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China experience a portal to global perspectives on economics

Image of Ariel with the Forbidden City in the background.
Ariel Hao in front of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China. Credit: Ariel Hao.

A final year Bachelor of Commerce student at the University of Melbourne, Ariel is currently undertaking a semester exchange at Peking University (PKU) in Beijing as part of the NCP Mobility program.

Ariel is using her general exchange student status to study a variety of subjects across disciplines including subjects offered through the School of Economics, Guanghua School of Management and National School of Development.

“Economics is my passion and to better understand its place in the development of public policy globally, you really need to immerse yourself in different cultures,” she says.

“I am lucky to have some of the best economists and scholars in China as my professors and beyond learning from their expertise, I’m also learning from deep conversations with other enthusiastic students, from many different countries and with many different views.

“I’ve been able to attend series of seminars held on a wide variety of topics, and that too has broadened my outlook on economics and public policy.”

Ariel says the benefits of the exchange lie in engaging with culture and new perspectives on the world.


Image of Ariel with two friends posing in front of the Forbidden City in Beijing.
Ariel explores the Forbidden City with friends. Credit: Ariel Hao.

“I have discovered a very beautiful country – a place that is fascinating to explore and one where I am learning so much at many levels,” she says.

“This exchange has allowed me to form my own opinions about China, and to see and learn about a culture that is often lost in translation.

“I would encourage all students to study economics with a diverse institutional lens, to develop a more inclusive perspective on economic policy.”

Ariel’s studies include units in Global Monetary Policy, Applied Public Policy Analysis and Development and Growth Economics all taught from a global perspective.

“I’m learning about economic issues from a non-western perspective, and how that impacts China's implementation of public policies,” she says.

“I have just completed an internship at the Department of Treasury and Finance, as a social policy intern.


Image of the Weiming Lake with the Boya Pagoda Tower in the background.
Peking University Campus - Weiming Lake with the Boya Pagoda Tower in the background. Credit: Ariel Hao.

“The experience has really shaped my career goals and I am keen now to work as an economist beyond the domestic sphere, to work on public policy at a Commonwealth level but with global influence.

“One area of real interest for me is to improve Australia’s migration and international labour public policies so they better serve marginalised communities.”

Ariel, who was born in China but grew up in Australia, says at a personal level the experience is allowing her to connect to her linguistic and cultural heritage.

“PKU has a large international student community, and the school organises lots of cultural events,” she says.

“Their Spring Festival offered a whole array of workshops showcasing traditional Chinese crafts such as needle art, Chinese fan making, Chinese poetry and Chinese music workshops.

“I am learning Taekwondo for the first time at PKU’s Taekwondo Club and I’m now a crew member of Peking University’s FengLei Street Dance Crew.”

“Through these activities and day trips around Beijing, I have made long-lasting friendships.


Image of Ariel speaking at the China-Pacific People-to-People Friendship Forum.
Ariel representing Peking University at the China-Pacific People-to-People Friendship Forum. Credit: Ariel Hao.

“Moreover, travelling through China, visiting iconic places such as the National Museum of China and the Forbidden Palace has deepened my cultural understanding of China.”

Ariel was recently invited to represent Peking University as an international student at the China-Pacific People-to-People Friendship Forum, organised by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China.

The Forum, which took place in Fujian province, explored effective methods for poverty alleviation and the crucial role of collaboration between countries in improving the living standards of people worldwide.

Ariel says the experience at the Forum highlighted the important role NCP plays in delivering opportunities for students to contribute to strengthening Australia’s relationships with countries in the Indo-Pacific.

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