February 2018

I got back to reality real quick after the Christmas break when the second semester started off with two week exam period. After finishing all of my exams, the lectures and seminars started again and everything is now back in full swing.

For those who cannot really imagine what studying Chinese is like, I’d like to give you a little sneak peak into my weekly routine. On Mondays, we have a two hour class in which we learn all the new grammar, sentence structure, dialogs and new vocabulary. After this, we practice what we learned in our „Speaking and Listening“ class on Tuesdays. This class i salso for two hours, but what is great about it, is that there is only around 10 of us, therefore we get a chance to really speak up and practice and additionally ask any questions regarding Monday’s class. We have a „Extensive Reading“ class on Wednesdays and as the name suggests all we do is read more texts and learn more words. This is all wrapped up on Thursdays when we get the chance to write all of the new characters that we learned throughout the week and try to remember them. All of our Chinese teachers are native speakers and there is a connection between all of our lessons, thus we can aske ven more questions in case we did not understand anything from previous lessons. When it comes to Spanish, it is not as difficult and all of us are already at an intermediate level, hencewhy we only have about 3 hours of grammar and oral classes altogether. This enables us to have 2 lectures a week about Spain and Latin America’s culture, revolutions, protests, media, theatre, literature, etc. Although we have a lot of studying to do, my friends and I decided to go out and do new things and explore Manchester a bit more. You can enter most of the galeries and museums in the UK for free so we went to the famous Manchester Museum. It has countless artefacts going from as far as Ancient Egypt, old coins and bills to the more technological era with a miniature of space and even vivarium. The next on our list was a Whitworth gallery in which we saw many beautiful paintings, sculptures, statues and even got the chance to look at three original paintings of Pablo Picasso. The best experience though, was celebrating Chinese New Year and because Manchester has one of the highest Chinese population in UK and it has the second largest Chinatown, the celebrations were enourmous. All of the squares were decorated with red lanterns, gold dragons and there were even street markets with traditional chinese cuisine. The famous parade took place on Sunday and everything ended with huge fireworks. I also decided to join some volunteering opportunities and that is why I’m gonna become a peer mentor next year for new students that will come in order to help them adapt to the new uni life and help out with the transition to a new city / country where you do not know anybody and everything feels very new. These students can come to me with any questions or problems they may have or even if they feel like talking to anybody and our role is to be there for them when they need us. Last but not least, I found a part-time job in McDonald’s where I work a couple of days a week so as to earn a bit of pocket money and gain some valuable experience. 

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