Name: Mullen Lewis James
Country: United Kingdom
Institute: Shanghai Business School
My life in Shanghai
My name is Lewis and I'm a foreign student studying Chinese in Shanghai. I've been living here for 2 years now and have thoroughly enjoyed my time here.
A typical day for me starts with some dumplings from my local street vendor, before a short metro journey to my school for class. I study all morning in a small class where we practice and improve our speaking, listening, reading and grammar ability. Each lesson consists of around 50 new words, some new grammar rules, and a dialogue or story in which they are used. We discuss the text and give our own examples of how to use the new material before working on some other exercises in our books.
The stories normally give some insight into Chinese life and the audio tapes allow us to focus on the pronunciation so we can take what we learn out of the classroom and use in everyday scenarios. Everybody at the school are very friendly and frequently encourage us to engage in conversation with them.
After class I often return to my flat to relax and have lunch before spending the afternoon revising and completing my homework. Twice a week I meet with Chinese friends for some language exchange. We meet at a coffee shop, restaurant or in a park and freely chat about current affairs, our hobbies and interests, and other topics we're interested in.
I like the parks in Shanghai because they are full of life, have lots of interesting activities, and for me, show the cultural values of China. Sometimes I'll talk with the older people in the park or some intrigued children. Alternatively, I'll simply people watch and enjoy the parks tranquility.
My evenings are spent relaxing at home in front of the television and on special occasions such as friends birthdays I'll go to bars, restaurants and even KTV. There's a strong ex-pat community in Shanghai, so if I want a break from Chinese I play football with my foreign friends or go for a drink and discuss our experiences here.
At weekends I don't really study and instead I like to make trips to some new areas of Shanghai, different tourist sites or museums, or visit a new city. I believe traveling is a great way to experience Chinese history and culture, and to practice my Chinese with different people.
I'm really enjoying my experiences in Shanghai and the knowledge I acquire from learning here. I hope I can use this in the future in a working environment and continue to strengthen my relations with the country and it's people.