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    Hey guys,

    So I just got accepted to Leeds for Asia Pacific Studies and Chinese starting this September, so I thought I would start a discussion so we can all meet each other before hand.
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    I'm starting Chinese and International Relations at Leeds this year too! I applied for straight Chinese but asked to add IR yesterday Have you studied any Chinese before? I'm so excited!
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    (Original post by Blues Clues)
    I'm starting Chinese and International Relations at Leeds this year too! I applied for straight Chinese but asked to add IR yesterday Have you studied any Chinese before? I'm so excited!
    Awsome! We will probably meet each other soon then! Not academically, but I have been working in a Chinese restaurant (ran by a Chinese family ) for quite a while now so I know some of the basics. What about you ?
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    (Original post by Fifitheflower)
    Awsome! We will probably meet each other soon then! Not academically, but I have been working in a Chinese restaurant (ran by a Chinese family ) for quite a while now so I know some of the basics. What about you ?
    I think so! I think we're quite a small group anyway... do you know how many of us there'll probably be?

    Ooh, that sounds awesome - that's so good to be able to learn in real life situations! I've been studying with a tutor privately for my own interest but I'm definitely not at A-level standard or anything. But that's how I knew I wanted to carry on with it
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    (Original post by Blues Clues)
    I think so! I think we're quite a small group anyway... do you know how many of us there'll probably be?

    Ooh, that sounds awesome - that's so good to be able to learn in real life situations! I've been studying with a tutor privately for my own interest but I'm definitely not at A-level standard or anything. But that's how I knew I wanted to carry on with it
    I'm not sure exactly how many but when I went to the open day one of the lecturers said that it was a small group so I'm thinking probably around 50, but not 100% sure.

    Wow! Wish I could have a private tutor! I live in Spain and learning Chinese is very difficult here as no one teaches it and it isn't taught at school either.
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    (Original post by Fifitheflower)
    I'm not sure exactly how many but when I went to the open day one of the lecturers said that it was a small group so I'm thinking probably around 50, but not 100% sure.

    Wow! Wish I could have a private tutor! I live in Spain and learning Chinese is very difficult here as no one teaches it and it isn't taught at school either.
    Oh cool! Probably enough to know everyone's names at least. Do you know anyone else who's doing the course/is going to Leeds?

    Yeah, I'm kind of glad haha - my mum's friend is Chinese and my teacher is also teaching her daughter so that's how I knew her I guess. It feels like there isn't really as much info on the internet on learning Chinese like there is for French.

    Spain seems so cool though - my family are really keen to visit! I live in London - the constant overcast sky gets to me :P
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    My advice to you guys who are learning Chinese is to absolutely take advantage of your year abroad in China since, from my experience, a large portion of students of Chinese language absolutely waste it. Also, don't expect to be fluent after your degree as Chinese is a very complex language to learn - remember to develop other skills too.
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    (Original post by Paraphilos)
    My advice to you guys who are learning Chinese is to absolutely take advantage of your year abroad in China since, from my experience, a large portion of students of Chinese language absolutely waste it. Also, don't expect to be fluent after your degree as Chinese is a very complex language to learn - remember to develop other skills too.
    Thank you! Are you doing the course too (presumably in 2nd or 3rd year or something?) Yeah, I was worried about going back to Leeds after my year abroad - how do you keep your level up afterwards?
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    (Original post by Blues Clues)
    Thank you! Are you doing the course too (presumably in 2nd or 3rd year or something?) Yeah, I was worried about going back to Leeds after my year abroad - how do you keep your level up afterwards?
    My undergrad is actually in Mathematics and not Chinese I started learning Chinese in my own time during second year and then, after graduation, I went to Renmin University in Beijing to study Chinese quite intensively for one year (I interned in a tech company there too for four months or so where the operating language was Chinese - really scary but worth it).

    During my studies at Renmin I was grouped with a lot of students who were doing their year abroad (from all over the world) so I kind of know how they treat it. Some are inspiring though. I met one American who was really talented; he came for one term at Renmin and passed HSK 6 by the end. He was so devoted that even when we hung out together we spoke to each other in Chinese rather than English - that really confused Chinese onlookers because our Chinese was always so weird and broken, but that was a big part of how we improved our level in the end!
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    (Original post by Paraphilos)
    My undergrad is actually in Mathematics and not Chinese I started learning Chinese in my own time during second year and then, after graduation, I went to Renmin University in Beijing to study Chinese quite intensively for one year (I interned in a tech company there too for four months or so where the operating language was Chinese - really scary but worth it).

    During my studies at Renmin I was grouped with a lot of students who were doing their year abroad (from all over the world) so I kind of know how they treat it. Some are inspiring though. I met one American who was really talented; he came for one term at Renmin and passed HSK 6 by the end. He was so devoted that even when we hung out together we spoke to each other in Chinese rather than English - that really confused Chinese onlookers because our Chinese was always so weird and broken, but that was a big part of how we improved our level in the end!
    That's so cool! I'd love to do an internship (but at a news organisation) - is that something Renmin arranged?

    Ah yeah, i imagine some people'd see it as an extended holiday. How do you balance speaking Chinese with wanting to speak English? I studied French at school so while it's always really rewarding to speak French if I'm ever in France on holiday for even like, a week, there always comes a point where my head can't take any more French because it's so mentally exhausting after a while. Is that just something you get used to?
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    (Original post by Blues Clues)
    Oh cool! Probably enough to know everyone's names at least. Do you know anyone else who's doing the course/is going to Leeds?

    Yeah, I'm kind of glad haha - my mum's friend is Chinese and my teacher is also teaching her daughter so that's how I knew her I guess. It feels like there isn't really as much info on the internet on learning Chinese like there is for French.

    Spain seems so cool though - my family are really keen to visit! I live in London - the constant overcast sky gets to me :P
    My name is Sophia by the way. I know someone who is going to Leeds Beckett, but as for Leeds Uni it's just me myself and I haha. I tried to learn online, but find it almost impossible as it doesn't explain anything, rather it just gives you words and expects you to understand. Good tip though! On youtube there are some great videos on how to learn Pinyin, which could help with our course!

    You're family should visit sometime, it's boiling here and blue skies everyday; being honest though, I prefer the cold and can't wait to see snow for the first time.
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    (Original post by Blues Clues)
    That's so cool! I'd love to do an internship (but at a news organisation) - is that something Renmin arranged?

    Ah yeah, i imagine some people'd see it as an extended holiday. How do you balance speaking Chinese with wanting to speak English? I studied French at school so while it's always really rewarding to speak French if I'm ever in France on holiday for even like, a week, there always comes a point where my head can't take any more French because it's so mentally exhausting after a while. Is that just something you get used to?
    The way I learnt Spanish was purely through speaking to people in Spanish. I went to Spanish school so it was easy to find people to talk with, but when you don't know what word to use and people can't understand what your saying it's really frustrating, but I guess that's just part of the learning process. Always remember to learn from your mistakes! Also, if you don't know a word, you can always ask the person if they speak English and ask them to correct you, but never fall into the habit of then only speaking in English, keep speaking in the language you want to learn.
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    (Original post by Blues Clues)
    That's so cool! I'd love to do an internship (but at a news organisation) - is that something Renmin arranged?

    Ah yeah, i imagine some people'd see it as an extended holiday. How do you balance speaking Chinese with wanting to speak English? I studied French at school so while it's always really rewarding to speak French if I'm ever in France on holiday for even like, a week, there always comes a point where my head can't take any more French because it's so mentally exhausting after a while. Is that just something you get used to?
    It was not organised by the university unfortunately. I was kind of lucky in that my friend from Peking university recommended me to one of their managers and that was it. But you can find so many opportunities online and through friends on WeChat too to some extent. This is because China's tech scene in large cities - particularly in places like Shenzhen - is absolutely booming and the ability to market a product to an English speaking audience is in great demand and here to stay. Indeed, western companies have no chance dominating the Chinese market, as Uber have recently shown having been recently acquired by Didi, primarily because domestic companies are so well protected by the government. Learning Chinese is a good thing to do for the future in light of this so well done!

    It wasn't ever about balancing English and Chinese actually. We never felt sick of it because we both really enjoyed learning Chinese and our teachers encouraged us to speak Chinese outside class because we were speaking Chinese to each other in class anyway so it made complete sense. It's possibly a little strange doing it in the UK though.
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    Helloo! I'll also be starting Chinese in September! Really tempted to add either international relations or politics with it though... I know pretty much nothing apart from the basics, but have a slight head start in some of the characters as I've studied Japanese for a couple of years.
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    (Original post by BeePanda)
    Helloo! I'll also be starting Chinese in September! Really tempted to add either international relations or politics with it though... I know pretty much nothing apart from the basics, but have a slight head start in some of the characters as I've studied Japanese for a couple of years.
    Hi! Nice to meet another girl haha. I'm also basically completely new to Chinese aapart from being able to understand simple conversation.
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    All guys what I want to advise you is that even in UK, there is many Chinese environment available to you, which I think it is very important for you to improve your Chinese. I am a Chinese who visit Imperial College London for one years, and I know some Chinese students like rent a house and share the different bedrooms. They speak Chinese in apartment, but English instead outside the house. If you guys contact them and live with them, I believe you will have many chances to speak Chinese during your daily lives.

    At last, I want to warn again that language environment is the only shortcut to learn a foreign language, especially for Chinese.
    Good luck all you guys.
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    (Original post by Fifitheflower)
    Hi! Nice to meet another girl haha. I'm also basically completely new to Chinese aapart from being able to understand simple conversation.
    I'm glad I'm not the only one starting from scratch then! I'm trying to get used to the tones before we start, however I have to move my head in the direction of the tone shape to make sure I'm using the right one and saying it right...i look like a nodding-dog
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    (Original post by liou)
    All guys what I want to advise you is that even in UK, there is many Chinese environment available to you, which I think it is very important for you to improve your Chinese. I am a Chinese who visit Imperial College London for one years, and I know some Chinese students like rent a house and share the different bedrooms. They speak Chinese in apartment, but English instead outside the house. If you guys contact them and live with them, I believe you will have many chances to speak Chinese during your daily lives.

    At last, I want to warn again that language environment is the only shortcut to learn a foreign language, especially for Chinese.
    Good luck all you guys.
    Thank you so much for this advice! Putting myself in a language environment is my weak-point (mostly because of where I live, there are really only English and Welsh speakers ) so moving to Leeds I will definitely try to find Chinese speaking environments.
    Thank you!
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    (Original post by BeePanda)
    Thank you so much for this advice! Putting myself in a language environment is my weak-point (mostly because of where I live, there are really only English and Welsh speakers ) so moving to Leeds I will definitely try to find Chinese speaking environments.
    Thank you!
    You are welcome. Don't be shy to jump into such environment, most Chinese are very very kindly!
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    Hi! BBC here, starting Chinese in September. I've done Chinese AS (cantonese) although I'm far from fluent. I can sometimes understand little bits of Mandarin when it sounds similar to Cantonese...can't wait to start the course.
 
 
 
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