07 Aug Glen,UK
– UK –
“I’d definitely recommend coming with an open mind. At first the excitement of living in a country was great. But a few months I started to hate it as I was focusing on everything ‘wrong’ with the food and culture, but then came through to love the country in a way I never imagined I would! I’d also recommend to stay away from the durian fruit!”
- When did you come to China the first time for the hotel internship? How long did you stay? What’s the name of your hotel placement?
I came to China in May 2016, stayed roughly 12 months and worked in Fairmont Yangcheng Lake in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province
- What was the best story from the last experience that you can share? And the worst?
- What did you learn from the last experience in China?
Other than gaining knowledge of the different language and culture, I learnt a lot about myself. I was situated in Kunshan, a small satellite city with virtually no foreigners at first this was daunting but I learnt to become a lot more independent person and also to step out of my comfort zone as much as I can as this is the best way to grow. I also grew a love for photography which probably indirectly came from being in somewhere I wasn’t used to at all and found plenty of subjects to photograph.
- What are the transferrable skills that you learned from last time in China?
As mentioned in the previous question it’s probably the stepping out my comfort zone that as helped me the most.
- How much Mandarin did you learn from last time? And what’s your Mandarin level now? Do you think you will keep studying it?
Probably not as much as I should have！My ‘street Mandarin’ is quite good and get myself through most situations I’m in with my basic skills, I also find I can usually get the jist of conversations when listening. I do have plans to study it but at the moment I’m back living in China living with a Chinese couple so they’re my teachers for now!
- What about Chinese food? Did you change your way of looking at Chinese food after you left China? What’s your favourite Chinese food?
At first I loved the street food, but then like many others I learnt my lesson that these should be an occasional treat and not your dinner every night or your stomach will pay for it! My opinion on Chinese food has definitely changed. At first I thought it was just Noodles and Rice! Although to an extent this is true, but there is so many variations of both and also so many other dishes. Having spent about 15 accumulative months in the country I’m still discovering so many different foods! My favourites probably being Steamed buns, la tiao (which I describe as spicy vegetarian jerky haha) and definitely my least favourite is smelly tofu!
- What would you say to the future students thinking of coming to China for the same experience?
I’d definitely recommend coming with an open mind. At first the excitement of living in a country was great. But a few months I started to hate it as I was focusing on everything ‘wrong’ with the food and culture, but then came through to love the country in a way I never imagined I would! I’d also recommend to stay away from the durian fruit!