This month Macquarie welcomed seven very special visitors from China – winners of the inaugural Macquarie University Cup accounting and finance competition.
Held at eight universities in five Chinese cities, the Macquarie University Cup saw over 800 undergraduate students battle it out to see who had the best knowledge of accounting and finance.
The competition’s theme – ‘Profession Changes Destiny’ – was certainly true for the university champions, who received a life-changing trip to Sydney, Australia, staying at Macquarie’s on-campus accommodation. For some champions, like Tongtong (Mia) Zhang of the Shanghai Lixin University of Commerce, it was the first time they had been overseas.
“I’d seen pictures of the Sydney Opera House and Darling Harbour on the internet,” she says. “But I truly got to live in Sydney on this trip, and see how splendid it is. It’s now a beautiful memory in my mind.”
Blogging their Sydney experience on Chinese microblog Weibo, the winners remarked how different life was in Sydney compared to home.
“The sky in Sydney always blue and the air is much fresher than in China,” says Jiawen (Carmen) Wu, the champion from Guangdong University of Business Studies. “People here know how to balance social activities and work. It’s a really relaxing and lovely place.”
Mia adds that her visit to Sydney changed the way she thinks about wealth and development.
“Although Sydney is one of the most developed cities in the world, the people here never seem busy or under great pressure,” says Mia. “I find in them a sense of freedom and relaxation.”
“By observing Australian life, I’ve got some new ideas about what it means to be modern. It doesn’t just mean high buildings or lots of money. It also means a comfortable life.”
The winners’ week in Sydney included a day touring Macquarie’s facilities and meeting with senior academics, students and alumni in the Faculty of Business and Economics.
“Macquarie University is very, very beautiful,” exclaims Carmen. “Walking around, I felt like in a vacationland!”
“It’s as beautiful as a park,” adds Mia. “There are so many modern and convenient facilities and I liked that people were walking on grass, reading in sunshine, resting under trees, or having a cup of coffee in a café. It impressed me a lot.”
The champions are confident of successful careers in accounting, the ‘universal business language’ according to Carmen.
“The Macquarie University Cup has broadened my horizon and it showed me a new world that I’ve never known before,” she says. “I’m now thinking about pursuing further accounting study in Sydney, as Australia is a great place for me to set up my accounting career.”