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ZJE—Edinburgh Winterschool: a journey of academic exploration and cultural exchange


From 27th January to 3rd February 2024, 18 students and professors fromZhejiang University-University of Edinburgh Institute (ZJE) successfully completed the Edinburgh winter school activity, which was held after a four-year absence, and spent a trip to the UK full of academic exploration and cultural exchange. Students expanded their academic knowledge, experienced the unique culture of Scotland, and opened the door to expanding their international horizons!



At the University of Edinburgh, students went to the prestigious Edinburgh Old School, and were guided by the curator to visit the Anatomical Museum, which has a history of more than 200 years. Hundreds of biological and medical specimens enabled students to have a deeper understanding of medical science.They also experienced the outstanding achievements of the University of Edinburgh in the field of medicine. Led by the Student Ambassador of the University of Edinburgh,ZJE studentsmanage to explorethe campus of the University of Edinburgh, took a panoramic view of the campus landscape, appreciated the academic atmosphere, felt the long academic tradition of the School of Law in the landmark building, and fully appreciated the excellent tradition of self-organisation and self-management of the students of the University of Edinburgh in the Edinburgh University Student Activity Centre.After that, studentswere given a change to have ateacher-student talk with the professors of the University of Edinburgh, exchanging their respective academic views and experiences, enhancing mutual understanding and communication, also strengthening the students' sense of identity of ZJU and UoE.During the evening welcome dinnerthat servedScottish specialties,students and theprofessors from both universitiesseated together, and deepened their mutual feelings and understanding in the pleasant exchanges and interactions while savouring the Scottish specialities.

Visit to the McEwan Hall

Visit to the Anatomy Laboratory

Participation in the Faculty & Student Seminar

Students visit to the "iconic" Edinburgh University Law School

Friendly chat between teachers and students at the welcome dinner


Another major part of this activity was to visit famous universities in various cities in Scotland. Students visited the University of Glasgow, the University of Stirling and other famous Scottish universities, and experienced the diversified university culture. At the University of Glasgow, they felt the elegance and solemnity of the ancient campus; at the University of Stirling, the modern campus allowed students to experience a professional teaching atmosphere; while the unique charm of the open campus of the University of Dundee, the University of St. Andrews, the deep academic heritage of the University of St. Andrews have made the students deeply enchanted. Each university has its own unique charm, which benefited the students greatly and expanded their academic horizons and international thinking.

Visit to the University of Glasgow


 While visiting colleges and universities, students also visited the National Museum of Scotland, Carlton Hill and other places of interest in Edinburgh, as well as exploring the different natural and human landscapes of Scottish cities such as Glasgow and St Andrews.

Specimens of Dolly the Sheep at the National Museum of Scotland

Dam in the small town of Pitlochry in the Scottish Highlands, with specially designed migratory steps to protect salmon migratory pathways

Victoria & Albert National Gallery of Scotland, Dundee, a city full of art.


BMS2101 Yao Xiang


 When I walked into the Medical school, the new building built in 1884and witnessed much history, ancient and majestic, the Anatomy museum in the Medical school, displaying many biological specimens, makes people shocked and cannot help but sigh at the solid academic foundation of the University of Edinburgh, academic strength. In the campus of the University of Edinburgh, when I saw the faces of the professors who always appeared in Webex in the past, there was a somewhat familiar feeling of strangeness, familiar in the faces and tones of the Lecture, but unfamiliar in the face-to-face, close-distance sense of reality, which may be two years of online exchanges to make this offline exchange seem so precious and wonderful. The conversation with the professor at the Edinburgh University dinner was equally inspiring. The professor, who usually seems to be inactive, suddenly became chatty when talking about academic fields, which made me feel not only his academic expertise, but also his love for academics and his sincerity in leading students to explore academics.


 BMS2101 Ma Yunhang


 Apart from academic exchanges, this study tour also led us to enjoy the local customs of major cities in Scotland, including Edinburgh, Dundee and Glasgow. I was deeply impressed by Scotland's unique historical background, rich cultural heritage and beautiful natural scenery. In Edinburgh, I was attracted by the city's ancient and elegant architecture; in Dundee, I was intrigued by the city's active technology and innovation; and in Glasgow, I felt the city's vigour and openness. These experiences have given me a deeper understanding and respect for Scotland and its people.


 BMS2102 Wang Bokai


 What impressed me most was a visit to the Human Herbarium at the University of Edinburgh. There, I saw some normal and diseased human specimens. Some of these specimens have been preserved for over a hundred years, and I deeply appreciated the long history of the University of Edinburgh in the field of biomedical science. The trip to the herbarium not only stimulated my passion for scientific research, but also deepened my understanding of the potential applications in the biomedical field. Overall, the Winter School was a valuable learning and growing experience. It not only improved my academic ability, but also broadened my cultural perspective. This experience will have a profound impact on my future academic path and personal development. I look forward to applying the knowledge and experience I have learnt from this event to my academic research and making my own contribution to the biomedical field.