Well a lot has been going on since my last post. Since May, Iâ€™ve traveled to a city called Da Tong in the Shanxi province, finished my semester at Shandong University, and performed at the international student graduation ceremony.
Da Tong was a very interesting experience to say the least. Since Da Tong is not a very big city by Chinese standards the only way to get there from Jinan(where I was staying) was by bus. The trip by bus takes about 11-12 hours. My friend suggested we take a sleeper bus. I thought a sleeper bus was going to be great, but the conditions of the bus was far below my expectations. The bus basically has twenty beds about 16 inches in width and 5 feet in length, no bathroom, and 20 pairs of feet. I donâ€™t know about you guys but that smells like a good time. Anyways, Da Tong itself was a great city to visit. The city is a lot smaller than Beijing and Shanghai, but the cultural experience, natural, and industrial scenery is amongst the best in China. You can check out this link My Pics for photos of my travels.
Shandong University was a great experience, I met great people, had a good time, and my Mandarin has improved tremendously. By meeting all these people I now have a place to stay in Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Holland, Israel, Italy, Korea, and Malaysia. Through school, interaction with the locals, and tutoring I am now able hold a decent conversation using Mandarin. After the final examinations, there was a graduation ceremony for all international students. At this ceremony I sang a song and performed a skit from a popular Chinese sitcom. Video footage coming soonâ€¦.
I am currently living in Beijing waiting anxiously for the Olympics to start (I found a job). Thank you Allie!!!! Well hopefully it will not take another two months before my next post. Talk to you next time!
Okay so itâ€™s been a while since my last postâ€¦.what can I say Iâ€™m having a great time! Well after spending close to two months in Jinan life just gets easier and easier.
Letâ€™s get started with the class load. If you are coming to Shandong University to study Mandarin be prepared for an intense class load. Depending on your skill level, which is determined by a placement test, you will have roughly 20-25 hours of classes a week. The amount of time spent in the classroom should be a testament to how well your Mandarin improves.
Letâ€™s talk about food. Jinan is way cheaper than other big cities like Beijing and Shanghai; I can honestly say that you can eat three meals a day for about 3-5 US Dollars. Obviously the majority of the cuisine offered in Jinan is Chinese; however, there are variety of other choices such as Italian, Japanese, and Pakistani. Also located on Shandong Universityâ€™s campus is a four-story cafeteria with a variety of Chinese selections. If you are having a hard time adjusting to authentic Chinese cuisine, there is always McDonalds and KFC both of which are walking distance from the campus. If you want to do grocery shopping there are plenty of grocery stores located in Jinan. The one that most international students go to is Carrefour.
Letâ€™s move on to transportation. The main modes of transportation in China is walking or riding a bike. A bike can be purchased in Jinan for about 100 RMB. Public transportation in Jinan is very cheap and pretty convenient. A bus ride costs 1 RMB and taxi meters start out at 7.50 RMB.
All in all the lifestyle in Jinan is pretty simple. The people in Jinan are very nice and welcoming of foreigners. Though Jinan is quite small, it is located close to major cities like Beijing and Qingdao (three and a half hours by train). If you ever feel the need to get away, you are only a train ride away. Well thatâ€™s all for now, until next time. Zai-jian!
After a long journey I am finally here in Jinan, CN. The city is a lot older and less modern than I originally thought, but i guess that will be part of the experience. On my first day at Shandong University I basically filled out paperwork all day, opened a bank account, and took a placement test. I opened an account with Bank of China since it is the biggest state run bank in China and is basically everywhere. Anyone that plans on staying in China for a long period of time should definitiely consider opening a bank account. It is a pretty easy process and the employees are very friendly and helpful. Anyways….here are some pictures of my dorm and kind of what to expect if you plan on coming here. I will have more updates later. Zai jian! (good-bye!)