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Thibault in China

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The Nankai University's campus is a very pleasant place where it is nice to have a walk on fine weather's days, when the pollution rate of the air is also low.

"Language barrier is still an issue in China"

If you want to move faster, then it's better if you buy a bike for a cheap price (usually 100 renminbi, which is circa 15 euros), because classes in the Business School take place in a building on the other side of the campus. Besides, to fully appreciate the beauty of it, you have to drop for a while your Western way of seeing things and take a chance and experience new stuff.

For instance, there is a market called South West Market (西 南村市场, Xinancun Shichang), where you can buy food for a cheaper price than the one at restaurants and cafeterias (usually 1 euro), but most of the times in a not very clean atmosphere. But, again, this is the magic of Eastern Chinese culture !

"I suggest all foreign students to enroll in basic level Chinese course because it really helps to gain a rich vocabulary..and maybe after attending it you can try the HSK exam, as I did !"

That is what struck Thibault the most when he landed in Tianjin. Actually, he tried to ask in English for the place he wanted to reach several times with different chinese people without success.Luckily, his basic knowledge of Chinese allowed him to finally get to the place.

Also, other cultural differences that he pointed out at the beginning were the dinner time, usually much earlier than in France (around 5-6 pm in the afternoon) and the distance in the relationships among people. He noticed this last one particularly when he wanted to thank a female Chinese classmate for a present she bought for him and he had his kiss on her cheek refused because it had been considered too personal (and they had been knowing each other already for a while).

On the other hand, while in France Thibault was sharing his apartment, here in Tianjin he sleeps in a dormitory, with everything already prepared before his arrival. Still, nevertheless, there were some other difficulties of "lost in translation" concerning the bureaucracy papers, which were finally overcome thanks to the help of some Korean students and their fairly good knowledge of English language.

Concerning the city, the central shopping street, called Binjiangdao (滨江道), like Rue Saint Catherine in Bordeaux, is a very nice place to have a walk in and from there you have access to the banks of the river, where again you can have a very nice walk along it.

Finally, Thibault suggests to really join the business classes at University, because, besides what he defines "the educational content", there is also the mutual exchange with local chinese students, which, in the end, is the most enriching and rewarding side of the courses !