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study in China
Last week I went out with my roommate and a German friend to check out the Chinese arcade games. We heard about them from classmates and were eager to try them out for ourselves. The arcade game was in a high building near People’s Square and only had a hidden entrance in the back that took us a while to find. As soon as we entered the venue we were greeted by loud noise from the games and lots of cigarette smoke. The games were really addicting and fairly cheap (about 1 kuai per game)! Even though we spent almost 4 hours in the Arcade I would have guessed we had been there for about an hour. Especially the Multiplayer Race games and the Basketball hoop were just too much fun. (Xin Xin Game Center8/F, 701 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Sinan Lu 淮海中路701号新鑫大厦8楼， 近思南路) After we left the arcade we decided to get some beer in a little shop and that’s where we met Jacky. We were trying to talk to the owner but our Chinese was hard to understand for him until a customer stepped in and translated for us: Jacky. And that’s how our friendship with Jacky started. Out of the blue he started helping us and even let us drive his electric scooter (We’ve always wanted to try one). We had a couple beers together and talked about the differences in German and Chinese culture. As we were about to leave he kindly invited us to his home for dinner on the following Sunday. The next Sunday: We held contact over Wechat throughout the week and got to his place with the metro and a 20-minute taxi ride. We read that gifts are important and Chinese people appreciate useful gifts such as a basket full of fruit over flowers (like in Germany), so that’s what we bought: A BIG basket full of fruit (and some beer)! As soon as the taxi driver dropped us off at the right street, we were welcomed by two of his friends, who showed us the way to Jacky’s apartment. We were greeted very kindly and he led us right into the kitchen where he had prepared lots of different food. We all shared the food in the middle of the table and before we could take a bite we were told to start drinking. After showing us how to eat the crab, the snail and explaining us what kind of tofu we were about to eat, he paired up everyone at the table in groups of two. That way everyone had a “drinking partner”. Since Jacky’s brother did not speak English he didn’t have an English name. Jacky told us we had to choose one and we all agreed on “Elvis”. Elvis is now also our friend, he taught us what “gānbēi“ really means! We had such a nice evening and were very grateful for the Chinese hospitality we got to experience through Jacky. To show how much we appreciate Jacky and his efforts, we have planned a German dinner night at our place for Jacky and his friends next week! At the Arcade: Hakan, Christopher and myself little shrimp (perfect with a little soy sauce) Porkmeat and Tomatos, Tofu in the back Red Crabs (my favorite) fried chicken feet Me, Christopher, Mia, Jacky and Hakan Snail, very delicious and a little spicy Source: HSChinese
2016-05-12 +Read more
study in China
Prices and the cost of Living in Germany and China can be very different. Below you will find some differences to prepare you for your stay in China.Food:Shanghai overs an incredible variety of chines cuisine. Most small restaurants are fairly cheap (12-25 RMB for a meal) and street food can be even cheaper. Western restaurants on the other hand are more expensive. For a small Pizza a Papa Johns you can expect 70 RMB (9,50€). The cheapest and also the most delicious food I found was in my University Canteen. For only 7 RMB (0,95€) you can get a big meal with rice, veggies and chicken! Working hours:While in Germany most stores close at 8:00, big Supermarkets in China are usually open till 22:00 (except Post office). Hairdresser, Restaurants, Nail-Saloons and Spa´s are usually also open until 22:00. In Germany almost every store has to close on Sundays, but not in China. You will see everyone working on Sunday like it was a Monday. Hairdresser:In Germany going to a Hairdresser will cost you about 10 to 100 Euros, depending on what kind of cut you want. A regular cut and wash for a guy with normal hair is about 25 Euros. In Shanghai, hairdresser are a lot cheaper, for the same cut and wash I paid 40 RMB (5,43€) instead of 25 €! Fruit:When it comes to fruit, the prices are usually similar. However, Fruit can be expensive in China when imported. You will find Apples in Chinese Supermarkets that almost look the same but one costs 6 RMB per Kilo and the other 26 RMB. That’s because the more expensive one is the one imported from New Zealand. In Germany 1,99€ (14 RMB) is a normal price for 1 Kilo of local Apple´s (see picture). Strawberries are also cheap in Germany ( 400g only 1,49€ (11 RMB)) Taxi:A Taxi ride in China is definitely cheaper than in Germany. In Germany you have 5,60€ (41 RMB) basic charge and the miles are added on top. In China you have 14 RMB basic charge and the charge only starts to get higher when you accumulated enough miles. Deodoranthowever shocked me! In Germany you pay 1,75 € (12,88 RMB) for a bottle of Nivea Deodorant. In China you will have to pay around 35 to 50 RMB (4,75 – 6,78€) for the same bottle. Going out:What you spend on going out in Shanghai depends completely on you. You can spend an awesome night just spending 50 RMB or you can go to fancy restaurants and party all night spending 1.000.000 RMB. Generally speaking: it´s usually a lot cheaper. And here´s why: Clubs give you free entrance and drinks! It´s very easy to get to know party promoters, once you added them on wechat, you will be constantly informed about the latest party´s. Now you just have to let him know your coming and he will give you a password (Make sure you enter before 11) and you enter for free. Usually personnel of the venue will give you a table with multiple bottles of champagne and vodka as soon as you get in. Tipping:In Germany customers tip about 10% at restaurants and Café´s. Tipping in China however is very uncommon. Some more expensive restaurants include a service fee of 10% but they will let you know in advance in the menu. The fee can then be found on your receipt. Rent:Rent depends on size and location but generally speaking Shanghai is quite similar to German cities like Hamburg, Berlin or Munich. For a room in a shared apartment you can expect about 3.300 RMB (450€) and if you decide to rent for yourself and share with friends 9.000 RMB for a 2-3-room apartment can be expected. Source：HSChinese
2016-05-11 +Read more
study in China
During your stay in China you will most likely encounter a lot of conversations with locals. If you get past the language barrier, conversations with cashiers at a grocery shop or a night watchman can give you very interesting insights in Chinese culture. Most of the friends I made and conversations I had came through playing basketball. So when you feel like getting to know Chinese locals, just go to the closest basketball court and the rest, as they say, is history. 1. How long did it take to fly here from Germany? This question has been asked multiple times, both at basketball games or at university by my Chinese teacher. Flying to Shanghai from Germany, depending on the number of stops, takes you about 16 hours. 2. Is Germany as safe as China? Safety is something Chinese people are very proud of. The fact that weapons are forbidden here alone makes China a very safe country. As I have experienced Germany, it is not nearly as safe as China/Shanghai. During my entire stay in Shanghai I have never felt unsafe or threatened in any way or form. Guns are also prohibited in Germany but a lot of people are allowed to own them for hunting. Guns however are not the reason why parts of Germany are not safe; it is more the threat of getting ripped off by young street gangs with knives. 3. Do you like China? Westerners’ opinions of China seem to be very interesting to a lot of Chinese people. If you’re like me in that you like China and the experiences that have presented themself to you, make sure to point out what you like in detail. Chinese people are proud of their country and are very happy so see westerners impressed by China’s accomplishments. 4. Isn´t it dangerous in America? When I went grocery shopping with my girlfriend at my local convenience store I was asked by a fellow shopper what I think about China. After a while the conversation got deeper and as soon as he heard that I had been to America for 10 months he was eager to know what I thought about America. He told me that he is a physics professor and that he found America to be very dangerous when he visited LA with his faculty a couple years ago. 5. Are you married? Even if I tell people that I am only 22, when they hear that I have a girlfriend I get asked if I am married immediately. Unlike in Germany, in China it is very rare for couples to live together before marriage. Marriage here is much more important to the honor of the family and to the whole culture, so this question is asked quite often. 6. Do you want to live in China? A lot of people ask this question and it is very hard to answer if you have only been in China for about two months. I think Shanghai is such a big and interesting city that very few people could resist living in. 7. What do you think about Chinese food? Food is very important and a fun topic for a conversation. I tried everything that I had the chance to and have to say that Chinese food is amazing. I especially love to eat hotpot with friends, my everyday “baozi” for breakfast and street food on a night out. But be aware, some stuff is really, really spicy! 8. Do you play basketball? Don’t be surprised to be asked that question especially when you are tall. 9.Do you like Chinese Beer? A lot of Chinese like foreign beer, German beer in particular. Whenever I say that I like the Chinese Tsingtao beer, people react proud or astounded. 10. What is the university like? Chinese teaching is quite different from Western teaching but at my International Campus at Shanghai University it is very similar to my university in Hamburg. （Abbildung 1 My first hot pot） （Abbildung 2 street food next to our apartment） Source: HSChinese
2016-05-10 +Read more
You are foreigner, which means that people (especially children) will stare at you on the street, but in general Chinese people are extremely nice to foreigners. Chinese teachers are also very nice and supportive. I have had some teachers saying that attendance is important but you are here to experience the culture and if you can´t come to class just let me know and it is ok. You will definitely get the chance to travel around and check out interesting places around China. Life here is awesome; there are many other international students at the university so you can have fun together or share experiences and places that other students have found. Therefore it’s easier to get to know the city. Let´s talk about learning Chinese. If you don´t speak any Chinese like me, don´t worry, there is always a beginner class. This is how I experienced it: The teacher entered the room and gave every student a Chinese name. As I understood it the name consists of one word that is a translation of your name and then two attributes that she gives to the students. Mine are law and peaceful. She then taught us pronunciation and wrote one word after another on the board. We thought they were all important and so tried to copy them into our notebooks and also drew the symbols. Ever since then the classes are enjoyable! We are learning very important sentences each class. The teacher teaches us useful phrases that we need on the streets like giving directions to a taxi driver, how to ask information in stores and how to introduce ourselves. The book we are using is very good. I can say that I really like learning this language. Especially the grammar is very easy and it is definitely not as hard as it sounds at first! The other classes are similar to that. When you get used to it it’s a lot of fun! You get to know many cool people in class as well. Making friends helps a lot with getting to know the city and going through this experience together. I have made some very good friends here. After class we often play basketball on campus, go to cool places to eat or go to markets for shopping. There are a few fake markets where you can get all the brands that you like. They will always say it is good quality and it is usually not too bad. It´s a different experience but I totally recommend it. The fabric market is also quite nice! You can get suits, shirts, dresses and nearly everything else tailored for not even $100. If you miss home or just food from home you can go to the French Concession! There are a few streets with Western restaurants. You can get almost anything that you miss. So you see there are plenty of things to do in Shanghai. If you like to work a little bit there are also many opportunities. Let´s talk about living costs here in China. The dormitories here are ok. For a little bit more money you can get an apartment with some friends pretty easily. There are many agents that provide good service and are not expensive. Food is also not expensive. If you go to a local restaurant that is not too fancy you can get a nice meal for $5 or cheaper. Transportation costs are less than $1 to cross the whole city of Shanghai. If you take a Taxi that is a little more expensive but nothing like in Western countries. All in all it has been a great opportunity and I have really enjoyed my time here! Source: HSChinese
2016-05-08 +Read more
study in China
Eating Culture When I first told my friends that I was going to China they asked me if I would try eating dog meat. Since I wanted to experience this country and everything it had to offer, I said: “Sure!” When I arrived here I found out that China is nothing like what I thought it would be. Shanghai feels a lot like the West. For example, if you are looking for Western food you can easily find some. It´s just a little more expensive than Chinese food. However, if you would like to try the Chinese food, go ahead! It is really delicious and nothing like the Chinese restaurants in your home country. Especially in the bigger cities there will be absolutely no dog meat. That is just a joke and I cannot confirm that stereotype. This is definitely good news for all dog lovers. There are many other delicious things to eat as well. My favorite food here is steamed soup dumplings. There is also hot pot! It is a bit like fondue but Chinese and very tasty! There are quite a few places where you can decide for yourself what ingredients you´d like to have in your hotpot. The staff will cook it for you and you get a bowl with soup. I can strongly recommend that! If you want a quick snack there are some very nice street food places. I don´t know how healthy they are and if the oil is clean, but I have been eating it a lot and I am still alive! It definitely tastes good. If you don´t trust the food you can go to a store and buy some rice and vegetables and fry them with soy sauce. That is the cheapest option and still delicious (depending on your cooking skills). Bottom line, you don´t need to worry too much about food here in China. There are some very tasty things out here! Always in a hurry Over in the western world it feels like Chinese people are always busy and in a hurry! Being here I realized that Chinese people are very hard workers. People sell street food until the middle of the night and people on the street are always going fast. My Chinese communication teacher told us that Chinese people are so focused on where they are going that they don’t realize that they are still on the way. This one time I needed to see a doctor so I went to the hospital. A doctor who spoke English went to the different places with us. She was a super short Chinese lady with short legs and I didn’t think she could run that fast. I had a hard time following her! Products in China are made in China and therefore bad quality For this stereotype I think it is important to understand that salaries in China are lower than in Western countries. Therefore it is cheaper to produce here without necessarily being worse quality. In fact I have bought headphones on the fake market for $7 and they are working just fine. I also bought a very nice Tumi leather bag for $30 and have no problem with it. I know it is fake and not the real quality but it is real leather, looks great and is definitely worth the money! There are many Chinese brands for electronic articles like Huawei and there is nothing wrong with those. I personally have an iPhone but many friends tell me that the Huawei works perfectly, is much cheaper and that I wasted my money buying an iPhone. The battery of my friend’s Huawei phone is better than my iPhone’s. Made in China does not mean bad quality at all! Mobile phones I always thought that Western teenagers were addicted to their phones but they are nothing compared to Chinese people. In the metro everybody is using their phones to play games or to text. Many people walk around with power banks to charge their phone on the go. This is definitely a stereotype that is true but it also has the advantage that you can get Asian phones relatively cheap and SIM cards with mobile data are also easily affordable. Phone equipment, such as cases and chargers are cheap and come in innumerable different styles. My favorite one is a case with a ring at the back so you can slide your finger through it to hold it more comfortably. Source: HSChinese
2016-05-07 +Read more
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HSK Mock Test
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