A group of five RosNOU students spent two weeks in China, participating in the language internship at the Beijing International Chinese College. By the end of the training, students received diplomas of teachers of Chinese as a foreign language.
The internship was divided into three blocks: language disciplines (grammar, phonetics, vocabulary, hieroglyphics, colloquial Chinese), Chinese culture (calligraphy, paper cutting, Chinese knots, mahjong, lectures on traditional Beijing culture and a brief outline of China’s place in the world), sightseeing program (Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City Palace Complex, Tiananmen Square, Houhai Park).
One class lasted 3 hours with a short break. There were two subjects per day. Studying in Beijing had a notable advantage – all the teachers spoke pure Putonghua, so everything was clear, despite quite fast speech speed. In addition, all the teachers were very active: they explained some incomprehensible moments, answered questions, shared recommendations on teaching methods.
For example, the hieroglyphics teacher was so keen on his business. It seemed he could explain every hieroglyph: from its initial writing to the transformation of meaning in modern Chinese. By the participation in these seminars, we were ones again falling in love with this amazing language.
We enjoyed our stay in Beijing. We lived in a hotel by the university (2 minutes), in triple rooms. Each room had hot water access and daily cleaning service. The university provided three meals a day in the hotel for each student. Also, we had laundry and small gym within walking distance. Conditions of this level, in principle, we did not expect to meet in China, so we were very pleased.
There were around 20 minutes of walking distance from the hotel to the underground station and about 1.5 hours on the subway to the city center (Tiananmen Square). Unfortunately, our schedule (classes ended at 5 pm, dinner was at 6 pm) did not allow us to visit some of the historical places and museums on our own.
The weather was the only thing that really had us distressed. This winter was one of the coldest winters in Beijing. The wind was blowing constantly – neither three layers of sweaters, nor heated floors in the rooms saved us from it. Nevertheless, the level of smog kept at low levels – so good for sightseeing planned by the program!
To sum up, we spent an unforgettable two weeks in Beijing. This refresher training of the Beijing International Chinese College had a great program, as well as the accommodation was really good. Our group was surrounded by productive, rich, absolutely wonderful people.