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Down below, we have a short report of one of our students awarded with a grant who, nowadays, is in the city of Changchun, northeast China.

 

My experience at the Northeast Normal University

Student: Jorge Manuel Barbera Rovira

 

As a Confucius Institute of Valencia grant holder, I have had the chance to study a one-year Chinese course at the Northeast Normal University at the city of Changchun (region of Jilin).

The Northeast Normal University of Changchun is one of the most prestigious universities of the country in the teaching of Chinese, training 15000 students from all over the country every year and around 300 foreigners both in master’s degrees and postgraduate courses and teaching of the Chinese language.

We have just finished the first school four-month period and I have to say that, in general, I am completely satisfied both for the classes I have received and the environment and comradeship found within the university and the foreign students’ school. Due to the great amount of students, their different nationalities and levels of Chinese the classes are divided in groups depending n the level, which allows the existence of small groups with around 10 or 15 students per class. In particular, my class has 15 students coming from countries so different such as Spain, South Korea (most of NENU’s foreign students are from this country, due to geographical proximity), North Korea, Japan, Russia, Cape Verde or Turkey. This mixture of nationalities means that Chinese becomes the only possible language common in our conversations, which facilities the assimilation of new words and the improvement of relationships among us.

Day-to-day at school is very similar to that of a Spanish university with some particularities, like the fact that, differently from Spanish universities, in China people tend to live within the campus, which makes relationships among students more intense.

Each morning, three hours of four subjects are thought with a break between two subjects. The differentiation between subjects allows a higher specialisation and a better language assimilation. Hence, in my case, we have vocabulary, conversation, aution, reading and grammatical subjects. Obviously, all subjects are taught by highly-qualified natives without using any other language but chinese.

Other great advantage of studying here is that classes are taught following the ‘Chinese method’, that is, the student has to previously prepare the lessons and, at the end of it, he shall go over it again and prepare the following session. On the other hand, the speed and pace the classes are taught makes it hard for the student to follow the sessions, feeling overwhelmed by the speed at which Korean or Japanese students assimilate Chinese (for obvious cultural reasons). This obliges western students to get one’s act together and prepare the classes previously, which is something we are not used to doing in Europe.

When the classes are over, we usually go to the canteens which are opened practically all day long, being a place where we can appreciate the great devotion Chinese people have for food. After dinner, you still have all afternoon to study, practise language exchanges with native Chinese students, practise sport, watch movies or series in Chinese walk around and get to know the city.

In Changchun there are two determinants which, a priori, may seem inconvenient but which seen from a different perspective may even be a great advantage for the study of Chinese: On the one hand, Changchun is not specially rich in monuments or places of interest for a tourist, as it has a really short history in which the most remarkable event is having been the capital of the puppet state of Manchuguo during the Japanese invasion from 1931 to 1945. Hence, the city is a vast extension (similar to that of Madrid) with soviet-style housing blocks, with huge industrial areas in the outskirts mainly dedicated to automobiles (not in vain it is know as China’s Detroit as it produces 10% of the total amount of automobiles). Something which does not make it really attractive to the eyes of the foreigners.

On the other hand, Changchun is lashed by an intense and cold winter since the end of October until May, with icy temperatures which can reach 25 negative degrees, which impedes the development of any outdoor activity. Curiously, the city does not pay tribute to its name ‘Eternal Spring’, reason why, as students, we tend to joke saying that the Chinese name is a mistake, and that it should be ‘Eternal Wait for Spring’. These two factors oblige the students to spend more time studying which becomes, in the long run, an advantage for learning and knowledge assimilation.

Another distinctive feature of Changchun is that, differently from popular cities such as Beijing or Shanghai, here there are not many foreigners outside the university, and even less European, so any occasion we have to talk to the local population becomes a chance to practice what was learnt in class. It is precisely in the warmth of its people where the beauty of this cold and distant city resides.

Out of these five months of stay at the Northeast Normal University, I would remark the ability to live, study and learn Chinese following the Chinese way, to have the opportunity of meeting people from several countries and cultures having discovered that, within the deep Manchu winter there is a warm place populated by extraordinary people who welcomes you with open arms.

 

东北的锅包肉

留学生姓名: Clara Serer Martinez  国籍: 西班牙



我 的中文名字是克莱拉,是西班牙瓦伦西亚大学的学生。我既是瓦伦西亚大学孔子学院的学生,同时也还在学习我的专业。我是大四的学生,快要毕业了。我的专业是 汉语文字学和德语文字学。尽管我还没毕业,但是去年我获得了去长春学习汉语的奖学金。2012年8月28日到20131月15日,我在东北师范大学学习。 汉办和瓦伦西亚大学孔子学院帮助我去中国以提高我的汉语水平。我觉得去中国学习中文是一个非常宝贵的经历。

 

在 长春的时候我是东北师范大学的留学生。东北师范大学在中国是一个很重要和知名的大学。这所大学的老师们都是很好的老师。他们教学生教得很得心应手。他们都 会说英语,所以老师们都很容易了解留学生的学习情况。我觉得在那里学汉语学得很快,比在我的国家快很多,因为在中国我们有很好的学习语言的环境。


我 喜欢中国的生活,也喜欢我在中国时的生活。刚到的时候我不太习惯,因为那里的生活习惯跟这里的很不一样,但是一个星期后我就习惯了,我觉得中国人的生活真 有意思。中国的各种风俗很多,还有很知名的节日。我想在长春过中国的新年,不过最后没有过成,因为我考试后回到了西班牙。在那里学习的时候,我们大学组织 了一个圣诞节晚会。留学生们很享受这个晚会:

 

有的学生唱歌,有的跳舞,有的读中文诗。那天我们也表演了。我们班准备了一个中国古诗。在戏台上我和同学们边走边读这首中国古诗。我表演一位中国美女,所以我穿了一件很漂亮的旗袍。


我 很喜欢中国的文化,可是我最喜欢的是中国菜。刚到的时候我不太喜欢吃辣的东西,但是现在很喜欢。我觉得中国菜都很好吃。东北人做饭做得很精致可口。好吃的 东西很多,每天我都去中国饭店吃不同的菜。我最喜欢的菜是东北的锅包肉。我每个星期上完太极拳课后就去吃好多锅包肉。我也喜欢吃干豆腐丝。在西班牙没有东 北的饭馆,所以我的中国朋友们教我怎么准备这个好吃的菜。

 

冬天到30度零下!

留学生姓名: Cristina Amat     国籍: 西班牙

 


每次乘坐出租车的时候,司机师傅都会问我,“来长春多少年了? 我来长春已经一年了 ”

 

当初我收到孔子奖学金的时候,我连长春在世界上哪里也不知道。
所以第一步是在网上查资料。“冬天零下30度!!真的有人可以在那里住吗?”


后来我突然想起来一个城市,我一月在电视的新闻里看到过,这个城市叫

“哈尔滨”。冬天的时候他们建了很多冰雕。不管别人会怎样说,为了学习中文,我选择去了那里,长春是个非常好的城市,那里的人说普通话说得很标准。


第二步是到长春的时候办理先需要的东西。两个中国学生帮助了我,他们买了手机SIM卡给我,而且他们帮我问公寓房东是否能给我一个单人房间。


长 春不如北京漂亮,可是天空很蓝,空气很清新,那里的人的性格也很有特色,非常豪爽,我非常喜欢。在长春可以认识到很多来自不同国家不同城市的人们,例如韩 国、日本、蒙古、塔吉克斯坦、哈萨克和俄罗斯等等。跟他们上课很有动力,因为他们一般进步得很快,所以他们经常会提高班级的水平,但是有时候你感觉比较吃 力,因为你不如他们学得快。

冬天来了!我们连逛街都不会去,因为太冷了。不过你不必呆在家里学习。我发现了很多咖啡厅,你可以跟朋友见面,一起讨论学习的内容,也可以选择自己一个人在咖啡厅里安安静静地学习。

去年雪下得很多。街上都是白色,路都看不到了。但是中国学生很认真地帮忙打扫马路。我很喜欢东北人,因为他们都很热情,即使是不认识的人,他们也会主动地去帮忙。


因为得到了孔子奖学金,我来到了这里,在生活上我认识了很多的朋友,在学习上我也收获了许多知识,让我受益匪浅。我爱上了这里,在以后的生活中,我希望可以在这个城市留下更多属于我的脚印。

 
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