Never too early to start learning Chinese——A new student of SEU


It is never too early to start learning Chinese, the new student ofSoutheast University from Belarus - Katya (苏小小), is only 18 years old, but already has HSK 5 and has twice participated in the “ChineseBridge” Chinese Proficiency competition. Katya got into finals of the 16th“Chinese Bridge” which was held in Changsha city on July 25, 2017 and she got 5thplace in the European Group.

Well, isn’t that impressive? And now, Katya is a freshman at theSoutheast University and is going to study bachelor degree in InternationalEconomics and Trade. We decided to ask Katya to share her experience in Chinaand her study plans in the Southeast University.

When did you start taking interest in Chinese language?

I really like learning languages, when I was in 9th gradeI decided to learn a new language. By that time I could speak English, Spanish,Russian and, of course, Belarusian. My relatives who were working in Chinahighly recommended me to start learning Chinese and I really liked that idea.Studying Chinese was enormously hard in the beginning, but then I joined theSummer Camp in Nanjing organized by Confucius Institute and SoutheastUniversity. China and its culture impressed me so much that it sparked myinterest to the language.

What I love most about the Chinese language is that it is very logical. The grammar is very simple and clear. At first, if you compare it to Russian or English languages it may seem illogical. However, when you start thinking in a new way you realize how, actually, it is very logical. Besides, Ilove Chinese characters, but this is one of the hardest part of Chinese language for me.

What do you enjoy most about China?

I admire nature and beautiful sceneries of Chinese land, especially the so-called “Shan Shui” (山水). For example, Guilin, it is my dream to go there. I have already been to Yunnan province and views there were also simply breathtaking. I wasalso under big impression by the Zhangjiajie Mountains where the Avatar movie was filmed, it was so beautiful.

The other thing I love about China is the country has so many unique historical and cultural sights - The Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, Beijing museum, just a few examples out of such a big variety of places. I also have recently visited Henan Museum which is one of the biggest museums in China.

Do you have many friendsin China?

Oh, yes! I have friends almost in every province, and not only Chinese, but also foreign students. How did I make so many friends? Back in Belarus we have around 4000 Chinese students. The cooperation between my country and China is very strong in the spheres of education, economy, tourismand many other. We have numerous Chinese and joint companies, and various projects organized together with Chinese people. This year there was the 25-year anniversary of friendship between Belarus and China. Therefore, I had a chance to meet many great people from China in Belarus. Besides, I became really good friends with my teachers in Confucius Institute. And in my school we was a Chinese student who also introduced me to some of his friends.

How did you choose university for your bachelor degree?

As I was studying Chinese in the Confucius Institute of Minsk StateUniversity of Linguistics, which has a partnership with Southeast University, I already had a chance to come study at Southeast. Moreover, I was checking the rating of the Chinese Universities, and Southeast University was one of the universities on the top of the list. Besides, I was astonished by the beauty of the university and the city as whole. Nanjing is a very developed city, but at the same time the life here is very peaceful and not that hectic as in other big cities. And the fact that Jiangsu province is one of the most economically developed provinces also played a big role in my decision.

How do you feel about the atmosphere in the university?

I live and study in Jiulonghu campus which strikes with its huge andbeautiful territory. At first, I was very shocked by the size of the campus.Back in my country we have only one building for the whole university, but herein Jiulonghu campus only one library is almost as a big as our whole universityin Belarus. There are all the necessary facilities for a comfortable living –canteens with affordable prices, bicycles and campus buses as a mean oftransportation, special places where you can take a delivery and many others.The room in the dormitory is for two people and is quite spacious and even hasa balcony.

What are the benefits of being a foreign student in China?

I think it is easier to make friends, because Chinese people are eagerto communicate with foreigners. Moreover, everyone is very friendly and willingto help in different kinds of situations. When I had some small problems whileadjusting to the new environment here in campus, some Chinese students noticedit and offered me help, I found it very kind of them. So my general feeling isthat the attitude to foreign students is very friendly and it makes me feelthat the pressure on me is lower.

What are your expectationsand plans for the study duration?

During the first year I am going to put all the efforts intostudying Chinese in order to be able to understand all the subjects in Chinese.Then I want to get insights about the Chinese economy and International economyand at the same time compare the educational systems of China and Belarus. Ireally want to get valuable knowledge, which I can use for the benefit of mycountry and for the benefit of the mutual cooperation between China andBelarus. Besides studying, I would love to join various projects organizedwithin university – any events, activities or student meetings.

 Another thing I like about our campus is that it has various sportfacilities. We are free to join badminton, volleyball, basketball, tennis or any other sport groups. I want to be an active participant in university’s activities.

How do you think the education in Southeast will help you in terms of you future career?

First of all, studying bachelor degree in Chinese will help me toraise the language proficiency which I can apply in many various spheres.Second, the major I am studying is comprehensive, which means that I can apply my knowledge in different spheres. I am still considering various career paths and I cannot say what I exactly want to do after graduation,but I would like to work in an International organization or in the Embassy, Ithink it would be a great experience and I am sure that education in Southeast University will help me to achieve any of my goals.