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sujeto

You wanted me to come back this forum and tell my experience, should I?

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jbradfor

 

None of you warned me that Chinese people actually mock at you, because you can't speak chinese

Wow.  This is so different than my experience with Chinese people, and the experience of every other non-Asian person I know, that I'm shocked.  I don't know if you act so poorly that you engender this response, or, more likely, you misunderstand peoples' responses.

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陳德聰

You should have just come to Canada to file a refugee claim.

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Shelley
you misunderstand peoples' responses.

 

I wonder if the OP has a general problem with this in any language, in any country.

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hedwards

@Demonic, my experience in China was what you suggest. If I even hinted that I knew a character or a few Chinese words, I got a ton of support. Probably way more than the feat deserved, but I think due to the perceived difficulty of Chinese and the history of China being largely ignored by much of the rest of the world, that's the response that's likely rather than mockery. Also, sometimes people misunderstand the "Chinese laugh" as being mockery when it's more an attempt at diffusing the tension and a way of taking a moment to collect themselves before deciding how to help.

 

And in some of the smaller towns I'd get waved over to a restaurant to do an informal language exchange. You do have to be mindful about that in some areas as it's a relatively common scam in some places to invite somebody in and stick them with the tab, but you just have to be aware if it's something that happens in your neck of the words.

 

One of the things I'm looking forward to when I go back is being able to sit in a cafe or restaurant during off hours and practice my Chinese. Perhaps in areas like Beijing or Shanghai were there's more going on and foreigners are more common it's less easily done, but I found it to be workable.

 

Also, this is the case to varying extents anywhere you go. Some cities will be so busy that people don't have much time for pleasantries, such as New York City, but most of the time, if you're genuinely trying the locals will at least tolerate the efforts. From what I understand the French, who have a bit of a reputation, mostly just want people to try to speak French to them even if it's limited to Bon Jour when you enter the establishment and merci when they do something for you. And probably more support if you're able to muster more than that.

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Silent

 

This is where I find another personality trait of Chinese people, they think they are in fact the center of world,

Obviously they do and so do you and everybody else, everybody is living in the centre of their own little world. Nothing wrong with that as long as you realize that your perspective is unique and that everybody has a (slightly or very) different personal worldview.

 

If I read your posts you're basically telling everything and everybody is bad. I do not necessarily disagree, there's a lot of bad things and people out there. In fact good and bad are meaningless labels everything is good for something and at the same time bad for something else. But if you consider everything bad it may be time for some self reflexion. Isn't the problem you and your expectations? To me it looks like you place yourself in the centre of the universe and expect that everyone sees it your way.

 

Considering you never traveled before I understand you've a limited worldview and China is not the easiest country. So yes I understand where your unrealistic expectations come from. Qualifying for university you should however be bright enough to understand that you would meet problems and you should also understand that some patience and understanding are a better way to deal with them then getting angry and being inflexible. Let this adventure be a lesson for you, open your mind and try to see it from the Chinese perspective. If you do so this lesson may be far more valuable then any university program can provide you.

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grawrt

Are you still planning to stay here?

 

If so I would suggest finding a tutor to help work on your Chinese. Perhaps ask the University if they're willing to enroll you in a 1-year Chinese preparation course (even 6 months would be fine) to put off your time spent on masters while improving your Chinese.

 

I know you don't want to learn Chinese, and need to focus on your studies but it doesn't seem possible at this point without Chinese (considering the classes are all in Chinese)

 

Maybe you can try and lighten up a bit and make friends with some of your classmates? They might pity you and try and help you out with understanding the lectures.They're not laughing at you because they're mocking you, I think they're just nervous. People in Harbin don't really speak English, and some aren't that used to seeing foreigners. I was stared at a lot during my stay in Harbin.

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eliaso

Must... resist ... writing a serious and helpful, long in-depth post. Which won't be hard since I'll be having four exams this upcoming week before winter holidays and I simply have no time for this anymore. And yes, I actually have to study hard to pass those exams. (I study at HIT).

 

Let's just say that pretty much everything OP is still complaining about was told to him beforehand. I even wrote earlier that teaching and dialogue between students and teachers at HIT isn't up to western norms. Nobody was answering his questions about engineering programs so at the end he took a bit of a leap of faith by coming to Harbin. Personally, I came to stay and check Harbin and HIT out before making the decision to study there as I was afraid of many issues. I decided I was able to handle those issues and gain what I wanted by studying here. Now after staying here for 1,5 years I can say that indeed has been the case so far.

 

Lastly, it has to be mentioned, that I really enjoyed the part where OP was telling how shocked he was to find out that college aged kids like to go to bars and hump each other. Scandalous!

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jbradfor

 

it has to be mentioned, that I really enjoyed the part where OP was telling how shocked he was to find out that college aged kids like to go to bars and hump each other.

 

That part made me sad.  I spent three months in Taiwan at a University, and I went to a bar only once and f*cked no one.  What was wrong with me?

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emmanuel

The truth has been spoken. Apparently, people here don't like negative experience. HUGE number of studying engineering or science people have the same troubles. You want to know the best advice ever? My roommate is studying engineering and he failed exams. One Russian guy told him "you must go to club with teacher, you must be the best teacher's friend, and you will pass". It's funny.

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eliaso

Emmanuel - why didn't you tell this earlier to OP in HIT threads where he was asking for advice about engineering programs? And what comes to your roommate, he could just study harder, take a re-test and pass that exam. That's what people in my program do.

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hedwards

@Emmanuel, I vaguely recall the threads they're referring to and I think that's more of the problem than the negativity of the experiences. I think the only people here who haven't had "Bad China" days or even weeks are those that have never actually been there. Or were only there for a few days.

 

Personally I had quite a few rough times while I was there. Sometimes it was my fault, but other times there's basically nothing I could have done about it as there were discussions going on about me to which I was not privy.

 

But yes, a bit of Guanxi never hurts if you want to succeed in China.

 

@Jbradfor, are you sure? If I understand the ritual properly, most of the time people are so drunk they can't remember. Maybe you did and you just didn't remember.

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emmanuel

@Eliaso - with all respect, your program is "Chinese language and literature" and as I heard, there is nothing difficult. My friend graduated one year ago.

"he could just study harder"  - oh, come on. It might be true, if only he didn't pass exams. A lot of foreigners didn't pass exams. These people study hard enough. Trust me.

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eliaso

Emmanuel - with all due respect, if you think that getting your Chinese beyond HSK 6 level and writing a thesis in Chinese about a piece of Chinese literature isn't nothing difficult for an average foreigner then good for you. About one third of students in our program never graduate from HIT, and some move to Heida or Shida from where graduating is easier (so I've heard). Some students hire a Chinese person or a Korean student to write their thesis as they're not able to do it themselves.

 

Now, I won't go into an argument about this subject any more than this because I see no benefit happening out of that. I won't say that your experiences about problems in Harbin / HIT aren't valid. However, I advise that you write those things in that HIT thread. I wrote mine last year and perhaps I'll update things later. Would be usefull for future want to be students.

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renzhe

The truth has been spoken. Apparently, people here don't like negative experience.

No, it's just that most of use didn't go to China to attend a Master's programme taught in English so our experiences are different.

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ChTTay

It seems to me that your only option is to go home. It's not 'the' only option at all and everyone has suggested some pretty good alternatives (change to a Chinese course, switch Universities, get a tutor etc). However, it seems that, if you really dislike absolutely everyone you've met, you have no desire to study Chinese, you have no hope of passing the course you are on, the research you would do isn't what you are interested in anyway AND you don't want to follow any of the advice offered about switching things up ... then, in that case, you can only pack up your things and say goodbye to China.

 

I really don't see why you are sticking around. The course won't suddenly be taught in English, the people who you say aren't very helpful won't become helpful, students won't stop canoodling, the resarch topic doesn't seem like it will change ... and so on...

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Shelley

Good idea, I think once you have learnt some Chinese things will be better because you will understand more, not just the language but also the people and the way the country is.

 

I hope you find a suitable course and things improve for you.

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