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Impression on Europe--Wang Jiawen
Source: Release:2019-11-01 08:39:42 Writer: Hits:

On April 23rd, 2019, when the plane landed in Athens, I started my four-month trip in Greece for study and exchange. The university that I went for exchange is National Technical University of Athens, which is one of the partner universities of the China-EU Institute for Clean and Renewable Energy in Europe. It is the oldest and most prestigious institution of higher education in Greece. Founded in 1836, it was a part-time vocational school then named the Royal Academy of Arts. In 1950, the National Technical University of Athens became the only university in Greece to offer engineering degree education. It is the first comprehensive university of science and technology in Greece.

We, totaling six people, came to Athens in three batches. It happened to be a holiday of the university when we arrived. As the first batch of students, we temporarily rented a house in Athens for about a week. On the first day of our arrival, Mr. Geroge warmly welcomed us and led us to visit the Acropolis. He also invited us to taste the local Greek cuisine. After the holiday, the university started the new semester. This historic university is located in Zografou District, Athens. After a short visit in the campus, we each met our tutor. My tutor Sotirios Karellas is a professor of thermal engineering. Under the leadership of his PhD student Tryfon, I will conduct research on solar refrigeration systems, with the main task of completing the testing and the validation of experiments and simulations of the ZEOSOL system (European New Energy Project).

In recent months in Athens, there have been few rainy days. It is a sunny place with a temperature of more than 40 degrees in summer, making it a good place to develop solar energy. The large campus is different from the campuses of other European countries, but similar to the campuses in China. The campus is shaded by green trees and the sunset glow is a beautiful landscape on campus. Because Athens has a small population, sometimes no walking students can be seen on campus. Due to the previous event, the police are still prohibited from entering the campus. However, Southern Europeans are very kind to foreigners and Athens is really a safe country.

The setting of the laboratory is quite different from that in China. Here, the same college shares a laboratory, which is different from the laboratory in China. It is large enough to hold 10 trucks, with teachers' office distributed around. The laboratory is administered by a special person who works there at a fixed time every day. Working there is relaxed and comfortable. Unlike nine-to-five work routine in China, many students enter the laboratory at 11 am in the morning and have lunch at 2:00 pm. After the lunch, they will have a cup of coffee and chat with friends. They don’t have a noon break of any kind. Except lunch time, they all focus on their work. People started to leave at 8:00 in the evening, and many people chose to have dinner at home. Most of the people do not live in the campus. They are more accustomed to renting a house or living in their own home, driving to work every day. They don't live in student apartments not because of the bad environment. On the contrary, the student apartments offer single rooms and air conditioners. Local students in Athens can even live there for free. As the rooms are limited in number, we have applied for a long time and still have no chance to move in. The welfare of the Athens campus is great. There is a free canteen, which opens almost every day except holidays. The meals vary from day to day throughout the week. They are rich in variety and nutritious.


In August, we will have a 20-day summer holiday in Athens. Spending holiday by the sea is a good choice. When it comes to dreamy islands in Greece, I have to mention Santorini, which is well known to the people of China. We went to Santorini with Spanish and French students. We had a wonderful time there, while admiring the blue sky, the dreamy blue ocean, and white houses.

I am very grateful to ICARE for providing us with such a good opportunity for international exchanges. In the process of learning other cultures, we broadened our horizons. In the course of our exchanges with foreign friends, we were proud as a Chinese and sensed the power of our great motherland. In the past four months, I have traveled through six different countries. I started trying to travel alone, walking through the desert, and through the snow-capped mountains. My heart grew stronger and stronger. Meanwhile, I am grateful to our institute that cultivates us and our country that gives us support. I hope I can live up to my youth and work hard to realize the beautiful Chinese dream in the days to come.