While doing my Bachelor’s s degree, I always wanted to pursue my Master’s degree abroad. The reason behind that is, first, our syllabus of a Bachelor Degree in Nepal is not updated, we are stuck with just passing final exams by memorizing and marks rather than knowing what we are actually learning and where will my learnings going to be used in real job or life, and secondly experiencing the new places, their education system and gaining the knowledge differently was always in my thought. This is why I applied for a master’s degree in a few countries including china, where I got a scholarship which allowed me to explore what I dream of.
I was so excited to go to China for my further study but I was also nervous and worried at the same time. It was my first experience to go out of the country and alone in a new place with people of different cultures, traditions, and languages and to add that China is not an English speaking country. The only word I knew was to say hello in Chinese and other 3-4 words which I knew before going to China.
My first surprise was when I landed at Guangzhou airport, I was expecting at least the staff of the airport to speak English, but to my contrary, they spoke only Chinese, and even if they spoke English it was not sufficient for me to understand them. It was the first shock I got in China. Thankfully, I was able to get to my connecting flight. I reached my college to complete all the registration work for my new adventure.
Talking about my study I am doing my Masters in Nutrition and food hygiene (obviously English Language). It was interesting to experience the way of teaching they do. My study is based on research and they focus more on writing papers and publishing in journals. It’s not an easy job for someone who came from memorizing notes and writing 3 hrs. for an exam, but I feel happy to work hard for my study. I got the habit of reading the research articles, draw the conclusion from our readings, think analytically and critically to write reviews. Our evaluation is done based on our work contrasting to Nepal where mostly we are evaluated according to our exams.
When I have to say about life in China, it was full of surprises, funny, sometimes lost kind of feeling, living in a different culture was a new experience for me. In the first semester, schedules were very busy, at the beginning I was unaware of the time for making food. Sometimes I have ended up eating noodles that I brought from Nepal. For me trying new food was so hard, the first time I entered the school canteen, that smell was so unpleasant, I felt like vomiting but later with a time that became used to. Now I love some of the food in the canteen and I miss it too . There are many Nepali in our class, few have already studied in china and they knew the language as well with them I went to travel to different places nearby. Traveling and visiting new places always excites me and new places, new people, and new foods, by the way, those days were full of curiosity and amazing. I tried eating hot pot with yang (sheep meat), veggies, and shrimp. I tried different food which has a strange taste with a lot of fear but they were not so bad.
Learning the Chinese language was hard, we need to speak with tones and their characters. I was amazed and curious about those strokes and characters and also surprised who created those strokes and how those more than 7000 characters were created ? They speak Chinese in almost every places, English is very rarely heard. Fortunately, my study is in the English language. There are mobile applications which help us to translate the language, those are helpful but if you know the language you could take as much benefit as you want as a learner. For that reason, together with my study, I am learning the Chinese language on my own.
Above all, independent life is china is exciting. I am loving my new life of learning as well as experiencing a new country, its language, food, and culture. Still a few years to go and hoping to make it more adventurous and fruitful.