Полоцкий государственный университет

Polotsk
State
University

Hello, or, how it is said in Chinese, «你好!». My name is Ekaterina Lilina. I am a 4th-year student at the Faculty of Finance and Economics. In my third year I had a wonderful opportunity to study at Heilongjiang University (Harbin, province Heiluntsyan, China) (黑龙江大学). Now I will tell you about the study in China and the difficulties I’ve faced.

Heilongjiang University

I have never been abroad, so my fist flight was a far and very exciting one. The flight took about 13 hours. And as soon as I landed, luck wasn’t on my side. I arrived there during the time when New Year was celebrated in China, and therefore, nobody was at university and nobody could pick me up at the airport. Consequently, I had to get to the campus myself.

The Chinese people are very friendly, so a taxi driver came to me and started speaking Chinese. I was lucky that Heilongjiang University had sent a card with the university address, police and ambulance telephone numbers. So, when he asked me where I needed to go, I showed him the card. He smiled and we set off.

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Everything was so nice at the beginning: the sun, a beautiful road, cars, advertisements in Chinese, but then the taxi driver told me how much I had to pay. The trip cost 400 Yuan and that was expensive, taking into account, that the actual cost was 120 Yuan.

After that, I saw a huge campus territory and the next adventure “Get to the Student Residence” started. The huge territory without any people seemed formidable. I had a map of the campus with schemes, names of the buildings and instructions how to get there.

The University Map

The University Miniature

When I found the place, I had to register at the student residence. It cost me 300 Yuan.

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It should be noted that the conditions at the student residence are different from ours. There were 2 beds, 2 bedside tables, 2 desks, 4 closets, a fridge, a TV, 2 armchairs, a coffee table, a telephone and a bathroom. The services of cleaning the room and changing the bedclothes were offered once a week.

The registration took place on March 5-6. The same day I received my student card, paid for the health insurance (400 Yuan) and books (350 Yuan). Several events were organized for the newcomers. One of them was the “Quest”. The task was to find definite places with the help of the map and to get the stamps there. As a reward, we were given shirts with the university emblem. The following day we had an excursion.

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It is hard to describe my studies there briefly. There were 13 people: 2 Belarusians, 5 Russians, 4 Americans, 1 Argentinean and 1 Japanese. We communicated with each other in English. Every lesson was interesting in their own way. We studied 5 disciplines: «Elementary Oral Chinese», «Listening Comprehension», «Elementary Chinese», «Reading and Writing Chinese Characters», «Chinese pronunciation». Each lecturer used a personal approach and was always positive. We played different games, sang songs and danced.

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We usually had 2 classes a day (8:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.), one day a week we had 3 classes (the 3rd started at 13:30 p.m.). We were given homework but not much. At first, it was hard to memorize hieroglyphs. I wrote hieroglyphs all the time, I filled my whole notebook with hieroglyphs. In less than 2 months, it became easier for me to memorize them. I put small stickers on the walls of my room to see the hieroglyphs in front of my eyes every day and before going to bed.

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The rules were explained mostly in Chinese. But everything was clear. The teachers invented various means to explain the rules. Then, the first person who understood the rule helped the others to understand it. Some famous English, Russian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean songs were played during the brakes.

Moreover, we had a rule: “if you are late, you sing a song”. It was a great fun, because not all of us were punctual. So, the lesson started with the songs or dances. Furthermore, the teachers recorded this and used in the presentations for us.

A lot of events were prepared for the students: sports competitions, excursions, different clubs (singing, dancing, Chinese cuisine, tai chi and others). Every day was a special day.

Of course, there were specific requirements also. We were to do all the homework, study hieroglyphs and not to miss classes. If there were more than 3 classes missed for no good reason, we might not be allowed to pass the exams.

In the middle of the semester, we took a test to assess our academic performance. It was very serious. If we gained less than 60 out of 100 points, we could be expelled. At the end of the semester, we took final examinations. The exams were hold mostly in written form. Nevertheless, there were disciplines consisting of two parts and the second was an oral one. After passing the exams, we received our long-wished-for certificates and wonderful memories of the study at Heilongjiang University (黑龙江大学).

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Summing up, I would like to thank Polotsk State University for the possibility to study abroad. I gained extensive and valuable experience. It is very important to know foreign languages nowadays. When you have an opportunity to improve your skills, you shouldn’t miss it. There are different ways to study abroad available at our university. If you address to the International Office, you won’t regret and you’ll get all the information you need!

Ekaterina Lilina