It started young. In primary school grade 6 we were asked to make presentations of countries to our notebooks. I chose China because my parents had lived there before I was born and I could add some photos and money to my work.
When I went to middle school I wanted to study Chinese language but didn’t really have the possibility for that. Instead I just carried my father’s old Berlitz phrasebook with me.
During high school dad bought me a Chinese learning textbook and I practiced with a little girl from the local Chinese restaurant. At that time I also chose my Chinese name 雪芳 Xuefang and one teacher gave me the surname 亚 Ya.
When I finally get in to The University of Tampere I started my Chinese classes. After two beginners classes I switched to summer university in order not to have a break in my studies during summer vacation. I still think that my Chinese teacher in Finland was the best one.
Last Autumn came with big changes and I decided to go to China. The whole February I travelled in China before coming to The University of Guangzhou where I’ve been studying Chinese for four months now. I’m soon ending my first semester and will continue here the next two semesters as well. After that I want to start doing a Bachelor degree in Chinese language in some other university in China.
People ask me frequently why I came to China and why I’m so interested about it. My best answer is this. My mother was expecting me when she was still in Beijing so maybe at that time something went wrong and caused this illness that I’m happy to suffer long term.