Wine studies uncorks world of possibilities

Wine is a passion in both Zhuofan Yao’s study and personal life. So pursuing a Master of Viticulture and Oenology was a dream come true when Zhuofan started his degree in 2018.

However, after travelling back home to China in 2019, Zhuofan endured 2 years of on again and off again online study, waiting for the day he could come back to campus and finish his Masters. Now back in Adelaide, Zhuofan shares with us his travel experience and what he is most looking forward to doing in 2022.

Students on wine tour

Why did you choose your degree?

I studied a similar degree during my undergraduate. Wine is a must for me in both my study and daily life. How it is made and the story behind every wine has always been an attraction to me. I feel that in both China and Australia, studying wine will help my career take a great step forward.

Why did you choose the University of Adelaide?

Luckily, here in Adelaide, our university owns the most important research institute for Australian wines and offers the best majors for winemaking and viticulture in the world.

Back in my undergraduate times, the University of Adelaide had always been a topic of future study. So it is just an honour to be part of the University!Zhuofan Yao

What are you enjoying most about your degree?

The professors are just so professional, not only in teaching but also in their industry experience. I know that the winery located on the Waite campus sometimes takes commercial winemaking contracts, which leads me to believe in our professors’ expertise and how they can lead me to my own success. Also, the equipment (both in the vineyard and the winery) is comprehensive so I can literally do any research I want about this industry.

Tell us about your journey back to campus

I was in Adelaide from 2018 to 2019 at the start of my studies. Then everything changed when the pandemic started. As I was in China at the time, I undertook two semesters of online courses but was not able to finish the entirety of my course due to face to face requirements. The only thing I wanted to do was return to Adelaide as soon as possible!

I had been in contact with my agent the entire time and we were focused on any news of the border reopening. My journey back to Adelaide was a 23-hour connecting flight. I had to stay in Xiamen for 3 hours and 7 hours in Sydney. It was tiring but thanks to my parents, I didn’t starve! My parents delivered me to the airport in Xi’an and I had one of my friends who reached Adelaide two weeks before me, come to pick me up at Adelaide airport.

It was a long but wonderful journey, especially when you have something to look forward to.Zhuofan Yao

Why is it important for you to have an on-campus experience in Adelaide?

First off, it was a must to get back to campus to finish my studies and hopefully attend my graduation ceremony. Also, Adelaide is a city that is fitting for overseas students in both daily life and study. I will experience much fewer difficulties if I can organise meetings with my professors in person.

Visiting the pink lake in SA

What are you most looking forward to doing now that you are in Adelaide?

I am looking forward to getting everything restarted in Adelaide. Since I have lived here for over a year, I would like to walk around the city and my campus to revisit some of my favourite places.

Who are you most looking forward to catching up with and why?

My professor Mr Chris Ford is the person I am most looking forward to catching up with. He is the reason why I applied for an industrial internship last semester. Mr Chris provided me with so much support, I do appreciate all the help I received last semester and want to show my gratitude towards him!

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