What is it like to be a University student in China?


Can you tell me more about the students’ life in China?

Sure.
What kind of things
would you like to know more about?

For instance…
what is the study schedule like?

Oh… we have two semesters in a year.
The first semester starts in September
and it finishes next year
in the beginning of January.

OK… and then…

Then… the winter vacation starts
from the final exams to the beginning of March.
After that we have the second semester…
from March to the end of June,
and the summer vacation begins in July.

And then… the next semester
starts in September, right?

Yes, that’s right.
So, in total we have eight semesters
in four years of university life.

What is the typical study day like?

We have lessons from Monday to Friday.
We usually have 3 or 4 lessons a day.
One lesson is about 90 minutes…
and we have a 10 minutes break
between the classes.
Normally a day at school starts at 8:00 am
and finishes at 5:00 pm.

What kind of programs do you study?

We have a lot of different courses.
For example, I majored in Business English.
So we had courses like
International Business English,
English and American Literature,
Advanced English.

I see.

And we also had…
Basic English, Finance, Political economy,
Accounting, Politics, Calculus and so on.

And you do have a test
after you finish the course, right?

Yes, in China, all universities
use an academic credit system.
You need credits to get a degree.
So, we have to take final exams every semester
to get the credits.
And we also have a lot of other exams…
CET-4 (College English Test, Level 4),
CET-6, TEM-4 (Test for English Majors, Level 4)
and TEM-8 (the Advanced English test in China)…
and so on.
Actually, there are so many different tests…
these are just some examples.

All right.
So, what do the students do
after the day of studies?

Oh… it’s hard to say…
Different people like to do different things.
Some join the Skating Club,
play tennis, or ping-pong.
Some also enjoy the Poetry Club, Drama Club,
or Music & Dancing Club.

Outdoor sports, perhaps?

Yes, the boys often play football outside
or do other physical exercises.
Of course, there are those
who enjoy online games.
Girls prefer to hang out with friends
or go shopping.
Many like to stay in the dormitory,
watch TV series and movies.
In Chinese, we call these people
zhainan” or “zhainv”.
So, I guess…
different people enjoy doing different things.

OK… so what about part-time jobs?
Do the students usually do any of those?

Well… some do and some don’t.
Not everyone is working part-time.
Some people think it’s a waste of time
because it’s a kind of cheap labor…
They prefer staying on campus.
For others a part-time job
is a valuable opportunity
to learn real-life skills.
It helps them
prepare for their future career.

I see.
So, again, it depends.

Yes, in my personal opinion…
it’s all right to do part-time jobs
as long as they don’t affect your study.
I took several part-time jobs in my university years.
I suppose it depends on whether you can balance your life.
Well, what do you guys think about it?


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Image credits: Pixabay