In order to support development of Confucius Institutes, facilitate Chinese language promotion and Chinese cultural transmission in the world， The Confucius Institute provides various scholarships to eligible students through their Confucius Institutes in their country for an opportunity to study in China. One of these scholarships is called Scholarship for Master’s Degree in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages （MTCSOL) Students.
My guest today is Lydia Wangare who has been through the program and will share with us the experience of her study in China.
What’s Your Name?
Lydia Wangare Kihumba.
Have a Chinese Name & Who gave it to you?
Liule 刘乐, My Chinese teacher gave it to me.
Why did you choose to study Chinese?
Out of interest and for better job opportunities.
How long have you studied Chinese?
Where did you study Chinese in Kenya?
Kenyatta University Confucius Institute
Which university did you go to in China?
I went to Shandong Normal University in Shandong(山东) Province, Jinan
Travelling To China
How was your visa/passport application process?
It was smooth for me I had gone with friends who were familiar with the whole process.
How was the flight to China? and mishaps?
The flight was an awesome experience being my first plus we went as a group making the whole experience fun!
Which city did you enter China in?
Do you have some advice on anyone preparing to travel to China?
My advice is to keep an open mind while going to china. First, because there will be a lot of culture shocks and being in a new and different environment can be scary at first. Second,to be aware of the laws and regulations for foreigners. Thirdly enjoy China as it is a vast country with many tourist destinations and sites to see.
In 3 words describe China.
Beautiful awesome country.
How was your first 30 days in china?
It was amazing for me as I was curious about everything. My first meal wasn’t pleasant though because it had too much pepper something am not accustomed to. I was amazed about China’s speed trains, the curiosity of the Chinese people etc.
What’s your most embarrassing moment in China?
When I was talking to a certain Chinese lady and when she said she had a son ‘erzi’ I still insisted on a boy or a girl and yet ‘erzi’ is Chinese name for ‘son.’
What’s your best memory in China?
Visiting other Kenyan friends in different cities like; Shenyang(镇杨), Qingdao(青岛), Wenzhou(温州), Beijing(北京), Zhenzhou(镇州) etc.
What the worst thing that you could change in China?
How is studying Chinese in China compared to Kenya?
Studying in china is better because the environment favours you as the foreigner and you have no choice but to talk in Chinese hence improving your speaking.
Did you have a girlfriend/boyfriend in China?
I had a boyfriend.
Have you ever tasted Chinese wine? How was your first experience?
Yes I have. Chinese wine is the best, I particularly enjoyed, Baiyanghe(白洋河釀酒), Grand Dragon brands.
Which was your best food in China?
I love Gongbaojiding(宫保鸡丁), tangsuliji(糖酥里脊), laosu huasheng(花生) & niuroumian(牛肉面) of course!
Which was your worst food in China?
What that one advice that you would like to give to anyone travelling to China?
China is a beautiful place full of amazing people,food,customs,travel destinations and the like. Whatever your reasons for going there whether its studies,work or business.Do some travelling, You’ll love it!
How was your experience at the Customs office in China?
My experience was good. I could communicate in Chinese well so I had no issues.
Did you have trouble getting your luggage fit in the required weight? or Ship some things?
My luggage was the required weight as I had to measure. I shipped some things however when I left china.
How did you re-adjust when you came back to Kenya
It was difficult adjusting at first because in china life is easy and convenient, back home you have to deal with matatus, dust, touts etc making life very difficult. I could say it needs time.
What do you miss most when you came back?So are you planning to go back to China? or ?
I miss my friends, travelling and partying.
How would you summarise your Chinese Experience in a few sentences?
The best moments of my life so far!
To those who are wishing to start studying Chinese, is all this worthwhile?
It is worthwhile. First, you get introduced to a totally different culture, you make business contacts and better opportunities for jobs like translation, tour guiding, teaching and business.
Anyone who you would like to thank, mention or acknowledge that made your experience possible?
My parents and family for supporting me when I started learning Chinese up to when I went to china. They were my greatest source of strength.
I would like to thank our directors and Chinese teachers at Kenyatta University Confucius Institute for their undying support and knowledge, they made all this possible for us.
I would also like to thank my friends who we were together in Jinan. Thank you all for the amazing support and friendship. It made life in China less boring and more fun.
That’s All Lydia, thanks for your time
Thank you too.
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