Questions from China

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While messing around with my homestay 'brother' the other day during an English class, I began showing him the various hilarious phrases you could get Google to 'autocomplete' based on most popular suggestions once you type in the first part of a statement or question. He suggested doing the same thing, except using China's own version of Google, known as Baidu. After some initially hilarious results, I pitched the idea of making this mind-blowingly random topic into a full-scale blog to my boss David who gave me the go-ahead as long as I could relate it to something vaguely Chinas Study Abroad related.

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Useful apps for China

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When I first came to China last year, I quickly discovered that smartphone apps could make life a lot easier. Everything from communicating with my homestay mother to watching foreign TV shows is made possible with the right apps. Here are some of the best apps to get if you’re new to China.

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It's Great Wall Camping Time!


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Ladies and gentlemen, sit back and relax as I am going to tell you a little story. Sitting comfortable? Good! Where do I begin? Ah yes ahem… There are two things I particularly dislike in today’s society; the first is global inequality, which continues to blight our world, the other? Well, it’s camping…
Let me be clear, I do really like to spend time outdoors, it’s just, well… you can have too much of a good thing right? Sure getting out of the city once in a while can yield some great recreational moments, but after a while, once the novelty has warn off, you kind of remember how it often lacks good bathroom, Wifi, sleeping and tea & coffee making facilities. I guess I have just never understood how camping can really exist as recreational activity these days when we have these things called ‘houses’ which have all of the afore mentioned (including wifi).
You’ve probably by now gathered the idea that I’m not a big fan of camping, I don’t see any shame in that. So imagine my trepidation when I was told invited to attend this semesters ‘CSA Great Wall Camping Trip’.  I figured I’d recreate an honest written account of said trip as I have done with all the other CSA trips this semester, so here goes:

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China, The West and Firefly

Okay, brace yourselves, another incredibly random blog coming your way. So ‘off the wall’ I had to seek special permission from my boss (CSA David) to even be allowed to write it.
So what’s this week’s topic of madness? Well, a couple of weeks ago I wrote about the cultural differences between China and the West in my China FAQ blog. All these comparisons triggered a memory about a TV show I used to watch many moons ago by the name of ‘Firefly’. For those who don’t know or don’t remember what Firefly was, it was Fox Network TV series starring Nathan Fillion set in the future about a renegade set of war veterans (on the losing side) who had become lowly paid mercenaries flying around the galaxy on an aging, but unique spaceship called ‘Serenity’.

 So how does this have anything to do with China?

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From Nanjing With Love

lolAnother successfully completed CSA trip means its time for another blog by yours truly.

 The weekend of the 23rd / 24th of May saw myself and eleven other able bodied 留学生 (international students) nip down to the literal opposite of Beijing (Northern Capital) known to the rest of us by the name Nanjing (Southern Capital).

Having visited during the summer of 2014, I was determined to get a CSA trip to this wonderful and completely underrated city often overlooked by its more popular neighbours in the form of Shanghai, Suzhou and Hangzhou.


Our trip began with a slight hitch at Wu Dao Kou Subway Station as we battled to group everyone together amongst the rush hour crowds of the Beijing Subway. An hour later though, much to my relief, we all found ourselves outside Beijing Station ready to swap the hustle and bustle of Beijing for the clean air and tranquility of its southern counterpart.

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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…

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  • 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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