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Impressions of NJU
Time:2018-12-10 09:06 Source:未知 Author:stuex  Click:
by Johannes Hummelmeier, Law Student at Göttingen University, Germany
 
I came to Nanjing University in order to study law and most importantly improve my Chinese, which I knew a little bit from teaching English three years ago in the south of China. My semester here comes to an end and I will soon leave China.
 
It has been an eventful last semester and now is the time to look back on it. After arriving in September of 2018 at the Nanjing University I still had no idea about Nanjing, Nanjing University or the life that would await me here. After going through the infamous registration process, an application for a bank account and multiple other organisatory steps which became widely known as the infamous “registration week” of Gulou Campus I was finally good to go an arrived at my dormitory which is located in the Xianlin Campus on the outskirts of Nanjing. Here my daily life for the next semester took place, only disrupted by occasional visits to Nanjing itself. 
 
A pleasant surprise here was my roommate Olli, with whom I came along just great. This made the dormitory experience an incredibly pleasant one and I am incredibly grateful for it. The dormitory itself was nice and perfectly suitable to live in for a semester. The only downside was that it was quite far apart on Xianlin Campus from most of the important places. While there was a canteen nearby, that one proved not to be the best and most of the times I went to ones further away but much better at the same time. The teaching buildings were a pleasant ten-minute bike ride away, which was very convenient. The Campus itself was very beautiful with a lot of trees, relative tranquility and the most important things on campus (bank, supermarket, coffee shops) or directly off campus (restaurants, a subway station). This however greatly reduced the motivation to leave the campus since everything was right here!
 
Nanjing University is one of the best universities in China, regularly making top places in different rankings. While this did raise high hopes they were not disappointed in the slightest bit. I participated in english-taught law classes and a great Chinese course. The Chinese course was of great help, especially in the beginning of the semester, to get my Chinese back on track. As it happened to be, I forgot a lot of it during the two years I only very occasionally used it. While my ultimate goal was to pass as many of the prestigious HSK-Tests, tests for your Chinese level, I enjoyed participating in the course. The also english-taught law classes were very good as well, especially noteworthy being the “Intellectual Property Law” class which really caught my interest in the topic and taught me a great deal of things I am hopefully able to apply in Germany too.
 
The great thing about China is the convenience of travelling here. Trains and hotels are cheap, beautiful places plentiful and the culture interesting which makes it incredibly rewarding to “go out”. When asked which place I like best, I can not give a comprehensible answer and mostly just start listing off places I have been, since I liked all of them so much. Noteworthy however, is my trip to Hangzhou with some friends which was just a great experience and definitely one of my recommendations for anyone who comes to Nanjing after me!
 
Here you can see a picture of the four of us standing on a temple in Hangzhou, which was a simple and rewarding walk up. Hangzhou offered a great mix of cultural experience, an interesting city and the possibility to hike outside of the city, all while having relatively short ways which was especially convenient.
 
Weather in Nanjing proved to be rather interesting during the time being. Confronted with a very hot end of summer at the beginning and away from the day-to-day stress of the normal life in Germany a feeling of a prolonged vacation was sure to set in. The good food, great new friends and relatively relaxed schedule only amplified this. However, with the start of winter in Nanjing, which was around end of October or early November, the temperatures started dropping rapidly, even more than expected! This itself would not have been a big problem, since Germanys winters are cold too, unexpected was the complete lack of any kind of heating in the rather poorly isolated rooms. This calls for socks! Lots of socks… more socks… even more, now you have an idea of how many socks are called for: at least two pairs was mandatory!
 
Later in the year the weather actually did get worse. We started to experience heavy fog in the morning (pictured) and had the coldest winter in the last 50 years in all of China, at least according to the weather service notification we received – which was in Chinese, so don’t pin me down on it.
 
At the end I want to emphasize how great the time was: I found livelong friends, incredibly food, wonderful place, passable Chinese, multiple colds, lots of fun and an extreme gratitude to have had the opportunity to stay here.
 
My last point for this short essay is supposed to be directed to the Chinese people in general, which were incredibly hospitable; my friends from Nanjing, which spend a lot of time helping me getting used to everything; the teachers of NJU, who had a very difficult job teaching complex matters in a foreign language; the staff of NJU, especially Zhao Lei, who in the face of visa-related troubles went out of the way to help me (and succeeded in doing so!); and most importantly my buddy Ding Dang, who endured a lot of very bad Chinese, in terms of grammar, pronunciation and wording, and patiently waited for me to order even the most simple sentences in my mind, all in order to improve my Chinese. I also picked up a bunch of great food (pictured: Luosifen, a specialty well-known to me from my last stay) and movies (你好,之华, go watch it, it is great!) here, thanks for that, too!