Qin Xin holds a position as a Full Professor of Computer Science at the University of the Faroe Islands. He is educated in China and the United Kingdom and has lived in the Faroe Islands for 9 years. He has a PhD in Theoretical Computer Science from the University of Liverpool.
What was your main reason for coming to the Faroe Islands?
The career perspectives in the Faroe Islands are very good. Combining the fact that there are very few researchers in my field with my accumulated research experience and achievements, it took me only one year to advance to Full Professor. This was very important to me as it gives me much better opportunities to participate in international research on a high level and have scientific articles published in high profile magazines.
What is it like to work as a researcher in the Faroe Islands?
The University of the Faroe Islands is very small and I do not have many colleagues working in my field. But I collaborate with researchers all around the world online.
It is an advantage that there is very little competition. As I am the only professor in my field (theoretical computer science), private companies turn to me for advice and cooperation which is useful for my research.
Being the only lecturer in several subjects within my field I have to teach quite a lot. There is too little time left for research and I often work extra hours with my research projects.
Is it difficult to be integrated in the society as a foreigner?
The Faroese people are open and friendly. There are almost a hundred nationalities living in the Faroe Islands. It is always possible to find someone to connect with.
Has the language been a problem?
I tried to learn Faroese when I first came here but it is very difficult and I did not have the time to study it properly.
It is not necessary to speak Faroese to work at the University. In my department most communication is in English, and my lessons are in English as well.
Most Faroese speak English very well, and it is not a not a problem for me outside the university either that I do not speak Faroese.
What has it been like for your family to get settled in the Faroe Islands?
My wife holds a master degree in Computer Science but she has not been able to work yet as we are still waiting for a place in kindergarten for our two children. Our parents want to come and help us with the children but they are only allowed to stay here for three months.
But the Faroe Islands is a very good place for children to grow up. They are allowed to be children for a longer time than in China where they start learning mathematics and other challenging topics in the kindergarten.