Yey! Changes for the better!
Today the exam frenzy kicks off, with an essay exam. Funny this thing with writing essays in Chinese. I used to hate it. Now I kind of enjoy it. As long as we can use our dictionary while writing I don’t mind it. It’s kind of fun now when I can experiment a little bit more with the language than before, and also don’t need to look up every single little character that I want to write (yeah, because believe it or not, but I have actually managed to learn quite a few by heart! All those endless hours of character writing has finally paid off. Yey!).
Yesterday I went into the office and asked for a graduate certificate after this semester.
-OK, write down how long you’ve studied here on the back of your photo, said the woman with a tired voice. (Wow, they really keep track of you… not!)
-So, what’s next for you, she said in an attempt to be polite.
-I’m changing university.
-Oh that’s great.
4 seconds of silence.
-What do you mean you are changing university?
-Well, I have found a new university where I am going to continue my Chinese studies!
-Oh, you are moving?
-No, here in Suzhou.
-What?! We are the only university here in Suzhou?!
And yes, this is true. And yes, this is my latest news (that kind of make me happy thinking about!). I’ve found a new university in Suzhou. It has one of the longest and most silly names, mainly because it has a lot of exchange program with other universities. But I think the actual name goes: Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University.
It’s quite a new place, that’s been open for only a few years, so all of their facilities are new. It’s also more expensive than Suzhou uni. But with a complete different approach to learning compared to where I have studied before.
For instance, I’m going to study together with max two other students! And I’m very likely to have a few private classes a week. And, last time I spoke to one of the uni’s the teacher she suggested I would take a weekly Chinese History/Culture Class together with a bunch of Taiwanese students. (The reason why I will get so much ‘alone time’ is because I am the only ‘gao ji ban’ –high level class- student at their uni atm. So I guess all of this is party because of luck/timing too. But from what I was told the other students study in small classes. I think the max is 8 student/class, or even less)
I almost fell off the chair when she told me. Private classes + small classes + classes together with natives!? It’s simply too good to be true. And, what a chance for me to finally, really improve my Mandarin!! Ah, I’m so happy about all this!!! And I seriously cannot wait for next semester to start!
-So why are you changing uni? The teacher at Suzhou uni asked me, mouth still not quite closed.
-Well.. where do I start. I’m not very happy about my last semester, and especially not about the teachers. Like our spoken Chinese teacher. He spends the whole lesson speaking, but doesn’t give us a chance to say anything. If I need to listen to Chinese I can turn on the radio or the TV, I don’t need to pay for 4 classes/week of listening to a man reading our textbook.
-Oh I see.
-I believe many students have already told you guys this. And the students from last semester too.
-Eh… I don’t know.
-Well anyways. I’m looking forward to something new!
-I see. Good luck.
Yeah, good luck to them too! I’m off to new challenges!
And I guess that also answers the question of what I am going to do this fall. I’m going to give Mandarin one, final big go.