Impression of NJU
Impressions on Nanjing University By Oscar Cordón
Time:2018-03-27 09:45 Source:未知 Author:stuex  点击:
Background: My name is Oscar Cordón. I am from Villa Nueva, Guatemala, in Central America. I am pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Asian Studies at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, United States. I also have two minors: Global Business and Literacy, and Chinese. Before going to Nanjing I have had several experiences with Chinese culture, including ten years of formal study of the language, living in Taiwan for two years, doing a business study abroad in several countries in Asia-Pacific, which allowed me to visit Mainland China for the first time, and doing a summer internship in Shanghai on 2017. I love adventure, travelling, getting to know all kinds of people, learning languages, studying cultures and politics in different contexts and engage in uplifting conversations. 
 
My time in Nanjing was a very valuable experience that I will always remember; it included several meaningful and lifetime experiences that helped me learn more about myself and also increased my understanding of the fascinating country of China.
 
Ever since I started school in the United States, I had always thought about doing a study abroad in Nanjing University, particularly a direct enrollment program, so that I could get to experience the regular life of Chinese students and have a full hands-on experience in which I could improve my Chinese. Planning for this student exchange in China almost became an impossible dream after getting my student visa rejected two times in a row. As I almost gave up on my dream, for some reason I felt that I needed to apply one more time for my visa, and I am so grateful I did, because that third visa application was the one that got me my student visa and kept alive my dream of studying in China.
 
The beginning of my exchange program was quite an interesting one. While applying for the program, I found out that only a handful of people had ever participated in this program before (I believe I was the fourth one), and they had done the regular Mandarin Chinese learning program. Having studied Chinese for ten years, and decided to have a full-immersion experience, I decided to take all my classes in Chinese. I took a variety of classes that matched my field of studies, such as ancient Chinese history, foreign relations of China, national government and politics development, and a couple elective classes in business and one women’s studies class. My classes where amazing and proved to be one of the best experiences I had in Nanjing.
 
My first culture shock came when I got to class and realized everything was completely different from school back in the United States: all students were very quiet and concentrated in class (no chatting), professors had never heard about my country, and the Chinese used in class was more challenging than I expected. The content was very specific and at the same time in large amounts, meant to teach students as much as possible. I became good friends with several people in my classes, whom gave me a very unique insight on what being a Chinese student meant, taught me about modern Chinese culture (things such as slang, pop culture references, lots of perks about life in China, etc.), which I would have never learned in any classroom. 
 
I really liked being able to participate in a couple clubs on campus and becoming friends with people who had similar interests. This is how I met people in the NJU Spanish Club (which gave them their first opportunity to meet a Latin American and exchange cultural knowledge with them), got to travel and do sightseeing in different places in Nanjing, learned more about the food and the best dining places in town, as well as learning more about typical Chinese hobbies, such as karaoke, playing Mahjong, and learning how to buy stuff on Taobao among others. 
 
I loved getting to see the beautiful sceneries of Nanjing. I took a walk at the Qixia temple under all the red autumn leaves, I saw the Ming Dynasty’s Nanjing City Wall, went to the Presidential Palace of the Republic of China Era, checked out the Confucius temple, visited the Nanjing Massacre Memorial to learn more about China’s past and its fight for building a new country, and ate at the most quintessential Nanjing restaurant:  南京大牌档.  I got to see the impressive change on different seasons, from green trees and hot weather, to red leaves and dry air to snow and feel the cold weather of Xianlin campus, and had fun biking to class every day.
 
Out of all the fun things I experienced at Nanjing (including trying lots of new foods, and going to several touristic spots), the one that definitely stole my heart was the people. I grew to have an immense appreciation for Chinese students, for their diligence and hard-work ethic, their kindness, their curiosity and sincerity in getting to know people from other countries, and many other great qualities. I had studied a lot on Chinese politics and culture before, but had never really seen it from a Chinese perspective. Being able to learn about those same topics from the eyes of a Chinese person gave me a very valuable and different experience on China. I now have a greater appreciation for China and its people.
 
This experience has opened my eyes and I will always remember the great time I had in China. I made great friendships and lots of valuable professional contacts, which I believe will be crucial for my future career and other pursuits. Nanjing University is a great place to study and get a good immersion experience in China, you will not only get to interact with some of the best students from China, but you will also benefit from all the professors with substantial teaching experience, both in China and abroad. I hope I can go back someday soon and meet all the friends I made in China.