About Me

Welcome to Living a Dream in China

- a blog that shares my advice for life, love and language learning in China.

aboutsarajaaksola

My blog will take you to small and ancient villages, to the dinner table of a Chinese family. It will take you with me to my journey to visit every province in China. I offer advice on moving to and living in China, all to help you make your life in China like a dream.

Want to know how it’s like to live in an ancient village that has history of hundreds of years? Or how it’s like to become a part of a Chinese family? Want to find out what it’s like to live in China?

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Making a dream come true

aboutsarajaaksola2

My name is Sara Jaaksola and I’m studying Chinese language undergraduate degree in China. I came to China in early 2010 and right now I’m living in Guangzhou with my Chinese boyfriend, his parents and our three cats.

I’ve always been interested in China and everything relates to it, culture, language, people. My parent’s used to live in Beijing for a few years before I was born, so my interest towards the Middle Kingdom must have started when I was in my mom’s tummy! Twenty years passed and I enrolled in a university in Finland, studying history as my major. I also finally started taking Chinese classes.

In March 2010 I came to Guangzhou and spent three semesters at Guangzhou University as an exchange student. When I decided to let my history degree go and study Chinese major instead, my choice was Sun Yat-Sen University, the best university here in the south.

In December 2013 I graduated with a Chinese as a second language undergraduate degree. At the moment I’m doing my Master’s degree in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language, still at Sun Yat-Sen University.

On Valentine’s Day 2014 I married the love of my life, a local Guangzhou boy. We celebrated our wedding with friends and family on May 2nd.

Contact: sara(a)sarajaaksola.com

 

Featured In

 

 学说粤语学做广东菜芬兰媳妇古村结良缘 (Information Times 2014)

Living a Dream in China: Sara’s wonderful world (Chinese-Tools.com 2014)

A Finnish Challenges and excitement in Learning Chinese: Sara Jaaksola (nihaohello 2013)

Sara: Living a Dream in China (InterNations 2013)

 

 

Guest Posts

 

5 common questions Chinese ask foreigners in China (China elevator stories 2013)

Studying Chinese at Sun Yat-Sen University (CUCAS 2013)

 

  • Rufus Yao

    Hi, Sara, your passion for China really impress me. Wish your dream come true.Probably it’s coming true right now.

  • Sara

    Thank you for your comment Rufus Yao. My dream was to come to China and that have already came true. Also another dream is coming true so I should find some new things to dream about.

  • Autumn

    hello,sara.I found your blog via QQ,and I like your blog.I also want to know more about Finnish culture.And,could you tell me some famouse books written by Finnish?Thanks.
    I hope to you will reply me soon.

  • Sara

    Hello Autumn and thanks for commenting. Maybe I could write sometime about Finnish culture and compare it to Chinese one.

    Your question about the books is little bit challenging because I usually read books from Chinese authors (but in English).

    If you want to read some classics check out these: Sinuhe Egyptian by Mika Waltari or Seven Brothers by Aleksis Kivi.

    But right now maybe the most spoken author is Sofi Oksanen with books Stalin’s Cows, Baby Jane and Purge. Purge was the best book in Finland in 2008.

    I have to say that I haven’t read the books I just mentioned. I would like to read Sofi’s books when I have the time.

  • Autumn

    Hi.Sara.I’m coming again. How are you lately? The weather begins cool in Guangzhou.Take care of yourself.
    I have some questions.What kind of language do Finnish people use?Do they use English to talk to others?I felt puzzled about your other two blogs in Finnish: Xue opiskelee Paasykoeblogi.I have no idea about what kind of languages it is.

  • Sara

    Nice to see you here again so soon Autumn! Yes the weather is cooler now and I love it!

    In Finland we speak Finnish. It is very different from English. Our second official language is Swedish, also very different from Finnish. I studied Swedish for 6 years because we all have to, but I forgot everything because I never used it. Almost everyone in Finland can also speak English. And it’s compulsory to study it.

    Those blogs you mentioned are written in Finnish. You can’t understand them without learning Enlish. Xue opiskelee means Xue studies and it’s about my life and my studies. Paasykoeblogi means Examblog and it’s about university entrance examinations and how to prepare for them.

    If you have any other questions please feel free to ask. I’m happy to answer. Take care!

  • Kurt

    Sara,I found your blog via your comment on Speaking of China. I am a Chinese guy and like your blog.

    I am very impressed to what you said”Almost everyone in Finland can also speak English” . Because English is compulsory to study in China too,young generation began to study it in middle school,but after graduation of college,most of them still couldn’t speak it.I think the reason might be the difference between Mandarin and English is much bigger than the one between Finnish and English?
    Is Mandarin much difficult to learn than English to a Finnish girl?

  • Sara

    Hi Kurt and thank you for commenting. Nice to hear that you like my blog.

    Sure English is closer to Finnish than Mandarin because the first two are both written with letters, not characters. And learning English is much easier for me than learning Chinese.

    I started learning English when I was 9 years old but some kids start at the age of 7 or even little bit earlier. We have extremely good education system in Finland so it might have something to do with our language skills.

    Chinese is difficult to learn because it is so different. But more than difficult it is hard work. Grammar is more simple than in European languages and it’s good for me because I hate learning grammar.

  • http://www.analysiscapital.com/ Mohamed Burhan

    Hi Sara,

    Its nice meeting you here, I think i will be following your blog pretty closely since you are so passionate about the Chinese culture, I have been in China for two years, Study medicine at Jilin University, has been busy with School, didn’t bothered to immerse myself in their culture but i hope i may learn off from people like you. Its peculiar country for impractical people, like how they go about their stuff. Anyways keep ‘em coming.

  • Sara

    Thank you for your comment Mohamed Burhan. Really nice to hear that you have enjoyed reading my blog. China really is interesting place and sometimes (often) hard to understand. I have 24/7 immersion because of my Chinese better half.

  • Autumn

    Sara,today is Chinese tranditional fastival— Double Ninth Festival.Enjoy your time in Guangzhou.Maybe you can go climbing.(just tranditional custom) :)

  • Sara

    Autumn, Thanks for reminding me! I would have totally forgotten this without you. Happy Double Ninth Festival to you!

  • serena

    hi,sara!could you tell me how to make a blog like yours?your blog looks good

  • Sara

    Thank you Serena. The easiest way is to go to http://www.wordpress.com and start a blog there.

  • Gaby

    Oh,Sara,unbelievable! I found my hometown in your photo gallery! You have been on the street of my neighbourhood~~Haha

  • Sara

    Thank you for commenting Gaby! Oh, that is a nice coincidence. Your neigbourhood seems interesting :) I also got your email and will reply when I have more time.

  • http://www.aurinkosadetta.blogspot.com Hanna

    hei Sara, tosi mielenkiintoinen blogi. Rupean seuraamaan.

  • http://www.aurinkosadetta.blogspot.com Hanna

    PS ja ihana layout, mistä sait nuo upeat kukat?

  • Sara

    Moi Hanna. Kiitos, kiitos. Oma blogisikin on erittain mielenkiintoinen ja seuraan aina uusia merkintoja. Kunpa sita itsekin paasisi joskus kirjoittamaan millaista on julkaista esikoisromaani :) Tama layout on ihan WordPressin peruskokoelmaa, ainoastaan tuo bannerikuvan temppeli on oma valokuvani.

  • Patrick

    To me Finnish is just as exotic and interesting as Chinese and I considered studying Finnish at university, but decided to study Chinese. It took so much effort that I balk at starting studying Finnish.

  • Sara

    Thank you for commenting Patrick. It’s really a surprise for me that you considered studying Finnish. I have to say that the grammar is quite tricky :) Finnish is just maybe little bit too exotic and maybe pretty useless. You made a good choise to study Chinese.

  • http://www.chinaodysseytours.com Angela

    Hi Sara, I just sent you a friend request on facebook and bookmarked your blog. Hope you are having fun in Guangzhou!

    Sara Reply:

    Thank you Angela. I’m having a lot of fun in Guangzhou. Really nice to hear that you enjoy reading my blog.

  • Autumn

    Sara,Merry X’mas!

    Sara Reply:

    Merry Christmas Autumn!

  • Ning Ning

    Hei!
    Englanti ei ole suomessa pakollinen aine. Yksi vieras kieli ja ainakin 2011 vaaleihin asti toinen kotimainen ovat pakollisia. Lisäksi voi ottaa toisen ja kolmannenkin vieraan kielen. Nykysysteemissä ei oikein hyödynnetä kielten sukulaisuutta:( Ruotsin sijasta voisi opiskella pohjoismaisia kieliä (ok, islanti on hankalampi) ja valita kielet kokonaisuuksina: germaaniset (ruotsi, saksa, englanti, dutch), latinalaiset (espanja, italia, portugali, tagalog) seemiläiset (heprea, arabia) jne. Jos lapsi oppii koulussa yhden joka kieliryhmästä niin muiden oppiminen helpottuu. Ja pienenä kielten opiskelu käy ihan itsestään niin paras aloittaa päiväkodista. Minulle aikaanaan saksa ja englanti oli helppoja kun osasin ruotsia valmiiksi, joten olisi ollut enemmän hyötyä opetella venäjää tai kiinaa. Lapsena olisi joutanut paremmin pänttäämään hanzeja!:)

    And in english for non-finnish readers: English is NOT compulsory in Finland. It is only compulsory to study one foreign language + Swedish, at least until the parliamentary election in spring 2011. Note to foreigners: Swedish is not dearly loved by the Finnish schoolchildren because 1) it is deemed useless as it only has some 20 million speakers (who all speak English) if you count in Norwegians and Danes and the tiny Finnish minority 2) Finland was colonized by Sweden for centuries and as Swedish was the language of academia, civil servants and military, it caused unproportional socio-economic benefits for the Swedish-speaking population (already present in Finland since…the ice melt or something). Some still feel about the Swedish-speakers as the Malay or Filipino towards their succesfull Chinese minorities. So in the upcoming elections language teaching is a hot topic and most Finnish parents would gladly trade their kids’ Swedish lessons for Russian or Chinese, for example. In the current system it is possible to study two foreign languages from the lower primary school (starting at grade 2.-5.) and a third or even fourth in upper primary and upper secondary. Commonly chosen is German, Italian, Russian and Spanish. Japanese is booming in upper secondary due to the cultural invasion of manga&anime. The current system does not make enough use of the familiar ties of (european) languages. Instead of Swedish the kids could aswell learn Nordic languages, the subject their teachers studied in university (since they already love Norwegian hard-rock and wages & Danish beer). The germanian languages (German, English, Dutch) could be grouped, latinic (spanish, portuguese, italian, tagalog) also, as well as semitic (hebrew, arabic) and so on. Definitely one hanzi-based should be made available for everyone so we Finns wouldn’t be such illiterates in Asia. Let the kid choose one from every “language family” at an early age, when language studies are literally a childs’ play, and they can easily grasp the other languages of the group later, if they need them. Best to start learning in kindergarten when theres plenty of time to draw hanzi with crayons. In my times learning German and English was maybe too easy, since they are very related to Swedish, which I already spoke at home(no I’m not filthy rich, quite the opposite). Learning Russian or Chinese would have been way more useful.

    Sara Reply:

    Ning Ning, Thanks for commenting and sharing this information! I have truly thought that English is compulsory to us and only now found out that it isn’t. But I can say that basically most of the Finnish people will learn English at school because there isn’t other options and English is quite useful language. When I started learning English at the age of 8 on 3rd grade we didn’t have any other options. Later on 5th grade I started German but never knew that I could have skipped English and just study German. No one ever talked about it. Only in the university it was a choise to study one foreign language and it could be almost any language.

  • http://@facebook Rongwu

    I found your blog from your facebook link, and i am enjoy reading your writing. It is really fruitful. I was in Oulu 3 months last year, Finland is an amazing place.
    Nice to meet you on cyberspace.^.^

    Sara Reply:

    Thank you for commenting Rongwu. Really nice to hear that you’re enjoying my blog and I’ll do my best to keep it interesting. I really appreciate yours and others opinions. Interesting to hear that you’ve been to Oulu. It must be quite different than in the southern Finland where I’ve lived. I think I have never been to Oulu. Nice to meet you too!

  • SAM

    Hi Sara,

    You are an admin for an website about univeristy in Finland, So i hope you may be able to answer me few qurstions about applying Phd in Finland. My major is International relations, and got my Master degee from Renmin University, and Bachelor Degree at Deakin University. How can i apply for Phd in Finland? Is that any Phd Program in English? Which uni in Finland is specializing International relations, especially China?

    Thanks for your help

    Sara Reply:

    Hi Sam, I will do my best to answer you. First you should check out this website: Study In Finland. There’s a lot of information about studying in Finland and also Phd programs. From here you can also do a search of ready-made doctoral programmes.

    But this is important: “In Finnish universities, Doctoral level studies can be available either as ready-made Doctoral programmes (please consult our Study Programmes Database) or as tailor-made Doctoral level study and research opportunities. Therefore, not all the Doctoral level study and research options are covered in our database. If you wish to work for a doctoral thesis in Finland, you should contact the institution concerned or relevant department directly and make sure that your own field of specialisation is represented there. The university can then assist you in questions regarding when and how to apply.”

    I’m not sure if there is anything that would combine international relations and China. There is international politics for example in the University of Helsinki (in the capital) and East Asian Studies in the same university. I think you should first check out the Study In Finland website and then look the websites of Finnish universities and when you find a place with your major then send email and ask more.

    Was this any help?

  • http://elinikainenoppiminen.wordpress.com/ elinikäinenoppiminen

    Moi Sara,
    Kiitos blogini kommentoinnista. Tuo About sivu olikin mulle ihan outo juttu, oon niin ensikertalainen blogin kirjottaja :) Oma blogisi on aivan mahtava, aihe liikuuttaa minua syvästi, sillä kiina on vetänyt minua puoleensa jo pitkään (mm. maon pieni punainen kirja on sisustusmielessä hyllyllä). Kerran siellä käyneenä, kanttonissa juuri ja hainanilla, ja hinku on kova päästä sitä enemmän ekplooraamaan. Oli hieno löytää blogisi, tästä sait itsellesi uuden vakiolukijan.
    Tsemppiä elämään.

    Sara Reply:

    Kiva kun tulit kommentoimaan :) Ja onpa mielenkiintoista kuulla, etta Kiina kiinnostaa! Itse olen ollut aivan fani jo suhteellisen nuoresta lahtien. sen verran kiehtova ja outokin tama maa on. Kiitos!

  • http://mitaosi.blog.com

    我看了一些你的文章,作为一个老外中国和作为一个老中在北欧所受的待遇实在太大了:中国人一般对外国人非常友好热情,特别是中国的大学生,他们很乐意与外国人比如博主这样的外国美女打交道;而作为一个生活在瑞典的老中,我不得不说,瑞典人民和芬兰人民太冷了!cold as stone!除非醉酒,否则大多数芬兰人瑞典人根本懒得搭理外国人,尤其非欧洲人,the words that uses one of my acquaintance say:They completely ignore you as if you never existed.

    Sara Reply:

    Chinese people and including students, are really curious people. They have lot of questions and even they are shy, sometimes they have the courage to come to speak with as laowais. 哈哈 You are right! Finnish people can be quite quiet and some of us need a drink to begin a conversation. But I like that in Finland no one cares when I walk in the streets. No one is shouting hello, missy missy or buy a watch! In China I sometimes get way too much attention and it’s nice to go to Finland where people just let me be.

    Reply:

    Well,that is the culture difference,Environment, as I see it, has a far-reaching influence on one personality. The Europe of the north is scarcely populated.It is colder in the north & Nordic.and Traffic was badly dislocated by the heavy fall of snow in winter.especailly that in Nodic,Winter is take most time of one year,therefor,Finnish have to stay alone in the past and now,As time passed, they got accustomed to being alone.in the past,Loneliness has fostered their religious feeling and their taste for meditation and recollection.
    I am afraid that if i stay here too long time, i will become too quiet and used to loneness.actually,i am already effect by Sweden………………

    but,In China you sometimes get way too much attention just because you are “Laowai”,because you have a white face looks totally different from each other,opposite attach,people always curious when they see something&someone different,whatever Chinese or Finnish,Swedish,for example,when i visit some small town in sweden where most people never see asian before, they do the same thing as you meet.
    and i found a very interesting point: althrough most swedish used to stay alone and quiet,but they are eager to conversation,they just always constrain own sentiment.that why there are many people here need the help of alcohol to release themself.

    Friends agree best at distance.for Chinese,too far;for swedish finnish,too close,sometimes i am really confused:may be most of swedish friends never look me as a friend. People tend to close their heart as the growing of age,especially to a foreigner.

    不管怎么样,祝你在中国能有一个开心的生活,莎拉

    APROPÅ: talar du Svenska eller Kinesiska?

    Sara Reply:

    I hope you can learn to take good sides from both of the cultures, Chinese and Swedish. I like your idea about enviroment affecting cultures and people. I am sure there is a connection between dark rainy autumns plus cold long winters and a Finnish way of living and thinking.

    Making friends with people from another cultures isn’t always easy. You are worried that Swedish friend don’t consider you as a friend. I’m worried that to Chinese people are only interested having a foreign friend, not having me as a friend.

    I hope too that you will have good time in Sweden and when you go back to China, you will have nice memories from there.

    Jag talar inte svenska. I studied Swedish for over six years, but because I never used it I forgot almost everything. My Chinese is much better than my Swedish right now.

    ling Reply:

    我同意你的看法,西欧也是的,这是一种文化的差异。中西文化各有各的优劣,求同存异吧

  • Andrew

    really good blog. hope u have your chinese version someday

    Sara Reply:

    Thank you Andrew! When my Chinese improves maybe I’ll think about having a Chinese blog aswell. But then I would have three blogs, in Finnish, English and Chinese. That’s a lot of updating and writing!

  • Aimee

    Hello Sara!

    I’ve really enjoyed taking a look round your blog and wondered if you’d be interested in doing a quick interview for the China Travel Blog (http://blog.chinatravel.net/)? It would be part of our China Blogger Spotlight series… Drop me a line if you are interested and I’ll send over more info.

    Best regards
    Aimee

    Sara Reply:

    Hi Aimee! Thank you for asking. I just sent you an email about the interview.

  • Will Shim

    Hi Sara,
    i just wanted to tell you that you have a great blog. I stumbled upon it when I was procrastinating a bit from my work (not a recommended thing to do!).
    I was born in Guangzhou many years ago in a village in the Bai Yun district near the new airport (very close to the new subway station of Ren He). Now I reside in Canada. In the past few days, I’ve been feeling nostalgic about my past childhood in the village (I grew up in the west); I haven’t been back in years. I really miss the easy life in there. But tell you the truth, I never got to know the city proper very well and it’s still a mystery to me. Every time I was back (I’ve been back only twice since i left when i was a little kid), my cousins took me into town and I always felt so lost and unnerved by the masses of people and the traffic, but I would still like to figure this city out and get to know it better… maybe in my next trip there.
    Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that you blog is helping me dissipate some of that mystery and helping me know the city a bit better. Thank you so much and keep up the good work.
    Good luck in your studies!
    Will

    Sara Reply:

    Hi Will,

    Thank you very much! I can imagine that because you’ve been back only twice it must be hard to have an overall image of the city. And Guangzhou is huge! I know my way around in certain areas, but in others I’m lost. Metro system is easy to use to get around, but otherwise it’s quite hard to navigate in here. In my opinion Beijing is easier. Do you already have a plan for your next visit?

    Maybe I should introduce Guangzhou a little bit more in my future posts. And not just those tourist places, but the gems that are hidden in the small alleys.

    Thank you again for commenting Will! Comments like this especially give me inspiration to update and improve this blog.

    Will Reply:

    Thanks Sara for replying. I still don’t know for sure when I’ll be back, possibly by the end of this year, but probably not; just “someday” for sure. But I’ve been reading a lot about the city and I’ll definitely explore it myself the next time I’m in town by just walking around; that’s what I do every time I visit a new place anyway. And please do talk a bit more about the city itself; like you, I also like the traditional/historical parts of a city and its common people. I’d love to find out how’s like to live in the city.
    Thanks again and keep up the good work!
    Cheers!

    Sara Reply:

    I will absolutely remember your wish and will write more about Guangzhou. I hope to buy a new camera soon so I could (learn to) take better photos to share with all of you. Many foreign expats living here seem not to be too fancy about Guangzhou. For example my cousin didn’t like it when she was living here few years ago. But I want to show that Guangzhou can be an interesting place to live.

  • summers

    hi, my name is summers, nice to meet u here, i am in norway now . i guess u r familiar with chinese culture . my purpose is to find a girlfriend . i prefer white girl . it seems u are a expert at interracial marriage. so could you give me some advice on that ?

    Sara Reply:

    Nice to meet you Summers. Here are some tips for you. Don’t ever let the white girl know that you are looking for a white girl. Tell them that you are looking for the love of your life (if that’s what you want). We don’t want you to date us only because we are white, but because you love us no matter where we are from. Then do not ever comment the weight of a girl. Tell her she is beautiful, not that she shouldn’t eat french fries. Be interested in her backgroup but you don’t need to join the fan club for Finland for example. She doesn’t want to be one of your collectibles. Also don’t get a white girl just in order to improve your English.

    That’s about treating a white girl well. Then how to find her? Rely in your friends and ask them to introduce someone to you. Or look around at your university (join some club) or at work. Have a new hobby and meet new people there.

    Important thing is to be confident. Many Chinese guys are too shy and are afraid to make the first move. Don’t be too pushy, but make effort.

    Good luck!

    xun Reply:

    Hello, Sara, I was dawdling online searching sth, and can’t remember how I entered your blog, haha. And I found this kind of topic is quite interesting, it’s like ideas collided with each other and yield new ideas. When talking about “Shy”…I think most of it due to our(Chinese boys) poor,lousy speaking English, or listening, I’m pretty sure that most of whom that posted on this site were using dictionary all the time to check the vocabularies, the grammars all the time(including me). I don’t regard myself as a shy guy, but when I was in Nederland, I found it was hard to understand their accented English(My poor listening worsened this situation), and meanwhile I’m also not good at expressing myself in ENG, so I was as dumb as a wooden stake there. In order to be confident, I think two points are important, the first one is language, you can’t say you’re able to keep confident without the capability to use human’s language to speak(surrounded by a bunch of foreigners, your mother tone is nothing ). The second is appearance. Today, if we talk about judging people by their appearance, it’s something like immoral and superficial, but deep down, everyone knows we will feel more comfortable when we look at some girls beautiful than those who are no-beautiful, or more handsome boys than no-handsome ones. We all know caucasian people are more taller and stronger in body shape(ignore some guy like Bruce Lee and Bolo Yeung) although, there are also some Dutch men even shorter than a Chinese girl, but most of them are taller. So a superficial way (maybe a good way) to improve one’s confidence might be go to the gym, and practice English to make himself attractive. I know some of my standpoints seems no-deep enough, but as human nature, no one can deny them. Glade to see your blog, I even don’t know to to find out your blog site, so I added it in my Chromn Bookmarks, hope to see your reply, thanks in advance.

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Thank you for your comment Xun! Great that you found your way here, no matter which road you took :)

    I know some use google translate or similar help to read my blog, I just hope that the main ideas of my blo survive the translation.

    This topic of “shy” is actually quite interesting as I’m reading a book about introversion at the moment. I can imagine poor language skills affect a lot on your communication and might make you seem really shy in front of others.

  • summers

    by the way, i was just back from helsinki, i like Suomenlinna Island, it is amazing.
    i found the people are very kind.
    and most youngsters are interested in china. it is a nice country . girls there are pretty

    Sara Reply:

    Suomenlinna is a really nice place but unfortunately I’ve been there only once when I was a kid. Would love to go there again.

  • http://isurelovetherain.blogspot.com Sarianna

    Your blog is great! It’s very encouraging to see that someone dares to do unexpected things like moving from Finland to China. What did your relatives and friends think?

    All the best to you and your boyfriend, and your cat too :)

    Sara Reply:

    Thank you Sarianna! I’ve been a China fan as long as I can remember, so in a way it’s only been a matter of time when I move to China. Other reader also asked about this, so probably I should write a whole post about it soon!

    I noticed from your blog that you live in UK. It’s always interesting to follow blogs from other fellow ulkosuomalainen (Finn abroad)!

  • Andie

    Hi. Thanks for commenting on my blog “China Buzz”. I have been reading through your website. It is really great. :) I will be studying Chinese, Buddhism, Chinese Economics, Chinese Ethics, and Chinese Business. What did you study while in China?

    Sara Reply:

    Thank you Andie and nice to have you over :) First when I came to China I was an exchange student and studied only Chinese language. In September I will start a bachelor degree in Chinese as a foreign language, but I think we have some culture and history courses too. I guess I will find out when I register after four weeks. I’m not that into business, but Business culture in China is very interesting and I took a course in it when I was still in university back in Finland.

  • http://www.slightlynoodles.com Claire

    Hi Sara!

    I have been combing the web, looking to network with lots of people living and working in China, and I came across you!

    I’m due to move out to the Guangzhou area in a few weeks’ time. I’m keeping my website, just as you do, to blog about the China of now, and also to have some fun ^0^

    Looking forward to reading through your posts, best wishes,
    Claire x

    Sara Reply:

    Hi Claire! So nice to hear from you! Welcome to Guangzhou. I have to check out your blog as soon as possible :)

    Claire Reply:

    Awesome ^-^

  • http://harristlo.blog.com Harrist

    Sara, dont think too much about the western guys say you are ugly. As your good friend, I totally believe that you are a beautiful girl, both external and internal of yourself. Keep on writing more great post. My blog is still being not updated for a long time.

    Sara Reply:

    Don’t worry Harrist, I know my self well enough to not think too much what some random guy says about me online. Thank you!

    maximus Reply:

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha,I’d like to say ,u r pretty by the way,welcome to china,hope u have a romantic relationship in china!BTW I love finland,halloween.haha!

  • asem

    hello sarhrai i am also foareigner live in guangzhou i hop u can sent me u email skype or any online chat thanks

    Sara Reply:

    You just left a comment to my About Me page. If you pay a little bit more attention you will also find my email address.

  • Amy

    Hey Sara – I tried emailing you with the address on the about me page but it didn’t work…can you please email me with the correct address…I’m wondering if you still live in China.

    Sara Reply:

    I sent you an email! In my about page my email reads like this: sara(a)sarajaaksola.com. You just have to change that (a) to @. This is a little trick I do to prevent having too much spam.

  • http://chinesemandarinlearner.blogspot.com/ Jono

    你好 Sara

    I like reading your blog. Interesting very interesting. Also I am a bit envious that you can live and study in China. I don’t have that luxury. Looking forward to reading future posts. Jono
    http://chinesemandarinlearner.blogspot.com/

    Sara Reply:

    Hi Jono! Nice to hear that you like my blog. I just found yours today. Didn’t you wrote that you’re perhaps going to China for a student exchange, is that so?

    p.s. Your comments went to spam first because of the links. You don’t have to add the link yourself, I can find it when I click your name.

    Jono Reply:

    Indeed I am going to China. Firth three weeks of 2012 at Shaanxi Normal University. Really looking forward to it.

    Jono Reply:

    That should be ‘First’ three weeks of 2012…

    Sara Reply:

    I hope you have a great trip and lots of opportunities to practice your Chinese.

  • http://www.chinahighlights.com Jack

    Hi, my dear Finnish friend.
    This is Jack. I come across your blog on the Internet. I am happy to hear that you are experiencing an authentic Chinese life in Guangzhou. It seems that you are enjoying every moment, be it happy or frustrated, in China. I wish you have a great trip in China. I am a staff from a Guilin-based tour online operator. I don’t know whether you have been to Guilin, a really charming place near Guangzhou. It is worthy to pay a visit for the fantastic mountails and rivers. May be, our kind trip advisors can offer you help if you ‘d like to visit Guilin, hehe. Here I have to confess that I am doing my job now, though i really want to read all your articles about your life in Guanghzou.The website:www.chinahighlights.com I work for is a great tour website. You can find a lot of information about major cities guide in China. May be it is helpful to you and your friends, and the visitors to your blog. I would kindly ask you whether can give us a link to http://www.chinahighlights.com/hotel/guangzhou-hotels/ on the sidebar of the homepage of your blog, I would appreciate if you doing so. In return, i can place your blog on our link page too if your are willing to. If you are not interested, that will be ok. It would not be a matter, and I will still wish you a great experience in China. Thank you, and Best regards.Please contact me via my email if you have any questions. I would glad to offer my help.

    Sara Reply:

    Hi Jack!

    I’ve been to Gulin and I do like the city a lot. The Li-river area is so beautiful and peaceful.

    I will consider the link offer.

    Jack Reply:

    Yeah! It seems you had a great trip in Guilin. The Li-river is quite drought now in Autumn. Luckly, my company is located on the bank of Li-river, and I often take a walk along the bank with my colleagues every day after lunch. That is really an enjoyment. From my company building, I can go to the famous Elephant Trunk Hill Park easily, and overlook the Shanhu Lake, the sun and the moon pagodas. May be you had visited these places. ^_^ Wish you happy every day in China!

  • kimmou

    awesome you.. maybeti you go life in hong gong doing some work whit big clints lot of money like china they do :D

    Jack Reply:

    It seems that you think Chinese people are awesome, though I can not read the words you wrote. But I must tell you that most of Chinese people are kind-hearted, friendly, and curious to foreigners. Just very few people will be bad to foreigners. Maybe you think my behavior is not good, but I have to tell you that this is what my com require me to do, which makes me feel sick too. At least, I never conceal myself, unlike some others who . Actualy, I could directly choose to do business with the blogger, and buy a link from her. but i choose not to. I know the blogger will never allow any commercial purpose on her blog. So i choose to talk to her, but it seems that what i do is not so proper, which may arouse lots of misunderstandings. I confess it is my fault. I also feel what i do is not good, but it is not my original intention.

    Sara Reply:

    Don’t worry Jack. I do have some links on my sidebar and people ask me to do link exchange quite often. Sometimes I reply quickly, and sometimes I have other things to do and decide it later on if I want to add that link or not. You asked very nicely Jack, so don’t worry.

    I think China is awesome because it’s so interesting. It’s not about if China or Chinese people are good or not, it’s about observing a culture that is so different from mine. A culture that I have always felt a connection to. I have noticed that Chinese people are very curious about foreigners, sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes I hope to be left alone. All those hello shouts and million questions can be tiring sometimes.

  • http://a Job

    Hi Sara,

    I have some personal questions that can not explain via comments.

    Will you let me mail to you plz?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Job

    Sara Reply:

    Hi Job,

    You can find my email address from this About Me page. Here it is again: sara(a)sarajaaksola.com. You just have to change the (a) to @.

  • Jeff Walkup

    Hello Sara,
    I’ve enjoyed your blog and your adventures in Guangzhou. My sister lives there with her American family and we are going to visit next week. They live at 203 Binjiang Dong Rd, so maybe we’ll see you at the park by the university and the river!

    Sara Reply:

    Hello Jeff.

    That must be right next to the north gate of the university. There’s always a lot happening every night, dancing and taiji. Are you still in Guangzhou and how have you liked your trip?

  • http://www.mezzoguild.com/ The Mezzofanti Guild

    Hi Sara,

    Your experience with Chinese is fascinating. Really enjoying reading your blog.

    Keep up the great work!

    -Donovan-

    Sara Reply:

    Thank you Donovan!

  • Soham “Wrick” Datta

    hi sara… i loved reading your blog… chanced upon it while looking for the malaysian embassy in guangzhou n there was ur finnish independence day picture… itz been such a pleasure.. i hav been studying medicine in guangzhou for a little more than 4 years now… i would love to see you walking down beijing lu or pearl river someday..hahah… great job..:)..:P

    Sara Reply:

    Thank you for leaving a comment Wrick! Are you studying Chinese or Western medicine?

    Maybe we might meet accidentally at some point :)

    Soham "Wrick" Datta Reply:

    i am studying western medicine…:) in nanfang yi ke daxue.. southern medical university…:) i m sure we can meet accidentally somewhere someday… hahah..:)..:) u r welcome by the way… one of the most interesting and enlightening blogs i have come across..:)

  • Alan

    How do you manage to keep your passion for China alive? I was so passionate about China too before coming here and I loved it, but as time goes by I lose the passion bit by bit and now I’m nearly at the point where I can’t stand being here anymore. I find it too dirty and the people are not civilised enough.

    Sara Reply:

    I have to admit that before coming to China I was really worried if I end up hating it all. Everything Chinese has been my passion since primary school and it would have been terrible to finally come to China and then miss home. But luckily I haven’t had a day during these two years when I would have wanted to go back to Finland for good. Of course I don’t know what happens in the future, but at least for now my passion is alive and doing quite well.

    How long have you been in China? I think that some of us that have a great passion for China also might have great expectations before coming, and when the reality doesn’t match the dreams, it can be hard.

  • WJJ

    Do you have QQ? 我应该会在中山大学学习。我希望你能告诉我 住中山大学怎么样。

    Sara Reply:

    有啊,发我个email,然后我可以告诉你我的QQ号码。

  • anurag

    Hi There,

    I just came across yourhttp://sarajaaksola.com and found it quite appealing. I would request to please provide us email id of your webmaster so that we can work together to promote each other’s websites.

    Thanks,

    Sara Reply:

    Hi There,

    You found my about page but didn’t find my email address that is written on this page?

  • Just Some Guy

    Hey Sara, I think I landed on your blog via a comment on a photographers website while searching for information on street photography. Started reading some of your posts out of curiosity. Anyway, I hope you enjoy your stay in China and that you’ll make your dreams come true. Greetings from Holland!

    Sara Reply:

    Hi Just Some Guy, I’m really enjoyning my life in China and hope that I would have more time to take photos.

  • http://www.facebook.com/phenoabdy abdyrahman

    wow!! this is really inspirational!! lonesome girl living this corner of the world inside complicated culture and ppl! i am really bewildered by this dillema. sara u r doing great things since u r living in ur dream and making others release their dreams and efforts cuz u r sending a message to western losers who living priceless life lmfaoo no offence but thats how i see em. good luck enjoy ur life in gz i live in gz too.

    Sara Reply:

    But don’t Chinese peple call their country the Middle Kingdom? I’m in the center of the whole world ;) But I don’t think that I’m that lonesome.

  • Matti Hartikka

    Hei. Olen menossa perjantaina Hongkongiin.
    Tarkoituksena on käydä myös Guangzhoussa. Voisitko kertoa muutamia katsomisenarvoisia paikkoja sieltä? Muutakin kuin arkkitehtuuria. Onko siellä sellaista paikkaa missä olisi esillä kiinalaista uutta designia?

    Sara Reply:

    Hei!

    Katsomisenarvoiset paikat riippuvat paljon siita, etta mika teita kiinnostaa. Itse olen suunnitellut reissua uuteen Guangdong Museum:iin Zhujiang New Townisssa, mutta en ole ehtinyt viela kayda. Museoista loytyy hyva lista Wikipediasta: http://wikitravel.org/en/Guangzhou#Museums_and_galleries

    Lempipaikkani Guangzhoussa on taas Xiaozhou kyla, jossa paasee kiertelemaan vanhan guangzhoulaisen kylan pikkukaduilla.

    Beijing Lu:lta (tai siis risteavalta kadulta) puolestaan loytyy erinomainen vietnamilainen ravintola Tiger Prawn.

    Modernimpaan puoleen taas paasee tutustumaan Tianhen alueella, johon saapuu juna Hong Kongista.

    Sun Yat-Sen Universityn pohjoisportti on mielenkiintoinen paikka illalla kahdeksan jalkeen kun aukiolle kokoontuu tanssijoita, taijin harrastajia ja muuten vain kiinnostuneita. Aukio on taynna joka ilta kunhan saat vain sallivat ja tanssityyleja loytyy jokaiseen makuun. Siella on mielenkiintoita nahda miten guangzhoulaiset viettavat iltojaan.

    Uudesta designista en valitettavasti osaa sanoa, en ole kierrellyt nayttelyissa tai gallerioissa.

    Jos vinkkaat tarkemmin minkalaiset kohteet kiinnostavat, niin voisin miettia jos tulee viela muita ehdotuksia mieleeni!

  • DuJiangYan

    Before 1840,中国(Middle kingdom) means the center of the world.For now 中国 is short for our country’s name: 中 华人民共和 国.

  • http://www.renren.com/dennisisawesome Dennis Jin

    Hi Sara !
    I saw your posts on speakingofchina and it’s been a pleasure to trace to your website. :)
    I’m Dennis from Jiangsu, China,currently studying preparation for my freshman year beginning in the States. I’m so delighted to see you found your Chinese love here and glad that you reckon it a right choice.
    For me life seems hopeful whilst unpredictable. I’m always worrying about myself.

    Dennis

    Sara Reply:

    Hi Dennis!

    It’s nice to see you over here at my blog and thank you for your kind words. I hope you don’t have too much worries in your life, but again, we all have our own worries.

  • Yung Huiying

    Hi Sara!

    How are you? I can’t beleive I am ‘bumping’ into you here!
    I’m Huiying, we met at Guangzhou university. 

    Huiying :)

    Sara Reply:

    Hi Huiying, welcome to my blog! How have you been?

  • http://www.sarajaaksola.com/ Sara Jaaksola

    Thank you for your comment and your email, I’ll reply here if it’s okey for you.

    Actually Finland is so small at that we don’t have any chinatowns there, some Chinese restaurants yet, but that’s it.

    There are also more people studying Japanese, than Mandarin. Maybe Finns are just active online sharing their stories?

    I have read orange-rain’s blog, but don’t know her better. I guess she is just busy at the moment, I hope too that there’s nothing else happening.

  • Martín Iraizoz

    Hi Sara!.
    My name’s Martín and I’m from Argentina.
    I’ve been studying chinese for 2 1/2 years so far. I’ve been following your blogs for some time now (I find both of them awesome, you really put a lot of effort on them). Now I’m heading to China in September, for a 5-week holiday.
    For your knowledge about China is really astonishing, if you don’t mind, I’d be thankful if I could share with you my travelling plans for these 5 weeks and get your feedback and suggestions / recommendations. If so, please let me know, I’d really appreciate it.
    Thanks for you help!
    Mtn.

  • Eric (Erkki Malkki)

    Hello Sara,
    I am a dual-citizen of the US and Finland, and I am also living in Guangzhou! Finnish is the language of my mother’s side of the family, I would like to learn it better. Would you be interested in doing some paid tutoring? It is almost impossible to find Finnish people in Guangzhou! 你喜欢孙中山大学吗?

  • JS

    Hi Sara. I loved your story “What’s Wrong With Western Men In China”! Have you any more of those stories to share? My friend and I laughed a lot at it. We are now begging for more. Thanks.

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hi JS! Thank you for your comment! I actually do have a similar post idea on my mind, now just have to find the best way to write it out. You know, find the balance so it’s funny, not insulting ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ckattner Chris Kattner

    Hi! Just found your blog today and so for i have enjoyed what iv’e read.
    Here on the About me page you suggest that we post on the forum. I’d love to but i cannot register to post, how can i do it? i know this isn’t the place for forum help but i wasn’t sure where else i could ask you.

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hi Chris! Unfortunately I got so many spam registrations, that I had to remove the normal registration form from the forum. It was getting really hard to spot the real users from the spam. Right now if you want to register you can send me an email with your nickname, email and password, I will then add you as a member myself. I also added a new section to the forum, Infor & News, to share information about registering and becoming a member.

  • MIchael Su

    I wanna ask you out for dinner, haha….I just moved here from Shanghai….

  • Laura

    Hi Sara!
    Here a Spanish girl with a Shandong boyfriend living in Shanghai! Nice to see your blog and experiences.
    I have studied at Tampereen Yliopisto in 2008-2009 with an exchange program!
    Mina rakastan Suomea!

  • George Wu, AIA

    I would still like to go back to China to practice or to teach architecture. I was born in Hong Kong in 1936, has been a registered architect in New York for the past 42 years. I attended Pui Ching in Guangzhou from 1947 to 1949 , and graduated in Hong Kong Pui Ching on 1955. My resume included working for I,M,Pei architect and associates, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill architects, etc. I went to high school with Victor Sun, a decendant of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. So you know I can speak and write Chinese for sure. George Wu, AIA 2013-1-26

  • http://www.facebook.com/fuqian.cui Fuqian Cui

    I’ve spent whole morning to read through your blog, you are a pure objective passionate caring free soul. I hope you have a wonderful life in China. 一般我都是看贴不回的。。

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Wow thank you so much Cui! 谢谢你,我的生活还挺不错的,每天可以学到很多,体验很多。我很开心你这一次决定回复了!

  • Rick

    Hi Sara, I have been reading your blogs and I think they are great. I will be moving to Guangzhou in June for 1 year to undertake research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. However, as i don’t really speak that much Chinese and being British, I was wondering how hard is it to get by with limited Chinese. Also what is the night life like as a student in Guangzhou? Thanks

    Rick

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hi Rick!

    There are many expats living here without knowing a word of Chinese。 So it’s tototally possible, living here just gets easier and you can get deeper in to the culture if yoi know Chinese.

    Night life here isn’t a problem at. There are numerous pubs, bars and clubs for anyone interested in going out. Choices range from expensive clubs to some cheaper bars.

  • bobby

    calm girl . I like you.

  • workwyz

    路过~~~欢迎来到中国(welcome to china!)

  • xiaoY

    HI!给你一个建议,你可以尝试用中文更新你的blog了!广大网友在语法和用词上给你纠正!这样进步的更快!

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    谢谢你的建议!我好久没写过中文博文,希望以后还会写多一些。

  • http://languagewanderer.com/ Mariola

    I found your blog by accident. It looks great! It’s very inspirational. I’m planning to learn Chinese soon, but I’m afraid that it’ll be a long process :)

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hi Mariola :) Great that you ended up on my blog and you’re planning to learn Chinese! It is a long road to learn any language, but totally worth it. Let me know if you have any questions.

    Mariola Reply:

    Great thx :) you know I have a question that it’s probably the most common! How long does it take to learn Chinese? I’m not talking about native-like fluency but the ability to survive in China and about being able to have a conversation.

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    I would say that in a year of studying you could get to a level where ou can survive in China is easy daily situations like eating out, shopping, asking for directions and introducing your self.

    One can earn a lot more, or less, in a year depending on how hard he/she studies :)

    Mariola Reply:

    Yeah, right :) i’ve heard various opinion on this topic, some ppl say that it takes years to be able to speak Chinese, but it can be taken down to the amount of work I guess

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    It all depends on what a sentence like “to be able to speak a language” means to a person. There are full message board fights going on about the definition of fluency too, hard to explain it fully :) And learning a language never ends, there are always new paths in front of you.

  • ezio

    i form china and i liveing qingdao city ,and welcome to qingdao!我的英文不好。。

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    谢谢ezio,希望有一天我有机会去青岛玩。

  • Anthony

    Hi Sara,

    I really like your blog. I am moving in July to Guangzhou and I think you’re blog is very helpful! if you have any advice please let me know

    thanks!

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Thank you Anthony and welcome to Guangzhou! If you have any questions, just let me know.

  • http://www.sarajaaksola.com/ Sara Jaaksola

    Moi Onni!

    Unfortunately I have forgotten my QQ password and can’t get a new one. Out of QQ for the moment at least. Do you know Finnish?

  • kent

    Just came across your blog… love reading it, thanks for sharing all your experience with us :))

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Thank you Kent, so sweet :)

  • Rufus

    Hello Sara,

    How are you, have you got my message couple of days ago? Thanks!

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hi Rufus, did you send a comment or an email? I’ll check :)

  • http://livingadreaminchina.com/ Sara Jaaksola

    Hi Rufus,

    Unfortunately your comment went to the spam folder, that sometimes happens when the comment includes a link.

    Actually the best place for eating and shopping at University town is now Beigang. It has transformed completed during these last two years or so.

    I checked out your website. Thank you for the offer, but as I’m writing from a different perpective and I’m not en expert in Chinese girls, I’m not sure how I could help :)

    Rufus Reply:

    Hello Sara,

    Thanks for the message. Right now I come back to school only one or two times per year, so my info could be very out dated…haha.

    Is there any way I could send messages to you directly instead this “about page”? Facebook, for example?

    Thanks!

    Rufus

  • Moazzam

    Hi Sara

    Its pretty nice to see you devoted and disciplined efforts to your “Living a dream in china”. The words i want to put here actually wants to encourage you to go to the next level to your blog efforts, perhaps writing columns, consider writing a book, research on particular subject. To me the best i saw in these blog posts the person inside you rather than the content of the website, and its really inspiring.

    i my self living in china for last 7 years and have a hell of experience but unable to put in words, or haven’t find a way to translate it for others so that any other person can get some good benefit out of it.

    Keep up the good efforts

    Moazzam

  • fengxin

    欢迎来到中国,待久一点,你会发现这个国家的活力和自由。不同文化群体的交流总是有很多摩擦,不过用心看待,就会发现很多惊喜。祝你开心

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    谢谢fengxin!我在中国已经发现了不少惊喜。

  • Tony

    Congrats on your upcoming graduation!

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Thank you Tony!

  • Dr. Bilal

    Hello Sara and other mates.

    I like this blog… Useful Info and life experiences… Thanks Everybody for sharing…

    Dr. Bilal

  • Monika Kubikova

    HI Sara. My name is Monika. I live in Taiwan for 3 years, working in the city called Taichung. I have many very similar experiences to you. BTW, I am originally from Slovakia. you can add me on facebook and we can talk and share if you want. I totally understand how you feel and why you still like it there, coz I am quite similar.. moni.kubikova157@gmail.com

  • Aaron Stone

    I find your website is a great useful one!
    Thanks for sharing so much wonderfur information and tips for those nonnative
    learners who wan to know more about China and Chinese. I am a marketing
    director of an international language and culture communication center located
    in Beijing. Our center not only has mandarin training courses but also has
    exquisite, interesting culture courses such as Kungfu, Chinese chess, painting,
    paper-cut, beads fabrication, clay figure and shadow play etc. I hope we can
    find out some way to cooperate with each other in commercial part such as link
    interchange or student recruitment agent or some other ways that you think is
    better. I strongly think it would be a mutual benefit to each other. How do you
    think? Please write to our center email box (languageease@163.com) or telephone
    me: 008615810724187. If any trouble caused to you, please forgive me!

  • Kaiser

    亚雪芳!你好!我又一个问题!出于好奇你父母为什么住在中国几年了?我很好奇因为八十年代中所住在中国的外国人口不但很少而且当时来华外国人没有那么多个人自由。由此可知你父母住在中国的理由极可能有趣极了!

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    你好!那时候我妈妈在芬兰大使馆当秘书,我爸爸是陪她过来的。

  • Anthony Liu

    Sara, you are absolutely an inspiration to me! I am a chinese american born in the US and I’ve been wanting to move back to either HK or Guangzhou( where both of my parents are from), I can speak fluent cantonese, and a tiny bit of mandarin, I can fool people that im local by not having an accent. but to be sure, my writing in chinese in elementary/ intermediate at best! Finding your blog is the best thing thats ever happened to me because i can pretty much know I going to have to learn how to survive as a “laowai” as well. and to use your resources that you so generously share for learning chinese will help me alot! My primary aspiration and dream is to learn chinese/ engage/ and learn my culture ( Learn about myself and my people), secondary is business and to work in finance/ business. It’s good to know there are gyms in China too!!! :))

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hi Anthony, I’m so glad that you find my blog helpful to you. Thank you so much for your kind words. I am sure that with your determination you can achieve anything!

  • Tara

    On erittäin mukavaa lukea blogi suomalaisesta ja hänen kokemuksista Kiinassa! Olen muuttamassa Pekingiin opiskelemaan kiinaa minun kiinalaisten miehen kanssa kesäällä 2014.. odotan innolla!

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hieno juttu, etta olette tulossa Kiinaan tana kesana! Ja mukavaa, etta pidat blogistani :)

  • Jenny

    Hi Sara, I was searching on English articles about Chinese people’s perspective on fat/thin and enjoyed your story very much! Therefore I started to look at other blog that you posted and then the ‘about me’ section. Much to my surprise, you are my 校友 as I studied in Sun Yat-Sen for my undergraduate! Very well done for the blog and 加油!

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hi Jenny, wow, that’s really a nice surprise! Did you study business Chinese or teaching Chinese? It would be nice to know what you and your classmates did after graduation.

    Jenny Reply:

    Hi Sara! I was studying Teaching Chinese and am teaching Mandarin in the UK now. Nice wedding pictures! Congratulations!

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Wow, that’s so cool! If you don’t mind, I would really like to hear more about your current job and how it’s like to teach Chinese as a non-native speaker.

    Jenny Reply:

    Congratulations on getting 奖学金! How very exciting!

    Sorry for the late reply. I was away for a week and the end of school year is always busy. Of course I am happy to share my teaching experience with you! I’ve send you an email the address ends with @sarajaaksola:disqus .com.

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Thank you Jenny! I got your email and will reply to you soon :)

  • cindy

    Hi Sara, I’m Cindy from Indonesia. I have read some of your blogs, you’re so inspire me not to let go my Chinese. Let’s be friend! :) I love Chinese so much but have a bit consideration either i will study in China again after my bachelor graduation or just having a course in Indonesia (my hometown), because I’m 22 this year yet don’t have any work experiences :( i’ve been 1 year in Guangzhou and yes, Guangzhou is so nice and didn’t make me homesick at all! Hope living and working in China don’t just a dream, be reality please …

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Nice to hear from you Cindy! I am sure the right answer will present it self when you are deciding weather to study there or come to China again. No matter where, it’s great to hear you aren’t giving up with Chinese. Keep up the good work!

  • Lawrence Robinson

    Teaching Chinese being lao wai

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    :) At the moment I have a Swedish woman as a student that I meet twice per week. She is a total beginner and it’s amazing to see how she learns.

  • Faizah

    Hi Sara! I came across ur blog while seaching for things to do in guangzhou.I really enjoy reading you blog.Continue writing ya!

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Thank you Faizah!