3 months in Tianjin

Living in China has been a fantastic experience so far and will be in the future, though not even half way through our experience, we have all made fantastic progress in our Mandarin skill and as people. Though currently we do not feel our Mandarin is very good, when looking back over the 3 months, the progress is exponential.

During November most of the scholars travelled to Beijing to attend the St. Andrew’s Ball, sadly I was unable to attend, though still had a fantastic time in Tianjin. Apart from the St. Andrew’s Ball November has been a quiet month. By this time in our scholarship we are all confident enough going to the College and getting by in everyday life. All the scholars have arranged plans for the New Year holidays in January and February, so from now till then will be devoted to studying for our exams.

Since travelling to China last year as part of the Summer Bridge Camp, I have adored China, specifically Tianjin. I made a very life changing decision last year and decided to devote my time to returning to Tianjin, not only for studying, but for living. The scholarship offered by Strathclyde was the obvious next step in my dream of moving permanently to Tianjin, at the beginning of this scholarship I was worried that my experiences here may sway my decision, but after staying for 3 months I can say that my wish to move here has increased ten-fold. A plan is now in the works and I hope to return next year to study here for 4 years, this next step will hopefully open even more doors, allowing me to finally reach my goal of Chinese citizenship.

This is a great experience and I am extremely grateful to Strathclyde University. I wish everyone could have the chance to experience this country and specifically Tianjin. Good luck to everyone applying for next year’s and hope that I can be here to greet them.

Struan Laing

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