center as well as economic zone, make the graduate school of Tsinghua as one of the best place for research and study in China.

During my studies and research, I found that Chinese students, staff, and professors are so friendly and helpful in every aspect of life such as learning, travelling, shopping, and so on. This atmosphere along with many projects which are conducted by the graduate school of Tsinghua in collaboration with different industries makes this campus more attractive and better place for practical applications as well as theoretical researches.

This is my chance to come China and pursued my research at the graduate school of Tsinghua in Shenzhen. I have to mention that this journey was beyond an educational and research trip for me."

Dr. Bernhard Lutz, from Germany

Post-doctoral research in high voltage technology at Division of Energy and Environment

"I am a postdoctoral research fellow at the Graduate School at Shenzhen for nearly two year. I was accompanied by my wife who had the chance to work as a secretary at the same institute where I was doing my research work. We were both accommodated in an appartment on the campus.

My research program was funded by a European scholarship (ERASMUS MUNDUS TANDEM mobility scheme) and a fellowship for international young scientists (National Natural Science Foundation of China, NSFC). The research work was accomplished under the supervision of Professor Zhicheng Guan at the ‘Laboratory of Advanced Technology of Power & Electrical Engineering’ which belongs to the academic division of Energy & Environment.

The first contact with Tsinghua Beijing and the Graduate School at Shenzhen was established in January 2010 after my application for a mobility scheme (TANDEM program) had been accepted. That time, I was well informed about living on the campus via an excellent handbook for international students offered by the Graduate School. Furthermore, I was told that Professor Zhicheng Guan was going to be my future supervisor.

The school’s registration process started in July 2010 when I had sent all required application documents to the Graduate School’s Human Resource Office. Future post-doctors should please note that a working visa is required for post-doctors staying longer than 6 months at China. Many documents have to be prepared for the visa application process and it is thus highly recommended to contact the Graduate school for proceeding to the registration process half a year before entering China.

On November 1st 2010, I finally arrived at the Graduate School at Shenzhen. During the following 3 weeks, the school’s office for foreign affairs offered an excellent service and did all the essential paperwork in order to get the required expert certificate and the final working permit (this is valid for one year). Also my wife who came along with me received a residence permit valid for one year. (Future married post-docs please note that an authentication of the marriage certificate by the consulate general of the People’s Republic of China in the home country is necessary. This requires 2-4 weeks since several steps of pre-authentication at different governmental bureaus are involved).

At the end of November, after another enrollment procedure including medical tests at the Tsinghua campus at Beijing, I finally was officially registered as both, a post-doc at Tsinghua and a foreign expert working in China. A 2 year-working contract was handed out to me what is the general duration of postdoctoral research programs at universities in China. Particularly Shenzhen is an attractive place for post-doctors, since the local government is providing additional subsidies which can be claimed in addition to the normal salary. It is further noteworthy that the Chinese government is investing a lot of money for boosting university based research projects so that there are many options for researchers to apply for different types of scholarships and funds. 

Accommodation and living at the campus

The campus is located in attractively landscaped grounds with good road, rail and air links. Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport can be reached by car within 30 minutes. Two bus stations are adjacent to the campus. Since June 2011 the campus can also be reached by a new subway-line which has been finished for the most spectacular event in 2011, the 26th Summer Universiade at Shenzhen. Taxis are passing by the campus frequently due to the nearby zoo. 

The big campus (100,000 m2) has a lot of green areas, a central lake and sport facilities (football, basketball, tennis, badminton, table tennis). The green and idyllic atmosphere was really impressive and made one forget the hectic and incessantly pulsating metropolis Shenzhen with approximately 13 million inhabitants. Hence, a quiet place suitable for focusing on research work but also providing means of escape into the ‘urban jungle’. 

Most students, post-docs and professors live on campus in three 17 floors high dwelling houses. For post-docs and professors, 5 room-apartments in the R building are generally provided including bathroom, kitchen, balcony and furniture. The price for this amazing apartment is pretty low. My wife and I were allowed to live in such an apartment in the 17th floor and had no reason for complaints during the whole stay.

The Tsinghua campus has one canteen offering various dishes. The variety of food was good albeit some dishes were a little oily. However, this could easily be compensated by visiting the numerous restaurants around the campus offering different styles of Chinese cuisine as well as by trying plenty of small noodle, rice and barbecue shops at the nearby Pingshan village and Xili town. My wife and I thus quickly fell in love with the Chinese cuisine and hardly ever had trouble with eating it or with digestion. 

Most Chinese students have good English language skills and are eager to use and improve their oral English with any foreigner they meet. Their enthusiasm with speaking English allowed us to get in touch with many students in a quite short time giving us a very warm welcome at the campus and avoiding problems with integration. The students showed enormous diligence and an open minded attitude while e.g. preparing and performing stage plays and presentations about several topics (e.g. Chinese humor, SWOT analysis, political issues) within the framework of some English classes to which I was invited. Presentations held by my wife and me about the topics “Let’s talk about Germany” and “German Humor” were highly appreciated by students of different English classes and interesting discussions developed afterwards. Also the fellow students at my research institute were very clever persons with an exemplary attitude towards hard work. Working with them really was inspiring and motivating.

The problem arising in such an open minded, English speaking Chinese society is the relatively small demand for speaking the Chinese language by my own. Since everyone wanted to speak English with us the chances for improving the Chinese skills in daily life were surprisingly limited. Furthermore, no Chinese language courses were offered by Tsinghua Shenzhen what may be due to the yet low ratio of foreigners. My wife and I were therefore obliged to learn Chinese in an autodidactic way. However, there were still enough occasions to practice普通话 together with students and in daily private and working life. With the continuous progress in internationalization of the Graduate School which is going to be boosted by the school’s management, I am sure that Chinese language classes will be offered in the near future, further enhancing the international atmosphere of the campus.

Postdoctoral research work 

My office was in the 1st floor of the L building which was just a 5 minute walk away from my apartment. I worked for the ‘Laboratory of Advanced Technology of Power & Electrical Engineering’ which belongs to the division of Energy & Environment. The director of the institute is Professor Liming Wang while Professor Zhicheng Guan, who was my supervisor, is the vice director and former dean of the Graduate School. 

The 1st and 3rd floor of the L building contain three high voltage laboratories as well as smaller laboratories with basic electrical equipment. Most of the experiments for my research work could be performed at these laboratories. Some other tests were conducted at a high voltage test station in Kunming (Yunan province) which is located at very high altitude (around 2400 m) being thus unique all over the world.

After my arrival in Shenzhen, I had a training phase for about 2 months in order to get to know the laboratories of the institute and to do the preparations for the experiments of my research project which was about “Diagnostics of composite insulators”. One of the biggest benefits of this research project for me, as well as for Tsinghua Shenzhen, was that a famous state-owned Chinese power grid company was involved. The close collaboration with this company as well as the most interesting research work were very enriching and I could gain much new knowledge, get precious working experience and establish sustainable contacts to different research institutes and companies all over China. Frankly speaking, I really consider the ease of acquiring and pursuing industry based research projects as one major advantage of the Graduate School proving Shenzhen to be the right choice of location particularly for institutes of electrical engineering.

Conclusion 

Finally, I must admit that I really loved living and working among students at the Graduate School’s campus. I also would not want to miss the enriching experience of living in such a modern and vibrating metropolis as Shenzhen. My final conclusion thus is that the Graduate School of Shenzhen is not only an excellent place for enhancing your research skills, for realizing well funded research projects, for getting in touch with high-class Chinese companies and thus for boosting your professional and scientific career. The life on the Graduate School’s campus also gave me sustainable impressions about the Chinese culture, about the ideas and life models of China’s recent and future academic elites and most important, it created friendships that will - I do hope so - last for a life."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tsinghua Campus, The University Town, Shenzhen, 518055, China    international@sz.tsinghua.edu.cn