Before I post anything else I would like to point this out… Bai Bai (拜拜) pronounced “bye bye” is the best way to casually say goodbye in China, according to my roomate.
Wow! I let time get away from me, I was planning on bloging as soon as I arrived in China, but this jetlag thing has been harder to shake off than I imagined. Anyway, here now, safe and sound, settled into my room at the Beijing Institute of Education. So much to say, so little room to say it. I’ll show and tell you as much as I can about my adventures thus far…
I arrived in Beijing on Monday August 27th. Stayed in a local hotel for two days, moved into the Beijing Institute of Education on August 29th and I have been here ever since. The college itself is built right into the city with small shops on either side of the main entrance. Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what the campus itself is like.
Side note on academics… CET’s program consists of classes from 8:25 am-11:30 am, every day Monday through Thursday. (I hear we get more classes come next week) The classes consist of one large class for the first hour with a class size of about 8 students and one teacher. Then afterwards we have 2 hours of drill classes with a class size of 4 students and one teacher. Every night we also have homework to help us review the day’s lesson and prepare us for the next day. In general it takes about 2-3 hours to finish. On Friday, we have our weekly test, which lasts from 8:40-11:30.
In addition, there is also a full-time Chinese language pledge (which began on Monday September 3rd), which I’m proud to say is upheld by students both in and outside class (or so I’ve seen). This means all courses are taught in Mandarin Chinese, and students only speak Mandarin Chinese. Don’t let that sound too intimidating. The professors will not use English, but they do understand how hard and frustrating learning a foreign language can be for students, so they are usually willing to repeat or try to clarify themselves if the class is moving too fast for students. Also, this is just a verbal pledge, we are allowed write down words in English and show them to professors if we cannot explain ourselves using Chinese.
Side note… my roommate is from China and his name is Yuan Quan. He’s a medical student studying traditional Chinese medicine (herbs, acupuncture, massage, etc.) at a hospital in Beijing, which I think is awesome!! In addition he’s a really nice guy, and like me, loves music and running. He’s even planning on running the Beijing marathon soon. I will not be joining in on that (running 26.2 miles, breathing in Beijing’s air is not something I’d be too excited about). But what is also really great about him is how much he knows about, and wants to teach me about Chinese culture.
So… yeah that’s what we CET students see everyday. Hope I’ve given you a good glimpse of the campus. Gotta get back to studying (big Friday test tomorrow).