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Making local friends at 上海外国语大学


Maqqie
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Hey Guys,

I am planning to study in China at the end of this year for about 2.5 – 3 months. So far I’ve mainly been looking at Shanghai International Language University (上海外国语大学). As I have already been to SISU once before, I will probably go there again as I am familiar with the locale. Prior and whilst staying at SISU I am hoping to make some local Chinese friends who speak little English (so I am forced to practice my Chinese with them). What would be the best way to go about doing this? I am not a very adventurous person so I tend to keep to myself in restaurants, in taxis etc. At the moment I am trying to establish penpal friendships with shanghai students around my age through the internet, in the hope that once I am there they will be able to show me around shanghai and introduce me to some of their other friends and really blend me into the local culture. Although I am getting acquainted with some people, they primarily want to try and practice their English. Aside from that the friendships aren’t intimate enough for them to remember me when I actually arrive in shanghai (around early December), due to our language barrier.

I was thinking about putting up advertisement whilst at SISU offering to tutor English but ideally I would just like to make friends with the locals and hang out with them after class. Anyone have any ideas?

Another question, after browsing these forums a little bit I noticed only one thread about SISU. I am surprised because I thought SISU was a very famous institution. Is there any particular reason as to why other institutions (like ECNU for example) are more popular? Do these institutions have less foreign students (hence greater Chinese language immersion with the local populace)?

Apologies for the long post. Big thanks in advance,

Maqqie

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My quick suggestion: don't try tutoring or anything else related to language study. If you go that route, you'll only end up with people who want to learn/practice English with you. Instead, join a sports team, take up a popular hobby, get a non-tutoring part-time job, take a dance class... Do stuff that distracts your mind from learning Chinese, and you'll find it easier to absorb new words and grammatical patterns. (In teaching, this is called "authentic learning.")

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It won't prevent it, but it will require a bit more effort than immersion. Still, I bet you're up to the task. If you need suggestions specific to Shanghai, ask away; I've been here for a few years and used to live just outside the back gate of SISU. Good luck!

As to the SISU/ECNU thing, I'm not sure but my guess is that SISU focuses on undergraduate students and ECNU/Jiaotong have more options for adult/part-time language students, the kind of posters this forum tends to attract. But that's just a guess.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm studying Chinese at SHanghai Normal University now. I tried making friends with chinese students thru language exchange program. Huff.. in the end, we ended up speaking english more than chinese -_-...

So yeah, i agree with the previous suggestion. Join a chinese student clubs, coz mostly they speak horrible english ^_^ and u can practise ur chinese with them (and maybe some sign language too :lol: i did that due to the language barrier..)

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