I can still remember when I first came and had no clue where to go and what to do. Although I could already speak Chinese, I was still scared the people won’t understand me. But luckily I made it to my dorm and the adventure began.
A whole semester in China went by so fast, I was fascinated how fast this city is growing and changing all the time. If you are not passing by a place on a daily basis, it could be gone the next week. A coffee shop can be on your way to class and the next week it can be a 10 floor high building.
Besides the amazing speed the city grows and changes, the people were from the beginning a little tiny bit annoying. Not the people themselves, but the culture.
There were a lot of things which I couldn’t deal with in the beginning, but after a while I got used to it.
I appreciate the basic things in my life
Courtesy is definitely rare in Shanghai, I had to learn to be rude towards taxi drivers and waiters, otherwise I would have never get what I wanted. After coming back to Shanghai I appreciate the courtesy much much more!
Not only courtesy is something I appreciate, but also the Internet, which we take for granted, is something I appreciate more. It was hard in China to get through my daily Social Media, such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Sometimes it was impossible to get on Facebook!
So what changed for me is basically the appreciation for the basic things in life and also the things I have in my country ( such as good air ).
Of course my personality changed through this semester abroad, I think I am more fearless than before, but only a tiny bit.
The Chinese taught me how to survive
Ok maybe how to survive sounds really hard, but I had to learn how to get through life there when everybody is acting like an asshole. Deception happens every day in China, of course we have scam all over the world, but I think it happens more often in Asia. If Chinese people know that you have no clue of their country, they will try to withdraw every single pocket in your money. I had so many cases where I really had to fight over a price for a service or a product, because they tried to get more from me than usual. I think back in Germany I will be more blunt and I won’t be that afraid of confrontation anymore. Before I came to China I was always keeping quiet about services I didn’t like or I usually just leave it, because I don’t want to cause any trouble.
These are the two big things which changed for me and which I recognized on me, of course I changed personally as well and my understanding for different cultures is bigger than before. Adapting to a new culture was for me really successful, it was hard but I made it!
Studying abroad is such a huge possibility for you to go out, see the world, meet amazing people and widen your horizon of understanding! If you have the chance to go, then do it!
Where do you wanna go? Or where did you go and what experiences did you make? I would be happy if you let me know!