Classes started last Thursday.
The classes are really interesting, but really intense.
The IES Contemporary Issues program uses a ‘block system’, which means you take two classes at a time, one of which is always Chinese language. Right now, I am taking a history course, ‘Understanding China’. This course gives a general overview of Chinese history, geography and culture. I have two and a half hours in the morning of Chinese history, and two hours of Chinese language in the afternoon. Language classes are really small which makes them really intense. This also however allows one to ask many more questions and gives one more opportunity to actively practice one’s language skills.
The workload is descent, but I think the key to success is well-timed study breaks.
What better to enjoy a study break than a tasty donkey burger?
Right down the road from campus there is a specialty restaurant that sells everything donkey. Not being that adventurous yet, I decided to try the donkey burger, instead of the donkey heart. Despite one’s initial reluctance, it was really good! The meat was very lean and very tasty. Whilst many foods might seem foreign, key to having an amazing time in China is trying new things. It might seem very foreign, and even unappealing, but in China, the local people eat almost anything, and you’ll find that the things you least expect to like (such as donkey) can be really good!
More Blogs From This Author
<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Jason Klanderman, originally from Chicago, grew up in Amsterdam. He has travelled extensively through Europe and Asia. He is an International Politics, History and Global and International Studies triple major, with a minor in Chinese at Penn State University. When not in State College, where he is currently living, you can find him traveling between Amsterdam, Singapore, and various other places, visiting family and friends. His hobbies include reading, writing, cooking and going to the gym. Read about his experiences as he tackles the middle kingdom, China, during his spring semester 2013.</span></p>