Having never blogged before I will try my best to keep things interesting for you and let you know all about my experiences in China. Everything from what they eat for breakfast, culture chocks, the University and what it is like being a Swede in this great nation far East. So, where exactly in China am I going then? Well, I am heading for the ”small” city of Tianjin, population 11 million people, closest city Beijing, half an hour away by fast train (and boy, they are fast!).
First thing I did when I found out I was accepted, was to check if there was a decent subway-system, and fortunately, there is. Phew! Busses can be quite unreliable with no fixed time schedules. This will be my fourth visit to China, previous visits include two semesters of studying in Beijing and an internship in Shanghai, so as far as culture chocks goes, I am pretty well prepared. It does of course help if you speak the language, which I do, at least half-decent, but you can get far by just using your hands and make gestures.
The only foreigner in the class
This is the first time; however, that everything (lessons, projects, homework etc.) will be completely in Chinese. As far as I know, I will be the only foreigner in my class, let alone the only foreigner within the faculty, so I know I will have to study hard to be able to keep up. On the bright side, my Chinese will improve immensely, which is one of the reasons of my going there. The University is Nankai University, one of the best in China when it comes to Environmental Science, which is sort of my major, but more precisely Environmental Strategics. As to what I will be studying during my time there, is not yet certain, but it is leaning towards Industrial Chemistry and Environmental Law. I am so excited!
Swedish friends in Beijing
Going away alone can be quite scary, but I will not be completely alone, luckily, I have some friends in Beijing that I can turn to should I miss the company of Swedes too much. Though I will be staying in a dorm for exchange students, most of my time during the day will be spent with Chinese students and I am curious to see how that is going to plan out. According to my experiences, the Chinese are very friendly and helpful but it is a bit tricky to get to know them deeper as they are quite shy. I think this will be my greatest challenge, this and being able to keep up language wise in the beginning. I hope that I will manage to find a language partner that is willing to spend a lot of time rehearsing with me, after all, it has been three years since I was last in China.
Stay tuned for more news …