Hello from Jinan, China!
I have now lived 6 months in Jinan and this experience has been totally one of its own kind. At first when I arrived here it was a culture shock for me. I knew that I have to prepare myself for this, but this city where I live is totally opposite from Finland. Things go on its own speed like people who live here, slowly. So that is why I have been stressed out about my studies here. At first everything seems to go like it should be, but after a one month there started to came some problems. Sometimes they didn’t find teacher who can teach courses in English for us, so they delecate other students to help us to understand teacher.. So those classes I didn’t learn anything. Also they suddenly informs me that this course cannot be arranged for you, because there is no teacher or the fact that the course has already started one month ago. The information goes very slowly here and you have to ask and ask things you want to know, several times. Even then, you cannot be sure that things are happening as promised.
When I got used to local lifestyle, it was ok to live and study here. I had some time to travel around China, places such as Beijing, Shanghai and Qingdao. Travelling inside China is little difficult, mostly because it is very hard to find common language here.. So sometimes our classmates came to travel with us exchange students. Also when here in China is winter holiday, it lasts almost 2 months. At that time, I went to travel a longer time. I spend 3 days in Hong Kong, one month in Philippines and 2 weeks in South Korea. I went to South Korea meet my roommate and his friends, who showed us some good places to go in Korea. I would say that winter holiday here in China is the best thing! I had so much time to travel, and meet new people from different countries end experience some amazing stuff, for example swimming with whale sharks and big sea turtles in Philippines.
Because of winter holiday I came back to school in March, and I have now one semester left. The spring semester here ends in July, but I have to get back to Finland in May, they told me that it is possible, but you may never know…