At the end of February, I started the Chinese Language Non-Degree program at Jiaotong University’s Xujiahui campus. It’s turning out to be a really fantastic experience. Before starting, I was really worried because it has been a couple of years since I’ve been a student and not the teacher. And, I’ve never done an intensive program focused on language. I took some Spanish classes in high school and a couple of Korean classes on evenings after work, but I’ve never done a program like this before. Basically, I was worried I would suck at Chinese and I would do horribly in my classes.
Luckily, it is not turning out that way. I feel like I’m learning a lot, and my classmates are all really great. Learning Chinese in a school environment is actually turning out to be my favorite part of living in China right now.
This post doesn’t have much exciting, but I just wanted to recommend this program for anyone looking to study Chinese in Shanghai. It is affordable, the location is good, the teachers are awesome, the program is useful (I really feel like I’m making progress) and it’s a great environment especially someone new to the city.
Check out the website for more about the Chinese language programs.
If you want to learn a language, go for it! It can be overwhelming, but find a way of learning that works for you and stick with it. Classes are turning out to be the perfect way for me to learn. I also use apps and online programs as supplemental materials to help me. But what I’m trying my best to get better at is being brave and using what I learn. I get nervous or feel self-conscious, but if I don’t start using it, what’s the point? I’m trying to push myself outside of my comfort zone and use anything I know when I’m out and about. Even if you feel silly or stupid, people usually appreciate your attempts. If not, brush it off. Just keep trying.
I also think it is a great idea to get out, do things and meet people when you move to a new city. I can quite easily turn into my introverted self because I get awkward about socialising. But taking classes or joining groups, any kind, is an easy way to break free of that and have some awesome experiences.