Experiences from students

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Experiences of students often gives a good impression of what it is like to study abroad. However, there are some significant differences between the different parts in China. That’s why we have separated the country into Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau. In this article you read about how students experienced studying in China.

Busy Streets in Hong Kong
“The first surprising thing in Hong Kong for me was the crowded traffic there.” Erik Foppen said. He was exchange student in Hong Kong for six months. Hong Kong is a city in south east China and counts more than nine million inhabitants. You find cars, public transport and people walking everywhere. It is not like in the Netherlands, where traffic is well organized and not chaotic. In Hong Kong, the buildings are higher and people are smaller.
Erik tells that this influences the way Chinese people are. “Chinese people from Hong Kong are always in a hurry, everything has to be fast. They always think that they’re busy, but actually there is no reason for that. I think this is because of the crowded areas that they are always in. Your surrounding forms you.
“This is not the only thing Erik tells about the Chinese people. He says that you can’t compare a Dutch to a Chinese student. “I would describe Chinese as very friendly and helpful. They are interested in other countries and cultures and they are very polite.

Portuguese influence in Macau
Erik Foppen tells us also about his long trip to Macau. “When I was in Hong Kong and then went to Macau, I noticed that it’s completely different! The Portugese influence is visible in almost everything.” This is because the city was founded by Portuguese citizens and belonged until 1999 to China. One of the most important sources of revenue for Macau are casinos. You can see casino’s on almost every corner and in every street. Erik says that it’s really worth visiting those casino’s.
Also in the food you see this Portuguese influence. Erik: “Typical Macau food are potatoes. When you study in Macau or visit this place, you should definitely try those!” There are also differences in people from Hong Kong and Macau. “You can’t compare a person from Hong Kong to a person from Macau: they are very different. You can compare inhabitants of Macau with people from mainland China.” Erik said.

animal cages

Special food in Guangzhou
Gerbrand Draaisma has visited Guangzhou last year for the first time. It was also the first time he travelled so far. “It was amazing, my visit to Guangzhou! But I can’t deny that I’ve had a culture shock.” Gerbrand tells about his experiences. “In the downtown market, I was surprised of what I saw. Animals were put into small cages. In the full hot sun, they were waiting to be bought and probably eaten. Animal rights is something they don’t know in Guangzhou.” Gerbrand couldn’t get used to the food either. “I wanted to try the Chinese food and I did, but there was a lot I didn’t like. However, I would recommend to just try because the food is part of the Chinese culture. Also try to eat with chopsticks!”
Gerbrand is very positive about the people from Guangzhou. He tells that the Chinese people are closed, but very friendly. He noticed that in Holland, his residence, people are more individual than in China, where people share are do more things together. He likes this lifestyle. Gerbrand gives one final suggestion for a visit: “I would highly recommend to visit the Canton tower. It’s really high and the view is beautiful!”