Masters Degree Program In Chinese Language – Q&A Study Experience By Anne Nyambura 刘乐的汉语国际教育专业硕士学习经历在中国

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. Its been a while since I did another interview, so here is our next interviewee. She is called Anne Nyambura.

Yang Radio:So Nyambura tell us what’s your full name?

Anne: Everybody actually calls me Nyambura but my full names are Anne Nyambura Ndung’u, I prefer to go by Nyambura

Yang do have a Chinese name ?

Anne:yes I have a Chinese name.

Yang Radio:Am sure Chinese couldn’t be able pronounce Nyambura

Anne:aah..I tried…I tried  at first because I wanted to use my African name and then it was so hard for them to pronounce it so I was like you know what just get a Chinese name

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Yang Radio:Okay …so …why did you choose to study Chinese

Anne:I have always loved languages when I was in high-school I was studying …..French

Yang Radio:French?

Anne:Yes but I didnt quite follow up on it and then as years passed my dad was like “you should pick up Chinese” he told me a very long time ago. I kept postponing am like, why Chinese ?And then all of a sudden you remember a while back there was a boom where Chinese started streaming into the country so much and  business and setting up business I was like I could make some money here so I was like you know what lemme pick up this language

Yang Radio: For How long have studied Chinese ?

Anne: Trust me there is people who have studied Chinese way before me in the 80’s but in total I have studied Chinese let’s say for four years in China yeah so yes..

Yang Radio:but’ve spoken Chinese for more than four years

Anne:Yes ..five maybe six years ago is when I’d say 2011  that is when I started pursuing Chinese..

Yang Radio: You started Chinese in K.U right?


Yang Radio: But before that you were in Nairobi University Confucius Institute

Anne:Yes before that Nairobi University was the first place I ever you know studied Chinese I met a friend told her my interest and she was like go sign up in Nairobi ,so I signed up in Nairobi, I studied for a few months and then they had a Chinese competition which I participated ,I sang and I was position one and that is how I found my way to China.

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Yang Radio: During your time and right now has the process of getting a visa or a passport changed? And do you know like ….co I here right now if you want to apply for visa there the process changed One has to go to an interview and all that process. I can not be sure but I think it’s almost the same as the US process because the numbers increase because I remember during our time we just used to go with forms. 

Your flight to China what could you remember like your first time when you landed in China, the duration from time you left JKIA till you reached which was the entry point Beijing or….?

Anne:I  think i’ll share my experience on my second time going to China

Yang Radio: Yes

Anne:for my three year programme when I was going to 山东 It was the worst of trips

Yang Radio:Worst?

Anne: Worst of trips because I had two big suitcases and when I landed in Beijing I dint know where to take a train to—- or a bus I dint know where the train station My Chinese level was so low  and my suitcase had broken so this is me pulling broken suitcases I don’t know where to finally go but finally on my way out of the aircraft some guy said hi to me and asked where I was going ..I said I was a student and I think the guy just realized this girl needs help. He took me to the train station and paid for everything

Yang Radio:Paid for everything?

Anne: Yes at the train station all the trains were booked the next available train was the following day. This guy slept with me outside the train station slept with me I mean like outside, and he took like a cloth he laid it down for me and he was like we don’t have anywhere to go he tried getting a hotel actually to pay for me at least  so I can rest but for some reason the hotel would not take us, I don’t know its because I was a foreigner or anything. So he said….there were other people sleeping outside the train station he let me rest and he covered me with his coat and said “People may find this weird but don’t worry I will help until you get a train he bought me food at a restaurant”

Yang Radio:He’s awesome do you have his contact

Anne:I do have his contact,  I always call him the miracle person because that guy really saw me through he bought me food with his own money and he was a guy working in Zimbabwe and he was going to see his fiancé they we’re gonna get married… After so many years. He sacrificed going home until he saw me through he paid for my train ticket until I got to 济南

Yang Radio: Wherever he is if he ever gets to hear this recording am sure he deserves a pat on the back.

Anne: By the end of this interview, I will give you his name.

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Yang Radio: Alright ..thank you now at this point before we go straight into China like…somebody asked me like when your going to China for scholarship how much money do you need to carry just in case of emergency , do you know how much people need like …maybe you land in China like this..somebody will ask you how much money do they need before you reach to the university because you can’t carry exact cash.

Anne:Yeah, but assuming that you’ve already paid for your transport your passport of entry and already at the university Students on scholarship they don’t get their money on arrival mostly you have to wait to be half a month. till you get your money but since you have a room I would say at the very least ..I would put it at least KES 10,000. you may be given your schedule for how things will work but stuff always pops up. You need to have back up plan

Yang Radio: Thank you so much for that advice …in three words describe China

Anne: China is different….interesting  and its …its another world

Yang Radio: So thirty days one month down the line once you end up in China what can you remember like how was it…culture shock

Anne:People may assume like when you go out there most cities you will see English signs everything there is like an English translation on the sign. That was not the case

Yang Radio: No English?

Anne: When your going to the streets you’re buying milk wherever.

Yang Radio: Full Chinese?

Anne:Yes you either point with your hand.5

Yang Radio: alright so how did you manage with culture shock?Like did  you drink something you like ah see somebody or what did you do?

Anne: For me I think it was some of the tendencies and I am not like against them doing it I have come having traveled to so many parts of the world I have come to appreciate that just cultures are different and that’s what creates beauty in the world So maybe like China you may not be in major cities much but there is let’s say spitting. That is something that is quite frequent got used to it. I think when you go with the mindset of knowing this is a different place its not ah the world doesn’t have like an SI init standard for how life should be.

Anne: When you go appreciating that you just take people as they are and their cultures.  When you’re in China and it hits like 5pm you’ll see grandmothers, grandfathers with kids on the street like parks giving walks and came to learn that kids actually respect their grandparents alot because this grandparent was in your life when you were growing up and their relationship is so close and that is something I took back with me when I came here, the way I appreciate people my family like do or die family is family.

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Yang Radio: Family is family.  So whats your most embarrassing moment in China?

Anne:There some time I got sick and I’d frequent the hospital a lot and I had a doctor who I had a good relationship with and you know I was a foreigner patient.

Yang Radio:Yes…

Anne: At this hospital the ques were so long so on this day we stood for so long and the assistant to the doctor a Chinese for some reason they don’t have a queuing culture so it was  let’s all crowd to the door.

That was what was happening but even though people were crowding they need to see the one who came before me will see the doctor first or something like that, but I was so tired of standing and her assistant asked me to go rest in the doctors office but since people had waited for so long they thought this girl is being given first place to be served.

I just heard a commotion outside and I could hear the word foreigner. “she thinks she is so special” They said. Everyone outside was just pointing at me complaining they come look at me and am just like. I just wanted to go down under. So they attacked the assistant and she’s trying to explain no this one had to rest…and it was just …they were not having it

Yang Radio: Which is the best memory in China one that won’t ever leave your mind. One that left a good impression in the mind?

Anne: I can think of performances at school I sing and the school had really appreciated having me perform and they just go all out in trying to make sure that my performance is good  in terms of dressing …everything

Yang Radio: We saw you in We-chat moments many many times …

Anne: Yes every time I went on that stage and just received the appreciation from students. I think there is a time I performed before a school and they were like over 5000 and they’re all cheering and appreciating this foreigner whos singing in our own language. So every time I did that I always feel that’s a moment I will never forget.

Yang Radio : Tell us about your trip  to Bangkok 

Anne:There is a company called Connections. They have services that make foreigners in China have an easier time there, and every year they have a competition for foreigners who are living in China

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Yang Radio:Okay…

Anne: All we had to do was  write who you are and your experience in China and then they chose winners and I was among  the top I think six and now you have to get people to vote for you

Yang Radio: We saw you on Facebook, Twitter and Wechat .

Anne:I think I was so excited . Someone to tell you am paying you for a free trip in a five star hotel was a really wonderful time..its sad that I went alone but as you can see from my videos ..

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Yang Radio: So how has studying in China compared to studying in Kenya is there a difference?

Anne: I think when it comes to learning a language environment is very key. Of course we’ve come a long way now, people are learning Chinese in Kenya and there very good teachers here. But being in an environment, that is speaking that language pushes you.

Yang Radio:  Book smart or street smart Chinese learners?

Anne:I think I would go for street smart, Because at the end of the day we learn ..unless you’re those people whose work is you know document translation but as long as you have to interact with people street chinese always works and there is stuff on languages or terms that you will never find in books but they’re so common in books.

Yang Radio: alright. A big question here did you have a boyfriend in China?

Anne: I heard the first one. I didn’t have a boyfriend in China. Actually the first time I went to China I had just broken up with my Kenya boyfriend.


Part 2 of the interview will be published next week.

翻译工作 Job! Job! Job!

A Chinese friend, the boss of his company is looking for 5 Chinese speakers in Nairobi. His company is located next to Yaya for long-term basis. You can contact him on 0755773703. You can tell him that 大洋 refereed you to make communications easier.

中文微信汉字群 Chinese Characters WeChat Group

If you have a problem with writing Chinese characters and want to practice typing them in real interesting conversations, join our WeChat Group where we encourage each other to use characters only, for all learners. You will learn how to:

  • Input 汉字 and different types of 输入法
  • Talk and chat with Chinese natives of both genders
  • Encourage and help each other to prepare for HSK
  • Improve on character reading  skills
  • From beginner to advanced, all are welcome, just scan the QR code below 🙂


Thank you too.


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