09/25/11

First week at Sun Yat-Sen University

My first week as a Chinese language undergraduate student is now over and I’m really happy I chose to study at Sun Yat-Sen University! The teachers are educated and know what they are doing. They are prepared for class and have a clear plan for the whole course. The courses are interesting and challenging. My class (本二下) on the second year is just right for me and the level suits my needs.

Our basic compulsory courses are comprehensive (综合), listening (听力), writing (写作), reading (泛读) and speaking (口语). Besides that we can choose at least one selective from five different courses. I decided to choose Cantonese (粤语) and calligraphy (书法).  If you think Mandarin is difficult, then you should try Cantonese and think again!

My original plan back in 2010 wast to apply for Beijing Language and Culture University, but I think I made the right decision to stay in Guangzhou and come to the Sun Yat-Sen University. It’s the best university in the south and usually 9th or 10th best in the whole country. Even though in Finland it doesn’t matter from which university you graduate (students of Helsinki University might disagree with me), but in China it’s appreciated if you graduate from on of the top universities.

Now my job for the following three years is to be a top student. Final exams aren’t the only factor when calculating our grades. We also have to do our homework or other assignments, attend classes (after certain amount of absence from class you’re not allowed to take the exam) and be active in class. All of this requires a lot of study and I’m ready for it.

I dreamed about studying a Chinese degree when I was 16 years old. Now is the time to be worthy of my dream.

Now I would like to throw the ball to you my readers. Would you like to know more about my studies at Sun Yat-Sen University? Or more posts about learning Chinese?

09/7/11

The shadow over my dream

During these few days I have been trying to register to the Sun Yat-Sen University. Trying meaning there are lots of other student doing the same thing and it’s just not possible to do it in one day. I will hopefully have everything ready today afternoon.

Already in high school I dreamed about studying in China. First I thought going to Beijing and considered Beijing Language and Culture University. Then a year ago I finally decided to stay in Guangzhou and do my degree in Sun Yat-Sen University. That dream is coming true right now, but there’s still a shadow over it.

As a Finn the Finnish government gives me student money so I can pay for my tuition and living. But I have used most of it already and they will only continue paying me that money until May 2013. Today I heard that I will start my degree on the second year which mean I’m going to graduate in July 2014.

The problem is that for the third and last year my government isn’t helping me financially. There is only one solution to the problem and that is to work really hard for the following years and be really careful with spending money. Because I’m a student I can’t work officially here in China. My English also might not be good enough to teach it to Chinese students. I do some business in here, but it’s just in the beginning and earning enough money for tuition and living is not too easy.

In some cultures money is considered as a some kind of taboo. Finnish people for example don’t like talking about money, but in China money isn’t private information. I’m probably somewhere in the between and wanted to share this with you, because it’s unfortunately shadowing my excitement to start my degree.