The 6 months is one of the scholarships offered by the Chinese government through Hanban. This experience is to enable first time Chinese learners get a glimpse of China as they progress on with their language study. Students are expected to sit for HSK 3 or 4 after this program before returning back to their countries. Interested students can apply for this program at the Confucius institutes in their respective countries.
Applicants should have no prior experience of studying in China, but have a minimum score of 120 in HSK 2 and a minimum score of 40 in HSKK （Beginner Level）. Alternatively, applicant should have a minimum score of 100 in BCT （A）, and a minimum score of 120 in BCT （Speaking）.
My guest today is Becky who has been through the program and will share with us about her experience in China.
What’s Your Name?
My name is Njeri Mbugua
Have a Chinese Name ?
My Chinese name is 瑞贝卡 or白瑞洁 which i was given by my favorite Chinese teacher 刘丹
Why did you choose to study Chinese?
Out of interest and for better job opportunities.
How long have you studied Chinese?
I have studied Chinese for almost an year now.
Where did you study Chinese in Kenya?
I first stared with a certificate in Chinese language and culture at the Confucius Institute in K.U which acted as very good Foundation ground for my Chinese later i got an opportunity to go study in China at Shangdong Normal University(上冻师范大学) for six months, in Shandong province Jinan(济南) city. Which am very grateful for.
Which university did you go to in China?
Shangdong Normal University 上冻师范大学
Travelling To China
How was your visa/passport application process?
The process was very simple one was supposed to walk up to the counter, slide the documents through a small opening to the other side where the Chinese lady would look through them for verification. In the mean time there was a list of questions written in English that one was required to answer.
It was smooth for me since I had gone with friends who were familiar with the whole process.
How was the flight to China? and mishaps?
I had an 11am flight to Addis then from Addis to 北京. I didn’t come across any hiccups. I was both excited and scared about the flight because this was my first flying experience and I didn’t know what to except or how to behave.
After 12 long hours of waiting at the Ethiopian airport for my connecting flight and another 11 longer hours of flying we finally arrived safely at Beijing International airport at around 5pm.
Which city did you enter China in?
This was towards the end of the summer season so although it was in the evening the air was still quite humid but that didn’t seem to bother us at the moment, we were distracted by the modern first class appearance of the Beijing International Airport, it looked so majestic and beautiful JKIA compared to it looks like an infant. Once we where done with immigration we proceeded to the other side of luggage collection where we got to experience the organized and elaborate airport transport system.
Lucky for us our CI director had made transport and accommodation arrangement from Beijing to Jinan. We were comfortably picked from the airport drove around the streets of Beijing taking in the modern infrastructure of tall beautifully designed buildings and roads for about an hour up to the hotel where we we were to have super which was presented to us in a very elegant manner then later we drove to a nice looking hotel where we were to spend the night.
How was your first 30 days in china?
My first thirty days in china was a cocktail off many things to begin with for the first few days communication was a major problem to a point where one was forced to communicate in sign language just to drive the point home . The hot and humid summer weather conditions needed some getting used too plus learning the currency and were to get affordable items.
But apart from that having all this freedom of movement was a breathe of fresh air plus the Chinese people are very lively and were always willing to help especially when it came to encouraging us to speak Chinese so interacting with them was something i really enjoyed.
What’s your best memory in China?
I have so many nice memories about china from climbing mountains with beautiful sceneries and views, to the different cities we visited and people we meet. Visiting the biggest Museum i have ever seen and learning alot about the Chinese culture， to taking a weekend off from the busy study schedule by visiting one of the many fun parks and giving ourselves a good time .
But my most best memory of china would have to be taking a walk with friends in the streets of Jinan at night just taking in our surroundings and talking about our past，present and future with no worry of meeting with buglers or being harassed
How is studying Chinese in China compared to Kenya?
According to me studying Chinese in china is better and more easy as compared to studying it in Kenyan the reason being that one can easily get to practice what they have learnt in class since quite a number of the population is conformable in speaking 汉语 and one cannot leave life like an Island so you are forced to interact and uses the little Chinese you know which improves greatly with time. Plus 听力 also greatly improves because 70% of what you here from your environment is Chinese.
How would you summarize your Chinese Experience in a few sentences?
Having this opportunity of studying in china has gone a long way in improving my Chinese and confidence
What can Kenya learn from China?
From my own opinion China is way ahead in terms of infrastructure and development. Which is something that Kenya lacks I think we can borrow from them their focus when it comes to matters that deal with development and improving their citizens living standards.
That’s all for now Becky, Thanks for your time
Thank you too.
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