College life in China

During my first days in China, I stayed with a college teacher in Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia province. He was a friend of a friend of my parents friend (can you still follow?). Except for the fact that it was really interesting to experience life in a Chinese family, I learned a lot about college life in China.

On my first morning, my host took me for breakfast in the university canteen. Nothing like a canteen I ever saw before. The variety and choice of food was incredible. I tried a Chinese hamburger with pork and egg and some sweet milk tea. Pong told me he had to wake up his male students in their dorms… this time of the year, they could not be late for school, because inspectors from Beijing were coming to check if this university was still qualified to be a university (instead of a college). He told me I could join him, if I could handle some half-naked boys. When I came with him I thought he should have asked his students if they could handle seeing a white girl on the male-dorms corridors… I don’t think they see a lot of my ‘kind’ walking around at their campus. It looked like a massive hostel. 6 guys per dorm, all just waking up, with the corresponding smell coming from their rooms. Pong told me that there a 1000 students living on campus and that there is not enough money for more spacious housing for them. Despite the large amount of students, the contact between teacher and student seemed familiar and friendly, not the strict, official way I expected it to be. I already noticed this the night before, because Pong chose two of his students to go with him and eat Hot-pot in a restaurant with me that night. He said he chose them because they were better in speaking English than the other students.

Chinese love tea..
Thermoses on campus.. Chinese really, really love tea..

After the wake-up call I joined Pong to his class, computer science. Like at the dorms, here also I noticed a really nice and friendly relationship between student and teacher. Later I talked to some students and they told me that college times are a lot better for them than high school. Although they make long hours and weeks at the university, 5 up to 7 days a week from 8am to 6pm, it is nothing like high school. While they hardly have homework after school now, at secondary school they would be in school the same hours (or longer) but had to work until deep in the night. If they would practice an intensive hobby like sports or playing an instrument (which most parents would like their kids to do to stand out), they would have to do it in the early morning before school. Nights of about 5 hours are standard. Everything in high school is focused on the big final exam. Because their score decides which college or university they can enter, your future depends on it. One student I talked to was from Beijing and had to enter a university in Hohhot because her scores were too low to enter university in her hometown. There is a huge pressure from parents and teachers on their students. But once you’ve entered a college, everything is more relaxed. The college teachers, who have been through the same when they were in high school, seem to have a good relationship with their students.

Later I explored a campus site with two students from another university, Frank and Wendy (most young Chinese choose their own English name, to make it easy for foreigners). Apart from the lake without any water (the Inner Mongolia province is rather dry) the campus looked really nice. There was a really big sports field, because the students still have obligatory sport classes in college, like in high school. Every student has to choose a sport, which, of course, you have to do a test for to get in. At the entrance of the campus I see something that looks like a flea market of post packages. It is the place where the students can pick up their online purchases (or food delivery). Convenience is a keyword in China, I would discover that in many ways during my time here. The app ‘Wechat’ is the best example for this, in my opinion. It is a kind of Whatsapp, but messaging is only a small part of it. You can transfer money to people, you can pay with it in most shops by scanning a QR code (they LOVE them here), it works like a translator (sometimes Wechat was the only way to communicate with the students), it has a kind of news feed like twitter/instagram/snapchat where you can post things and you can even easily hook up with random people because it has an open chat function for people who are nearby.

Frank and Wendy also took me to a Buddhist temple in Hohhot.  They learned me something about the rituals and beliefs of Buddhism: how they wish for love, health and good luck by burning incense sticks; the smokes will bring the wishes up to the gods. I also talked with them about their college life. Their major was technology. Without even asking Wendy admitted she didn’t really like her major. She would rather study languages. I asked her why she didn’t. She said she fought about this with her parents a lot. But that in the end, she had to concede, because her parents only wanted the best for her: that she would be able to feed herself. Jobs in China are scarce and competition is fierce… without any social security system choosing for a major with future perspectives is something that most students will do here. Frank told me his dream is to become a journalist… I can’t help but feeling sad about the fact that this young, ambitious students will maybe never be able to follow their dreams, at least not as much as I can do now. I realise how lucky I am I was born in a country with almost infinite possibilities… But how is it still possible I see so many people around me choosing for the safest option instead of following their heart and dreams? I stopped being scared of living almost two years ago. It changed my life and it resulted in me making this trip and telling this story.

As the two students light there sticks and wish for good luck, I wished that some day, students in China like Frank and Wendy will have as much good luck as I have now.

File030 Buddhist temple Hohhot Buddhist temple in Hohhot

63 Comment

  1. Elly en Tony says: Reply

    Wat een luxe hebben wij en jij gehad om eigen keuzes en dromen na te kunnen leven!

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Ja he! 🙂

  2. Cyriel says: Reply

    Prachtig weer…
    een vriendin van ons, Barbera ( was ook op het feest) volgt je met veel plezier. Ze schreef laatst: prachtig om te zien hoe je écht op reis bent, in de wereld en met jezelf… Dat zie ik ook weer in dit verhaal!

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Oooh wat lief! 🙂 klopt ook wel echt…

  3. Barbera says: Reply

    Ik voelde me altijd een wat stiekeme volger (je kent me niet/nauwelijks), maar nu ik door Cyriels reactie “uit de kast” ben, kan ik alleen maar beamen dat ik ook dit keer weer geraakt ben door je verhaal. Keep on tracking, Hannah!

    1. Hannah says: Reply

      Mijn blog is openbaar en voor iedereen, ik vind het juist leuk dat ik ook volgers heb die ik niet of nauwelijks ken! Super leuk dat je me volgt 🙂 En reacties worden zeer gewaardeerd. Dankjewel!

  4. Quality articles is the main to be a focus for the people to
    visit the web page, that’s what this site is
    providing.

  5. Sin embargo, con esta dieta de Garcinia Cambogia, mis
    niveles de energía se elevaron. http://Akayticaret.com/index.php?option=com_easybookreloaded

  6. magnificnt submit, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of
    this sector don’t realize this. You should continue your writing.
    I’msure, yyou have a huge readers’ base already!

  7. Just desire to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness to your submit is simply excellent and that i could think
    you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow
    me to snatch your feed to stay up to date with forthcoming post.
    Thank you a million and please carry on the enjoyable work.

  8. Although to me it’s really tough to decide against jeans (jeans are the shopping
    hauls I enjoy the most), I quickly decided to go for the super
    skinny leather pants, because I’ve never tried on leather
    pants that fit so good. http://Rmk-chegd.ippk.ru/index.php/component/blog_calendar/2015/-/index.php?option=com_kide

  9. Shape Tops entfalten vor allem bei Bauch, Hüfte, Taille und Dekolleté ihre
    formende Wirkung. http://gite.studiodreamart.com/index.php/livre-d-or

  10. Very rapidly this website will be famous among all
    blogging visitors, due to it’s good articles or reviews

  11. jokowi says: Reply

    I remind you of the mother in a contest to win a Wii for her children for
    Christmas. The readers can add their posts and comments on some economic and regional issues.
    This can be new openings, tournaments, winnings and a lot more features that promise to make the gaming experience a wonderful one.

  12. It’s truly very complicated in this full of activity life to listen news
    on TV, thus I simply use world wide web for that reason, and take the latest
    information.

  13. 確かに。マカには色んな作用があるんですね。参考になりました。感謝いたします。

    ちなみにこちらのサイトでも思ったより勉強になったので推奨します。マカの効果が6つに簡約にまとめられていたため、とてもとっつきやすかったです。

    マカの効果のみならず、選び方やサプリの比較データなどもあるので初心者の方にも向いていると思います。

    時間があれば是非一度ご覧ください。損はしないと思いますよ。

  14. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right
    here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish.

    nonetheless, you command get got an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following.
    unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the
    same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

  15. Actually when someone doesn’t know then its up to other viewers that they will assist, so here
    it happens.

  16. Hi, all is going perfectly here and ofcourse every one is sharing information, that’s actually good, keep up
    writing.

  17. bonocb says: Reply

    At this moment I am ready to do my breakfast, after having
    my breakfast coming yet again to read other news.

  18. I’d like to find out more? I’d love to find out some additional information.

  19. I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems?
    A number of my blog audience have complained about my site not operating correctly in Explorer but looks
    great in Safari. Do you have any tips to help fix this problem?

  20. site says: Reply

    If you must feed the fish, wait at least 2-3 days and feed them very small amounts.
    Generally E-coli take shelter in the digestive system of human beings, mostly in the intestines.
    He wrote a book concerning one of the most famous flattop plateaus, or tepui’s,
    where the plants and animals on top had become separated from the rest of the world because of eroding land around it, and they
    evolved by themselves over time into indigenous species existing nowhere else.

  21. All that you must do to get Robux is fill out your Roblox username/id/email and choose how many free Robux you want to generate and ultimate step click on continue!

  22. Hi, semua akan sempurna di sini dan ofcourse setiap orang berbagi Data, itu benar-benar baik, menjaga menulis.

  23. Hello there, You have done an excellent job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to
    my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  24. Hello tto all, the contents present at this web site are truly
    aesome for people experience, well, keep up tthe good work fellows.

  25. Este es otro producto efectivo que se emplea como suplemento para bajar de peso, que se encuentra en una concentración de 200 mg en este suplemento. http://alishlah.id/index.php/galeri-2/img_0166/

  26. Pure Life Cleanse es también un producto natural que es un limpiador
    de colon capaz de reducir el peso del cuerpo e incrementar el
    nivel de energía. http://Www.lingtou.org.tw/lingtou/userinfo.php?uid=3037115

  27. Las marcas restantes, si bien tenían los ingredientes correctos, después de la investigación de las empresas que fabrican los suplementos
    y las experiencias y testimonios de sus clientes, tuvimos que eliminarlos como
    buenas opciones también. http://Egejsko-makedonskosonceradio.com/-/index.php?option=com_kide

  28. ハロー。僕は今年で31歳と6カ月になります。そしてムシムシする時期になりました。ですからすぐにでもムダ毛はをやりたいですよね。最近は、全国に医療クリニックがめちゃくちゃあります。やりたい部分は、人それぞれですが、特に多いのは頬です。私は、人気店のシースリー新宿に行ってます。そのおかげで、だんだんとムダ毛が減ってきました!やはり自分で処理するのとは、比べようもないです。もう少しシースリーに行ってムダ毛を少なくしたいです。でも、医療クリニックに通ったとしても気になるのが脱毛にかかるお金です。それについては、先生に聞けばいいでしょう。それと気になるのが、どれくらい通わないといけないのかです。僕はできれば、一年くらいで完全に終わってくれると嬉しいです。まあ、これからの人はカウンセリングしてみましょう。

  29. What’s up colleagues, nice article and nice urging commented here, I
    am in fact enjoying by these.

  30. おはよう。私は10年ほど前からダイエットをしょっちゅうしてました。体重は痩せてもまた太ったりで結局たいして体重が落ちてません。ですが、30歳を超えると昔よりも少ない食事量でも太りやすくなってきたと実感してきました。そのため、今後は本気でダイエットしようと決めたんです。しかも痩せやすい時期です。ですからネットで調べたんです。どんなやり方のダイエット法があるのか、こんな方法のダイエット法がおすすめとかの知識が増えました。最近は酵素を使ったサプリのダイエットが注目されていますね。栄養を取りながらダイエットできるようです。また、エステなどで行われている痩身ですね。これも美を大切にしながら痩せる方法ですね。その痩身エステにもいろんな機械を使って効果が期待できそうです。しかも最近は体験コースというものがあって値段が安いので、まずは体験コースから試してみるといいですよ。そして食べものも大事です。また、野菜野菜が苦手な方は野菜ジュースや青汁などでしっかりと栄養を摂ってダイエットしましょう。

  31. Hurrah! Finally I got a website from where I be capable of actuaply get
    valuable daya concerning my study and knowledge.

  32. What’s up mates, its impressive post on the topic of teachingand fully explained,
    keep it upp all the time.

  33. Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a smilar
    one and i was just curious iff you get a lot of spam feedback?

    If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything yyou can suggest?

    I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any support is very much appreciated.

  34. Danny says: Reply

    It’s perfect time to make ssome plans for the long run and it’s time to be happy.
    I’ve learn this publish aand if I could I desire to counsel
    you few attention-grabbing things or tips. Perhaps you could write next articles relating to this article.
    I wish to read more things approximately it!

  35. Awesome things here. I am very happy to see your post.
    Thanks so much and I’m taking a look forward to
    contact you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?

  36. Condo neighborhood associations generally charge dues and membership fees.
    On the exterior, be sure and mow and trim any overgrowth to provide
    the appearance of a nicely maintained property. These tech advances have had the added affect of killing off newspaper readership as more and more of the population migrates to the Internet to
    get their “newspaper fix”.

  37. I dⲟ not even қnow hοw I stopped up rigҺt hеre, hoᴡevеr
    Ⅰ Ƅelieved tҺis publish աaѕ once grеat. I dο
    not recognise who yοu’re howeveг definiteⅼy yοu аre going to a well-knoաn blogger if үoս aren’t aⅼready.
    Cheers!

  38. I got this web site from my buddy who shared with me concerning
    this web site and at the moment this time I am visiting this website and reading very informative articles at this time.

  39. This piece of writing is genuinely a pleasant one it assists new internet users, who are wishing in favor of blogging.

  40. Notifications Һave beеn Android’ѕ strong suit since Ԁay time one,
    and Google is mɑking them better stiol in Android Lollipop.

  41. おはよう。うちはおしゃれが趣味で、最近は毎日オシャレ雑誌を読んでいます。早く欲しいのは、長財布とオシャレなバッグです。財布は流行っているものではなく、素材重視で質のいいものがいいですね。ブランドならプラダやサンローランが有名ですが、自分はココマイスターとか好きですね。今度のボーナスが出たら買ってみようかな。革は馬革がいいですね。変わったものでは象革(エレファントレザー)の財布も重宝して面白そうですね。バッグはうちは、30代なので年齢に見合ったキャリーバッグも視野に入れています。おしゃれで使いやすいバッグが好みです。

  42. ハロー。うちは、今月で39歳になります。ですが今年に入ってから悩みがでてきました。それはEDです。奥さんとは、気が合うし何やっても大好きです。ですがいざあの時になると立ってくれないのです。そのときでも奥さんは、嫌な顔はしないですし優しいです。でもそれがうちとって悲しすぎる。そこで本気でED治療してみることにしました。まずは家から数分のところにある美容クリニックに行ってみます。webでサイトをチェックしてみるとED治療薬を飲んで治していくみたいです。バイアグラやレビトラだと思うし、最近はジェネリックもあります。タダシップやシラグラなどが安心らしいです。

  43. Appreciation to my father who stated to me concerning this weblog, this website
    is truly awesome.

  44. Ich denke, dass man sich jedoch keine allzu großen Sorgen deswegen machen muss, da oben genannte Hautreizungen ausgehend von den Shape Tapes wohl nur eine sehr kleinen Minderheit aller Anwenderinnen zutrifft. http://Www.Tambov-hc.ru/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&id=1

  45. È a minha quarta compra na Encanto Comésticos,adorei,quando vc começa a comprar não para mais.

  46. Harris says: Reply

    Was sonst nur mit langjährigem Training möglich wäre, wird
    mit der Ganzkörper-EMS im Nu erreicht. http://www.pferdehof-garten.ch/index.php?option=com_easybookreloaded&view=easybookreloaded&Itemid=26

  47. Ziel der Shape Caps ist es, die langfristige Ernährungsumstellung optimal zu unterstützen. http://Sem.chat/trulyskinny573991

  48. 手あせが酷い状態を手掌多汗症といいます。手アセを止めるにはいくつか方法があります。交感神経を遮断するETS手術は、手アセは収まるけれど代償性発汗が100%起こります。ほかにも医薬品で汗をコントロールすることが出来ます。手汗を押さえる制汗剤には、フレナーラなどがあります。手アセをコントロールする医薬品としてはプロバンサインが有名です。

  49. Para a distribuição dos produtos Contém 1g no mercado internacional foi desenhado conceito de master franqueado e desenvolvedor de área.

  50. Computers are getting better and better in the way that they function these days.
    There’s no question that people rely on them in their daily lives now.
    If you are prepared to learn about how an iPad can make
    your life easier, read on to find out about all the options.

    If you are looking at purchasing an iPad you need to look at a few things to get the best
    price possible. If you wish to use the iPad beyond your home or office, then you
    will want to buy the more expensive version which includes 3g as
    well as WIFI.
    Battery life is typically shorter when using heavier applications like
    films and games. Adjusting screen brightness can help
    lengthen your battery pack life. You can enjoy your iPad without requiring it
    to be on the brightest setting. Avoid being fooled into thinking that iPads are only useful if you
    are into gaming or entertainment. There is absolutely an application for whatever
    you can possibly picture. This consists of home organization apps like personal budgets
    as well as formula books, calculators, and other things
    possible.
    Before you get an app, you should check out any alternatives that are cheaper or even free.
    Often popular applications have free light variations that are simply the exact same thing except; They include advertisements.

    If this doesn’t bother you, it could be a good way
    to save a few dollars.
    You can use shortcuts for text messages. Just tap your space club two times as you type a sentence, and an interval and space will appear at the end.

    You won’t need to labor over your communications
    using this method.

  51. Have you ever thought about adding a little
    bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and
    everything. However just imagine if you added some great pictures or videos to give
    your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and video
    clips, this site could definitely be one of the greatest in its field.
    Excellent blog!

  52. Es gibt natürliche Produkte Nushape Reinigung des Körpers und beschleunigen den Stoffwechsel oder die Hilfe abnehmen. http://Tieurl.com/trulyskinny11857

  53. Great goods from you, man. I’ve have in mind your stuff previous to and you are simply too great.
    I really like what you’ve got right here, certainly like what you are
    saying and the way in which wherein you assert it.
    You make it enjoyable and you continue to care for to keep it sensible.
    I can’t wait to learn much more from you. This is really a tremendous web site.

  54. I think that is among the so much significant info for me.
    And i am gladd studying your article. But wanna remark on few general issues, Thhe site taste is wonderful, the articles
    is in point of fact excellent : D. Good process, cheers

  55. 正義感がほんとに強く、社会への適応力がある。

  56. play says: Reply

    I got this site from my friend who told me on the topic of
    this web page and now this time I am visiting this website
    and reading very informative content at this place.

Leave a comment