Studying at Nanjing University

Read all the exciting things our scholars have been up to!

First day of language class

My first day of Chinese class at Nanjing University
My first day of Chinese class at Nanjing University.

Once I got my schedule, my job is to wake up early every morning. I had to make sure that I had to come to class on time. When the Chinese class started, our professor gave us everyone a Chinese name. I had my Chinese name before, so I don’t need a new one. She wanted us to call each other in Chinese in the class because this would help us to improve our Mandarin pronunciations. In the class, we learned new Chinese vocabularies, and we would have a small quiz every time after we learn new vocabularies. We also have a Chinese conversation, and this helped me how to talk with the people, especially when I am shopping.

Chinese Calligraphy

On our first Chinese Calligraphy class, our professor explained us the materials for the Chinese calligraphy, which are paper, ink and a brush. He also told us how to use the correct way to write our first Chinese characters. First, we practiced the five basics strokes of Chinese characters which are pie (Diagonal left), Heng (Vertical line), Shu (Horizontal line), Dian (Dot), Na (Diagonal right) and Gou(Hook). After we practiced these basics strokes, we wrote our Chinese name and 我爱中国 (I love China) on a scratch paper.

I wrote "I love China" on my Chinese calligraphy class
I wrote “I love China” on my Chinese calligraphy class.

First Cultural class

On the first day of class, we had a cultural class about the terracotta warriors and horses in the mausoleum of the emperor of Qin Shi Huang. Professor explained that these terracottas were built in person and they were discovered in 1974. Then, the professor showed us a sample of his terracotta warriors made of clay. He also gave us clay and showed us the steps to make our own terracotta army. It took us almost three hours to finish my first terracotta army, and this was my first time using clay to create an artwork.

My finished terracota Army
My finished terracota Army.

Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum

Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum was my first trip on Nanjing. Professor told us that Sun Yat-Sen played an important role in China’s history because he was the founder of and the first leader of the Chinese Nationalist Party. This mausoleum started to build in 1926 and finished in 1929. The only thing that I heard before was that Chinese Communist Chinese defeated the Chinese Nationalist Party. Then the Chinese Nationalist Party fled to Taiwan in 1949. There were more than three hundred stairs to climb and reach the mausoleum. When we reached the top of the mountain, I could see the whole city of Nanjing.

The entry of Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum.
Watching to the entry of Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum.

My free time

On the weekend, we visited Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo without the professor. It was my time to challenge myself if I could visit on my own. Before going there, it was important to have internet in our phones and the Baidu map. I followed the instructions from the Baidu map. We took the subway, and it took us less than ten minutes to get there. The tickets cost us twenty Yuan per person if we show them the student ID. We wanted to see the animals in China, especially the Panda bear that I have never seen before. We took around the zoo, and we saw panda, elephant, giraffes, birds and other animals. However, there were many animals that we could not visit those places were under renovation.

Overall, I enjoyed the class very much because our professor explained all the details and the small quiz made me study hard. I also enjoyed our first cultural class, but the only thing that made me disappointed was that Emperor Qin shi huang’s Mausoleum Site Museum was not part of our trip. Also, I found out that it is very important to carry our student ID, because many places offer discount or free tickets for students.