Packing my bags for China

With less than two weeks to go Scholar Alasdair sent us his thoughts for the blog.

Wow, the time has flown since the interview process to now only having less than two weeks to go!  The whole experience has slowly built up into a ball of excitement and optimism to see what the Mandarin course has for the other students and me.  I’ve been packing my bags, trying to work out what to take but still to leave clothes for me to wear for my time left in Scotland – apart from that everything else has fallen into place.

Over the past couple of weeks, the realisation has set in, that excitement has grown and it’s finally set in with what is going on with the move to China for a freaking ten months, ten whole months!  The longest I’ve been away from home was for three weeks on a rugby tour in Canada – compared to China, their culture is completely different and this will be a new experience even though I have been to China twice last year (once with Strathclyde University Courses on the Immersion course and the other time on a school trip to Beijing/Xian and Shanghai) this has only wetted my appetite for more Chinese culture.

Finally the experience is being talked about amongst friends who are looking forward to hearing about what I’ll be up to when I’m away and my last big get-together with them before I leave plus two more rugby matches then China.

Alasdair Nisbet

Tianjin Scholar 2016-17

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3 weeks and counting…

The next cohort of Tianjin Scholars are getting ready to leave for their year in China. Scholar Vishal wrote about how he was feeling for the blog.

It’s roughly 3 weeks until we depart for China, but it still hasn’t really sunk in yet. We’ll be living and studying Mandarin there for almost a whole year. I feel both excited and nervous. Excited, as I will be able to fully experience and embrace the Chinese culture. Nervous, as I will be away from my friends and family in Scotland for so long.

I feel that it will take me a while to fully adapt to the Chinese culture, as unlike the majority of the other scholars who completed the China Bridge camp last year, I completed it 3 years ago. So it has been a really long time since I have been exposed to this remarkably different culture. Overall, I’m really excited about actually being able to live and study in China for almost an entire year, especially because I know this is a very unique and valuable experience, one which I will be able to use for the rest of my life.

Vishal Dhanda

Tianjin Scholar 2016-17