Have you ever wondered what life in China is like from a student perspective?
I taught writing last semester and offered as a prize to the best student in my class, the chance to get their essays published.
I have reproduced below, with permission, two essays written by my best student, Xu Jing (pictured above). They certainly paint a clear picture of what student life in China is like.
I hope that readers of this blog will find them both insightful and interesting.
'Student life at Jiangsu University' by Xu Jing, Class 1501
It is now almost three years since I was admitted to Jiangsu University in 2015. I have made progress in many aspects of life as a college student.
I chose Chinese International Education as my major because I had wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl.
Students at Jiangsu University in eastern China.
I love Chinese and I am glad to see that an increasing number of people from other countries now want to learn Chinese.
We take many related courses every week e.g. language lessons and literature lessons. We also learn some traditional Chinese art such as calligraphy.
As a student, I’m always trying my best to acquire more knowledge and to learn more skills which can help me to become an excellent Chinese teacher in the near future.
More importantly, as a student of Jiangsu University, I see many fancy things that I have never seen before and get to meet some talented people who are very smart and hardworking.
The student life at this university enriches my life and broadens my horizons. What’s more, I have been more independent since I came to this university.
My mother used to cook and do the laundry for me when I was in high school. If I needed money, I would turn to my parents for help.
But now, I can do things on my own pretty well. In addition, I also do part-time jobs in my spare time to earn some money.
This not only lessens the burden of my parents but also helps me to be more independent.
There are all kinds of after-class activities at Jiangsu University.
I joined the International Club when I was in my first year. In this club, I met people from all over the world.
Even if we are from different countries, we can still share our ideas and stories.
Xu Jing has enjoyed meeting people from around the world.
We even celebrated some western festivals together e.g. Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day. This was a meaningful experience for me.
And now, I have a language-learning partner from America. I can teach him Chinese and learn more English from him at the same time.
As students, we all live in dormitories with our classmates. Dormitory life is an important part of student life.
I get along well with my room-mates. We have become more like family than friends.
In conclusion, the student life at Jiangsu University is an absolutely unforgettable experience for me. It’s playing an important role in my life.
'What I did during my summer vacation' by Xu Jing, Class 1501
I spent my whole summer vacation in my hometown this year.
I study hundreds of kilometers away from home and rarely have any opportunities to see my family and old friends. Therefore the summer vacation is a period of precious time for me.
For most of the time during my summer vacation, I stayed at home with my family.
In the mornings, I often helped my mother with the housework. Sometimes we went to the supermarket to get some vegetables and fruits for lunch.
After that, I would help my mom and dad to prepare lunch in the kitchen. In the afternoons, I always read some Chinese classic novels e.g. The Outlaws of the Marsh.
In addition, I would have lessons via the internet in order to acquire more knowledge.
During the evenings, I would either go for a walk with my dad and little brother or wash the dishes.
During my summer vacation, I went to visit my grandparents with my cousins once a week.
I thought that my grandparents needed more care and love from us since they are getting older. They were bound to be happier in our company.
Also, there was a big grape tree in their yard. I spent a lot of time picking grapes with my cousins.
During the last week of the summer vacation, I saw a film and had a buffet with my best friend. We both had a great time.
We also climbed Fajiu Mountain near our town one sunny afternoon. That was tiring, but we were happy.
Before the summer vacation, our dog gave birth to two little cute puppies. So I took care of the dogs and had fun with them during my summer vacation.
The cute dogs brought much fun to me and my family, and I took many interesting pictures of them.
In short, the summer vacation provided a much-needed opportunity for me to have some rest and spend time with my family.
This year’s vacation was one of the best that I’ve ever had.