Living in China, but am I truly immersed?

Tom wrote a great blog post last summer about how immersed you truly are when living in China. I left a comment on his blog about my own experience at the time, but I think it’s time to re-evaluate my immersion rate.

Chinese language

My classes are completely in Chinese and I speak Chinese with my classmates. Only on few occasions I speak English with my American classmate, but she also prefers to speak Chinese (She’s actually native Cantonese speaker). Outside classes I hang out with my classmates or with my boyfriend (whit who I speak Chinese all the time). I meet English of Finnish speaking friends once in a while and sometimes speak to my cat in Finnish.

Most of what I write is in English or Finnish, that’s an area I should improve. Just wait for Monday and my first blog post in Chinese!

For spoken language my immersion rate could be somewhere between 80-90%.

Chinese food

Because it’s a holiday now I’ve eaten more Finnish food than usually. When the semester starts I will probably eat out more and that means more Chinese food. I’m also lucky to have such a great cook at home who can cook delicious Chinese food for me!

So perhaps about 50-60% what I eat is Chinese food.


All of my teachers are of course Chinese and two of my classmates are originally Chinese. Other classmates come from many different countries, but we almost always talk in Chinese with each other. At home I have one Chinese boyfriend and one Chinese cat, but I’m not sure if my cat Lucy meows in Finnish or Chinese.

I’m still trying to find good Chinese friends, that could almost be my most important goal for 2012. I don’t make friend easily or quickly, I need time to get to know someone and let someone to get to know me. I don’t expect my friends to teach me Chinese and I’m not teaching English, but I still hope to make non-English speaking Chinese friends. I think my Chinese is good enough to be a friend.

It’s really hard to rate this one. 11% of my classmates (and friends) are Chinese (even though they don’t speak Mandarin fluently), 100% of my teachers are Chinese, 95% of people I see outside are Chinese.

Pop culture

This is the section I hope to improve this year. If I listen to music I do listen to Chinese songs, but most of the TV shows I watch are American ones. It’s hard to find Chinese TV series that I enjoy because all of them seem to be too fake and too dramatic. I do like 裸婚时代, are there other series similar to this one? And where are Chinese versions of Desperate Housewives or Gossip Girl? Or where can I find them dubbed into Chinese?

All the magazines I read are basically in Finnish because my mother sends me new ones every month. I’ve tried buying Chinese magazines, but then in the end I didn’t really read them.

For pop culture my immersion rate is only about 20% at the moment and I have to get it up. I’m thinking of a goal for this section, but I’m not sure what if could be. How many episodes of 裸婚时代 I should watch per week? How much American TV am I allowed?


Thank you again Tom for your great original postNow I just want to know how immersed are you, my Chinese learning reader?