Saturday, February 21, 2009

Chinese Class

I didn’t think studying abroad would be so much work! I just completed my first week of classes and I’m boggled by how much work we have to do. First off, we are all required to take 12 hours of Chinese a week with a dictation-writing test every morning. They put me in level 2 at first, even though I’ve told them a million times that I can’t read/write Chinese, I can only speak a little bit. I sat in that class for the first day, and couldn’t read a single word in my workbook. It was all Chinese characters, without even pin-yin on top. After class, I went to find the lady in charge of the Chinese program so I could switch into a lower class. I want to get switched into class 1A, because they are starting from the beginning and I need to learn everything from the start. Instead they put me into 1B, which isn’t too bad; at least there’s pin-yin in the textbook. I guess I can suck it up and just work harder for this class. The first couple of days weren’t too bad; we had to memorize about 50 Chinese characters a day. I’ve never taken a single class before, so I don’t know the right form for writing these characters, instead I picture each one as a drawing, and basically draw it the way I think is right. After handing in my first homework, the professor marked half of it wrong because I didn’t write the characters from left to right, top to bottom. This is so frustrating! I tell her I’ve never taken a class before so I don’t know the correct form for writing Chinese and ask if I can get switched into the lower class. She tells me I can’t, because I speak too well to be put into that class. I had to look for the head lady in charge of Chinese and bug her until she let me switch into the beginners’ Chinese class.

Chinese class is hard, but so are the other three classes I’m taking. These professors give out so much work! Do they really expect their students to read 50-100 pages every week?! I’ve gotten by classes at Northeastern without even buying the textbook, and here they expect me to read?? This is total nonsense. Out of the three other classes I have, only one speaks decent English. For my management class, I have no clue what she’s talking about. The lady just stands up there and mumbles for 3 hours and then expects us to go home and read 50 pages of articles she found online. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t have the mind span to read so much boring articles.

I thought study abroad was supposed to be easy. Maybe I just picked the wrong study abroad school.

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