For many students going to China to study Mandarin Chinese, it can be an adventure of a lifetime; something new and very exciting…
No matter whether they head for a first tier city such as Beijing or Shanghai or maybe one of the smaller cities such as Changsha or Suzhou, most students find time to do more than just learn Chinese.
Sure, they work hard, and the lessons to learn a new language and a new set of characters to identify can be quite a challenge. However, the students get to meet new friends both from China and overseas, get a better understanding of Chinese culture, enjoy the local food and, certainly for many of the male students, get to know more about Chinese women.
No matter how long a student stays in China to learn Mandarin Chinese, whether it be just for a few months or for year or so if it is someone who is more serious about the language, there is always plenty of spare time to socialise and/or maybe travel to different cities, regions and provinces. Being in China also offers the chance for many young men, for the first time, to meet Asian women in their home environment, as it were.
On the other side of the coin, there are a number of Chinese girls who were born and grew up overseas who go back to China to learn how to speak and read Mandarin Chinese. They may have a rudimentary grasp of the language from their parents but, more than likely, the social and learning environment in the country they were born has probably had English as a first language.
For such women, as well as for any young men of Chinese ethnicity who were born overseas, going back to China to learn Mandarin offers them a chance to reconnect with their or their parents’ roots. It also allows them the opportunity to get a better understanding of indigenous Chinese culture, and maybe even get in touch with members of their extended families who still live in the country.
Most of those students who travel from all over the world and spend time in China feel enriched by the experience, with many of the men finding themselves dating Asian women whilst in the country. The women they date may have been classmates also learning Mandarin Chinese or possibly even a teacher from, say, one of the language schools. Many of these teachers may have only been qualified for 1 or 2 years and, therefore, are in the same age group as many of the students.
Again it works the other way too, and many of the overseas born Chinese females studying Chinese end up dating local Chinese men, with some even becoming the proverbial Asian bride. Such women may decide to stay on in the country after completing their studies, and seek a career and settle down with the man they may have met whilst attending a language course.
So, whilst most students head for China primarily to study the language and get a taste of living in the country, some end up in relationships with local Chinese women or men. As a result they end up staying, living and working in China for far longer than they had originally anticipated!
Know anyone this has happened to?