Qingyang Li talks about 3rd year

A day in the life

Qingyang Li talks about 3rd year


Studying abroad gives you an advantage. You can improve your foreign language skills, and it’s a good chance to get used to living on your own, and learn how to communicate with other people you’re not familiar with.

An easy adjustment to a windy city

A student in the 2 + 2 program with Shandong University of Economics and Finance in Jinan, China, Qingyang Li is in the third year of Dal’s undergraduate Economics program (in the Bachelor of Science option). Arriving in September 2013, she found Halifax much smaller than her hometown. And though Halifax is “dry, compared to ocean-side cities in China,” when it did rain, she was surprised to see many Haligonians without umbrellas. She soon figured out why: “The wind is so strong, so people don’t use one.”

Adjusting to life in Halifax was “much easier than I expected,” Qingyang says. “I thought it would be difficult, especially the language.” The ease of the transition is partly because “the 2+2 program has many students, so I’m not the only one [trying to adjust].” As well, her roommates are also third-year Economics students.

Diverse courses

This term, she’s taking four courses. Regional Development is one of her favourites, because “I’m familiar with the information,” she says. “There’s a lot about China.” The course also looks a bit at Japan, and considers “education, culture, population and other aspects of the countries.” For example, China’s one child policy means there are now more young men than women, which is “causing social problems” that have repercussions on the economy.

In Financial Economics, she and two other students worked on a research report, analyzing one of three popular coffee chains. Qingyang’s group chose to analyze “the most familiar in Canada,” Tim Hortons, to understand its economic allegiances, its services and products, and whether it’s good for investors. Based on her research, Qingyang says Tim Hortons is “in good financial shape, and it’s good for US investors.”

Dr. Kuan Xu, professor for Financial Economics, “was very helpful,” says Qingyang. “He answered a lot of questions about the reports – he’s very knowledgeable in his field, specifically in finance.”

The social side of economics

Qingyang has made many friends in the Economics program. “Sometimes we go to parties, like the ones held in the Economics department or put on by the Dalhousie student Union,” she says. Economics even hosted one around the Chinese New Year. “People brought food and we played games,” she says, adding that she won a prize.

She says she’s been improving her English by trying to speak out in class and to make foreign friends. “Going to parties is also helpful,” she says with a smile.