International students present on science and economics

4th annual student conference features 21 presentations

More than 70 Dalhousie students presented at last week’s International Perspectives on Science and Economics Student Conference.

Pairs of students presented 10-minute presentations connected to their fields of study and subjects of personal interest, and received feedback from their peers.

Polly Chen, a student who arrived in Halifax from China in August, presented on the negative effects of English-language education in China, saying that across-the-board English-language education is not worthwhile for Chinese.

“That’s a waste of resources for the Chinese government and not everyone in China will feel fulfilled or feel useful to speak English, because there are many people who are not very rich and they cannot afford a high price or high amount of money to go abroad to study,” says Chen.

Sponsored by the College of Continuing Education and the Department of Economics, the students who presented are all enrolled in the Academic Writing and Research Skills for International Students course.

The presenters at the conference included students from the 2+2 China Program in Economics who are completing their third and fourth years of study at Dalhousie. Students from Brazil studying at Dal through the Science without Borders program also presented.

Iago Gradin is a student who recently arrived in Halifax on a one-year exchange from his Oceanography program in Brazil. Gradin used Wednesday’s conference as an opportunity to relate economics to his major.

His presentation focused on applying science to economics through aquaculture.

“If you imagine a land, a normal farm, you grow plants and animals: (aquaculture) is the same thing with the ocean. We are trying to show that you can reach good values of production even though you are not producing in a way that is harmful for the environment,” says Gradin.

While students demonstrated their proficiency in English as well as detailed research in specific fields of study, adapting to life in Canada still provides occasional surprises.

“I’m from the warmest city in Brazil: the winter there is 20 degrees, so coming here was crazy,” says Gradin.

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Eleanor Davidson

Eleanor is the Gazette's News Editor.

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