Everyday life as foreign student in China – Part 1: weekdays

» Weekdays

Yesterday night you went to bed far too late to sleep properly, but the merciless alarm clock wakes you up at 7:00 AM and you have an hour to pretend not to be sleepy, get up, eat a sad chinese western-style breakfast, wash & dress yourself and reach your classroom, where four fantastic hours of chinese language lesson are waiting only for you, because everyone else is already there.

You listen to the teacher, take some notes, and finally it’s 12:00 AM, lunch time. You enjoy one of the two daily pleasures (the second one is dinner) with your friends, but then it’s almost 1:00 PM and you have to think about your studies again. You may have to write a 200-characters long essay about your ideal house or, if you are not lucky, you have to hurry up for the afternoon lesson, with one only joy, the greasy snack you’re going to buy on the way back to the dorm. But unforseens are round the corner: your chinese friend who studies italian needs some help translating a novel written in sardinian dialect, you run out of toilet paper, your laoshi (“teacher”) forces you to perform something awful in front of the whole school, or you simply have to walk through the whole campus because you need some documents to be signed, and hopefully the secretary would be in her office today. Everything is more urgent than the mid-term exam, and come on!, you have four more days to study ten grammar rules and memorize 200 characters, there’s no need to hurry!

And here we are, it’s 7:00 PM, the sun went down long ago, you didn’t study an half of the stuff you had to, but it’s dinner time and you leave the dorm feeling the taste of malatang on your tongue. «No matter what, we will be back by 8:00» says your roommate, and you agree. But you are Italians and you simply can’t eat without talking forever. You take a look at your watch and realize it’s almost 9:00 PM. Your roommate forces you to leave the canteen and by 10:30 you “finished” your homework, took a shower and wore your pijama. You are trying to connect the VPN when someone knocks at your door and at least two of your friends come in carrying a huge shrimp-flavoured chips box and a bunch of bad intentions. It all starts with a «Can you borrow me the scotch?» and it ends at 11:45 with a «In my opinion Big Bang is better, but tomorrow we’re listening to EXO together, I want to know your point of view», lots of junk food packagings all over the beds and the koreans on your floor starting another loud chatting night. When you finally switch off the light it’s nearly midnight and you only have three days before the exam, but weekend starts tomorrow.

» Hobbies (what saves your life every single day)

  • Going to the supermarket.

  • Deciding what to eat for your next meal.

  • Planning the next trip.

  • Taking “five minutes” breaks with your friends.

  • Organizing parties.

  • Thinking about an excuse to be angry with your korean friend and how to bother him the next day.

  • Thinking of some evil plans to make your secret crush join your clique next time you’ll hang out together.

  • Looking for a job back home.

  • Spending hours on Taobao.

Here’s the “normal” exchange student life during weekdays. Do you want to discover something about weekends? Just check here and… Enjoy reading!


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