Being Patient With China

Turns out there is something else that is absolutely necessary to pack when you are getting ready for your semester or summer abroad in China. Now, we’re not advocating for leaving everything else behind (that passport and electronic dictionary will be handy after all), but we can’t stress enough how important it is that you don’t forget to pack… your patience.
Being patient, whether or not you identify as having this skill at the moment, is the key ingredient to your overall success while studying Chinese in China. Without it, you will get caught up in the small little frustrations (that eventually turn into heaps of frustrations) that are inevitable when you move to a foreign country, especially one as unique as China. 
You’ll need to pack…

1. Patience with your language skills.
When you’re spending every day-in, day-out studying Chinese, it can sometimes feel like you are climbing an impossibly tall mountain of han zi. You might not recognize it as you go along, but every little bit helps – and every little contributes to your overall progress. Don’t feel frustrated with yourself if you don’t feel like your language skills are improving leaps and bounds. It might not be until after you leave China, or until you get yourself into (and out of!) a serious pickle, that you’ll be able to recognize the improvements you’ve made during the course of your studies.
Be patient with yourself and keep at it. You’ll be a Chinese-language-pro in no time.
2. Patience with your ability to adapt.
Moving to a country as different as China can be difficult for even the most culturally sensitive, Chinese-speaking, and well traveled of people - let alone for a humble student on their first trip abroad. Culture shock has a funny way of hitting people. If you find that you are struggling to adapt to life in this new place, you’ll need to tap into that item you didn’t forget to pack – your patience.
Approach each and every day as a gift full of learning opportunities (challenges, victories, highs, lows, and otherwise). Eventually, you will acclimate to your environment and instead of surviving, you’ll feel like your thriving!
3. Patience with the slow internet connections.
This is just a fact of life in China. The internet is freaking slow! You might need to tap into your innermost patience to handle it. If anything, I always look at it as a friendly reminder to be more thankful for my fast internet connections back home.
While this seem like a silly thing to note, I do find that it is a very real situation that you will be confronted with regularly. If you don’t learn to cope and adapt to your inability to communicate back home with ease or just quickly “google that meme” or upload that video, you might end up accidentally punching the wall / throwing a fit / overreacting in general.
I’d encourage any student in China to avoid spending too much time on the internet anyway. Instead of living life through wall post’s and likes and RT’s, you should instead be outside soaking up the city (I mean uh… reviewing your Mandarin). ☺
4. Patience with Chinese people.
Things are done differently here. Note that I did not say that things are handled better or worse here. The reality is they are done different. You will sometimes get frustrated with the processes of everyday otherwise simple tasks (opening a bank account or filing a police report) turn into huge hurdles. You will sometimes get frustrated with the everyday going on’s of life for Chinese people. You will sometimes get frustrated when your life here isn’t as comfortable or familiar as your life back home, and might take it out on China.
The reality is, no one is forcing you to be here, and Chinese people should not go above and beyond to accommodate you. Studying in China is a learning experience, and it will test you in unfathomable ways. If you do find yourself getting worked up over something, take a moment to take a breath and remember why you’re here (to gain some kick-butt Chinese language skills!).
Patience is important. If you forget to pack anything before studying in China, patience should not be it. What other things would you recommend packing to maintain your sanity while learning Chinese in China? (Psst, we think a sense of humor is pretty important too!)

 In-Depth-China      CSA-blog


  • Beijing

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    3610 Capital Mansions,
    6 Xinyuan Nan Road, Chaoyang
    Beijing, 100027
    Phone: (+86) 10 8468 3799 
  • London

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    154 Bishopsgate
    London EC2M 4LN
    United Kingdom
    Phone: (+44) 0207 377 84 
  • Hong Kong

    China Study Abroad Ltd
    Rm 604-7 Dominion Centre
    43-59 Queen’s Road East
    Hong Kong
    Phone: (+852) 800 968 924 


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