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    Been at Uni for 4 years now and the Chinese students always seemed to live in a bit of a bubble.
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    yeah - and I ended up marrying her.

    Its true though, Chinese students on average do keep to themselves far more then students of other backgrounds.

    I work in China currently, and I talk to a lot of students who are going to study abroad and most of them have little expectation of making local friends. I try and convince them otherwise, but generally speaking its not easy.

    My wife was an exception, she made a lot of effort to go and talk to British people, and made quite a few friends. Through her I then met all her Chinese friends - and without exception, I was all of theirs only British friend.

    The thing is, most of them loved having a british friend, and we all had a great time together.. its not that they don't want to make friends (in most circumstances) its instead a combinaton of a few things:

    1 - Language (many students can speak english to a decent level, but they are still afraid of being embarrassed and using it socially, they would much rather be comfortable speaking their own language socially)
    2 - Not used to foreigners. Within China most Chinese students will never meet foreigners, except possibly foreign language teachers. Certainly the vast majority will have never met anyone who is not Chinese or white. They are simply increadibly un-used to dealing with people from other cultures (the exception being those students who have studied at international schools/abroad before)
    3 - Different cultures. The social cultures of China compared to the UK are very different. its often hard for them to relate to british students.

    Number 3 is a big one, especially for undergraduates.

    Think about this:

    You have just come from highschool. Highschool in china starts at 7.30am, and can go on until 9-10pm at night. Your whole life is studying and your school. You have never drank alcahol, or had a boyfriend/girlfriend. You have never had the freedom to go out a lot on your own, or with your friends.. You have never been able to wear your hair/make-up as you like, or wear jewelery etc.

    Then you come and arrive in the UK and you see western students. They drink, they have a lot of sex (comparativly), they have complete freedom, they dress, do, act, and say what ever they want.. and they have been doing all this for years.

    Now of course these are generalisations, but they are ones that hold true for many Chinese students. Their lives pre-uni are so so so different from our lives, that its hard for them to feel like they can relate to western people at first. My wife was the same - she arrived in Halls, and was shocked by how western students acted and behaved, not in a bad way, but she had just never seen it before.

    So what do they do? With masses of people who have a hugely different way of living to them, speak a language they are nervous about using, and look different to anyone they have ever seen before? - They find another Chinese student and relax/feel comfortable again.

    ---

    We can't exactly judge them for this - its the same as almost all british expats do in other countries. Find a group of other western expats and live in their own little expat community.

    ---

    Anyway the best thing to do with Chinese undergraduates is to aproach them. Don't ever wait for them to try and make friends with you - because you will likely be there a long time. Go and talk to them, and you may find that they are far far more friendly then you think, and love having a western friend. Don't rush it though, and don't expect them to instantly be your friend - just take it slow, and see how it goes. Understand that the chances are their life experiances are very different to yours, in so many ways, and your relationship as friends will be different.
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    (Original post by Dominoes)
    Been at Uni for 4 years now and the Chinese students always seemed to live in a bit of a bubble.
    Tried quite a few times in 1st year with little success. Really want to learn about their culture and life in China - what they think Xi - but hard to get them to open up.
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    (Original post by Dominoes)
    Been at Uni for 4 years now and the Chinese students always seemed to live in a bit of a bubble.
    They tend to talk to me because they assume I am incredibly rich and well-connected because I am white and British. These are the actual Chinese, though, not the ethnically Chinese who have lived their whole lives in the UK and their parents have run a Chinese takeaway for the past 30 years. But it is true the actual Chinese do form quite closed-off cliques.
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    I am Chinese, but not from China tho. I have problems talking to the Chinese students from China as I cannot speak Mandarin. Most of them are too scared to speak English because they think their accent isn't good. And in some places in China, people laugh at the others when they pronounce something wrong and make fun of them.
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    (Original post by fallen_acorns)
    yeah - and I ended up marrying her.

    Its true though, Chinese students on average do keep to themselves far more then students of other backgrounds.

    I work in China currently, and I talk to a lot of students who are going to study abroad and most of them have little expectation of making local friends. I try and convince them otherwise, but generally speaking its not easy.

    My wife was an exception, she made a lot of effort to go and talk to British people, and made quite a few friends. Through her I then met all her Chinese friends - and without exception, I was all of theirs only British friend.

    The thing is, most of them loved having a british friend, and we all had a great time together.. its not that they don't want to make friends (in most circumstances) its instead a combinaton of a few things:

    1 - Language (many students can speak english to a decent level, but they are still afraid of being embarrassed and using it socially, they would much rather be comfortable speaking their own language socially)
    2 - Not used to foreigners. Within China most Chinese students will never meet foreigners, except possibly foreign language teachers. Certainly the vast majority will have never met anyone who is not Chinese or white. They are simply increadibly un-used to dealing with people from other cultures (the exception being those students who have studied at international schools/abroad before)
    3 - Different cultures. The social cultures of China compared to the UK are very different. its often hard for them to relate to british students.

    Number 3 is a big one, especially for undergraduates.

    Think about this:

    You have just come from highschool. Highschool in china starts at 7.30am, and can go on until 9-10pm at night. Your whole life is studying and your school. You have never drank alcahol, or had a boyfriend/girlfriend. You have never had the freedom to go out a lot on your own, or with your friends.. You have never been able to wear your hair/make-up as you like, or wear jewelery etc.

    Then you come and arrive in the UK and you see western students. They drink, they have a lot of sex (comparativly), they have complete freedom, they dress, do, act, and say what ever they want.. and they have been doing all this for years.

    Now of course these are generalisations, but they are ones that hold true for many Chinese students. Their lives pre-uni are so so so different from our lives, that its hard for them to feel like they can relate to western people at first. My wife was the same - she arrived in Halls, and was shocked by how western students acted and behaved, not in a bad way, but she had just never seen it before.

    So what do they do? With masses of people who have a hugely different way of living to them, speak a language they are nervous about using, and look different to anyone they have ever seen before? - They find another Chinese student and relax/feel comfortable again.

    ---

    We can't exactly judge them for this - its the same as almost all british expats do in other countries. Find a group of other western expats and live in their own little expat community.

    ---

    Anyway the best thing to do with Chinese undergraduates is to aproach them. Don't ever wait for them to try and make friends with you - because you will likely be there a long time. Go and talk to them, and you may find that they are far far more friendly then you think, and love having a western friend. Don't rush it though, and don't expect them to instantly be your friend - just take it slow, and see how it goes. Understand that the chances are their life experiances are very different to yours, in so many ways, and your relationship as friends will be different.


    Really good analysis. and so true, sadly. On my course they all sat together and never came on the social events

    Everyone, go and talk to a shy chinese student next week!!
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    (Original post by fallen_acorns)
    yeah - and I ended up marrying her.

    Its true though, Chinese students on average do keep to themselves far more then students of other backgrounds.

    I work in China currently, and I talk to a lot of students who are going to study abroad and most of them have little expectation of making local friends. I try and convince them otherwise, but generally speaking its not easy.

    My wife was an exception, she made a lot of effort to go and talk to British people, and made quite a few friends. Through her I then met all her Chinese friends - and without exception, I was all of theirs only British friend.

    The thing is, most of them loved having a british friend, and we all had a great time together.. its not that they don't want to make friends (in most circumstances) its instead a combinaton of a few things:

    1 - Language (many students can speak english to a decent level, but they are still afraid of being embarrassed and using it socially, they would much rather be comfortable speaking their own language socially)
    2 - Not used to foreigners. Within China most Chinese students will never meet foreigners, except possibly foreign language teachers. Certainly the vast majority will have never met anyone who is not Chinese or white. They are simply increadibly un-used to dealing with people from other cultures (the exception being those students who have studied at international schools/abroad before)
    3 - Different cultures. The social cultures of China compared to the UK are very different. its often hard for them to relate to british students.

    Number 3 is a big one, especially for undergraduates.

    Think about this:

    You have just come from highschool. Highschool in china starts at 7.30am, and can go on until 9-10pm at night. Your whole life is studying and your school. You have never drank alcahol, or had a boyfriend/girlfriend. You have never had the freedom to go out a lot on your own, or with your friends.. You have never been able to wear your hair/make-up as you like, or wear jewelery etc.

    Then you come and arrive in the UK and you see western students. They drink, they have a lot of sex (comparativly), they have complete freedom, they dress, do, act, and say what ever they want.. and they have been doing all this for years.

    Now of course these are generalisations, but they are ones that hold true for many Chinese students. Their lives pre-uni are so so so different from our lives, that its hard for them to feel like they can relate to western people at first. My wife was the same - she arrived in Halls, and was shocked by how western students acted and behaved, not in a bad way, but she had just never seen it before.

    So what do they do? With masses of people who have a hugely different way of living to them, speak a language they are nervous about using, and look different to anyone they have ever seen before? - They find another Chinese student and relax/feel comfortable again.

    ---

    We can't exactly judge them for this - its the same as almost all british expats do in other countries. Find a group of other western expats and live in their own little expat community.

    ---

    Anyway the best thing to do with Chinese undergraduates is to aproach them. Don't ever wait for them to try and make friends with you - because you will likely be there a long time. Go and talk to them, and you may find that they are far far more friendly then you think, and love having a western friend. Don't rush it though, and don't expect them to instantly be your friend - just take it slow, and see how it goes. Understand that the chances are their life experiances are very different to yours, in so many ways, and your relationship as friends will be different.
    Completely agree with this. To add, a lot of courses will have huge Chinese populations and they will be taught and supervised by Chinese professors, and if you go to certain unis you will be surrounded by authentic Chinese restaurants, supermarkets and other businesses run by Chinese people. It's entirely possible for them to just never speak English, and because they don't have to speak English very often at the beginning they just get into that habit and cut it out of their lives more and more. It's also quite intimidating understanding British slang, which makes socialising more difficult for them.

    Also a lot of socialising activities for them are based around food, which a lot of Europeans aren't as interested in due to the expense/effort. If you're interested in going for hot pot or making dim sum with a bunch of friends then it will be much easier.

    Finally, learn a bit of Mandarin. Just them knowing that you're learning or have learned will increase their interest in you considerably.
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    the international students will stick to eachother as the come from the same country


    BBCs (british born chinese) people like me will be like the other home students
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    (Original post by Dominoes)
    Been at Uni for 4 years now and the Chinese students always seemed to live in a bit of a bubble.
    I'm not Chinese, but asian and have lived in England for most of my life. I'm well adapt to understand verbal signals, social ques and British slang as I have lived and breathed it for years. Though, I still have difficulty connecting with them culturally as we all have different values that are more important to us.
    There is also this generalisation amidst, where British people will think that Asian people won't like parties or like to drink and have fun, which I can understand, but in fact we like to do those things too, just that we may be shy and need a little time to break out of our shell. All we need is someone willing to understand and approach us and you'll realise we're actually pretty cool people

    Edit: but yeah I have also noticed Chinese students tend to be quiet or shy due to not being able to be confident in English. I have this Chinese friend that I talk to and sometimes I can't understand what she's saying as her words can be jumbled or broken. But overall, I think she's a nice person and really good at maths - something I'm not.
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    I had two chinese flatmates in my first year- myself and the rest of my flatmates approached both. The girl ran away whenever we even tried to say hi and the guy we did talk to a bit but he admitted his English wasn't very good so it wasn't easy.
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      Yeah, they do mainly stick to their own.

      I'd say the majority of my friend group is Asian, but hardly any of them are Chinese. The Chinese students I do know are very friendly, though.
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      (Original post by fallen_acorns)
      yeah - and I ended up marrying her.

      Its true though, Chinese students on average do keep to themselves far more then students of other backgrounds.

      I work in China currently, and I talk to a lot of students who are going to study abroad and most of them have little expectation of making local friends. I try and convince them otherwise, but generally speaking its not easy.

      My wife was an exception, she made a lot of effort to go and talk to British people, and made quite a few friends. Through her I then met all her Chinese friends - and without exception, I was all of theirs only British friend.

      The thing is, most of them loved having a british friend, and we all had a great time together.. its not that they don't want to make friends (in most circumstances) its instead a combinaton of a few things:

      1 - Language (many students can speak english to a decent level, but they are still afraid of being embarrassed and using it socially, they would much rather be comfortable speaking their own language socially)
      2 - Not used to foreigners. Within China most Chinese students will never meet foreigners, except possibly foreign language teachers. Certainly the vast majority will have never met anyone who is not Chinese or white. They are simply increadibly un-used to dealing with people from other cultures (the exception being those students who have studied at international schools/abroad before)
      3 - Different cultures. The social cultures of China compared to the UK are very different. its often hard for them to relate to british students.

      Number 3 is a big one, especially for undergraduates.

      Think about this:

      You have just come from highschool. Highschool in china starts at 7.30am, and can go on until 9-10pm at night. Your whole life is studying and your school. You have never drank alcahol, or had a boyfriend/girlfriend. You have never had the freedom to go out a lot on your own, or with your friends.. You have never been able to wear your hair/make-up as you like, or wear jewelery etc.

      Then you come and arrive in the UK and you see western students. They drink, they have a lot of sex (comparativly), they have complete freedom, they dress, do, act, and say what ever they want.. and they have been doing all this for years.

      Now of course these are generalisations, but they are ones that hold true for many Chinese students. Their lives pre-uni are so so so different from our lives, that its hard for them to feel like they can relate to western people at first. My wife was the same - she arrived in Halls, and was shocked by how western students acted and behaved, not in a bad way, but she had just never seen it before.

      So what do they do? With masses of people who have a hugely different way of living to them, speak a language they are nervous about using, and look different to anyone they have ever seen before? - They find another Chinese student and relax/feel comfortable again.

      ---

      We can't exactly judge them for this - its the same as almost all british expats do in other countries. Find a group of other western expats and live in their own little expat community.

      ---

      Anyway the best thing to do with Chinese undergraduates is to aproach them. Don't ever wait for them to try and make friends with you - because you will likely be there a long time. Go and talk to them, and you may find that they are far far more friendly then you think, and love having a western friend. Don't rush it though, and don't expect them to instantly be your friend - just take it slow, and see how it goes. Understand that the chances are their life experiances are very different to yours, in so many ways, and your relationship as friends will be different.
      yeah thats interesting. would have thought student union would try to bridge the gap between the British and international students more instead of pushing to put a microwave in the libary cafe.
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      I lived with a bunch of them for 2 years. We got on great and they taught me a lot about their culture and even language. We keep in touch online and I've been invited to various parts of China (genuinely), if only I could convince my wife to take them up on the offer.
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      I go to an all girls school that takes both day girls and boarders. Around 60% of the boarders are Chinese and yes, they do have their own bubble. They prefer to stay friends with each other.

      However, on the first day of the year one of these Chinese boarders came up to us and wanted to be friends with us. So we took her in. Western culture and her culture differs in many instances, but then again, she is her own person. She’s absolutely lovely, and can be a savage when she wants to be.
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      I'm from Taiwan so that sort of make me Chinese( Let's not get into the political thing). I'm going to be in uni next fall as an undergraduate student and I'm completely nervous about making friends other than my own ethnic. I mean I really want to make local British friend cause that's the point of studying in UK! But I've been told so much that it's extremely hard for Asians to make British friends and that they aren't willing to talk to you etc. If I'm fluent in English I guess that would make it easier perhaps? I was an exchange student to the US and didn't make friends till like three months later (It was so hard at first) I learnt that it was not about the language barrier(I could speak fluent English and my accent is understandable), but because of the culture differences. It's hard to share things in common. I wonder if it would be like that when I'm in UK. I wish I make friends soon cause I hated to be on my own lol!!
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      (Original post by Sunnie_yth)
      I'm from Taiwan so that sort of make me Chinese( Let's not get into the political thing). I'm going to be in uni next fall as an undergraduate student and I'm completely nervous about making friends other than my own ethnic. I mean I really want to make local British friend cause that's the point of studying in UK! But I've been told so much that it's extremely hard for Asians to make British friends and that they aren't willing to talk to you etc. If I'm fluent in English I guess that would make it easier perhaps? I was an exchange student to the US and didn't make friends till like three months later (It was so hard at first) I learnt that it was not about the language barrier(I could speak fluent English and my accent is understandable), but because of the culture differences. It's hard to share things in common. I wonder if it would be like that when I'm in UK. I wish I make friends soon cause I hated to be on my own lol!!
      See if your university has a sino-english corner (there might be other names for it at other universities), it will be a good way to meet British friends and they will be very interested in your culture so it acts as a good bridge. As the idea of these is to expose Mandarin learners to lots of different local dialects and accents, I imagine a Taiwanese person would be highly appreciated at these.

      Another good way is joining societies in general, that way you will have a common interest. A lot of Chinese, HK, and Taiwanese at my uni joined the more social dancing societies e.g. Swing dance and Tango, and they integrated very well. There's not massive amounts of talking so the language/slang barrier isn't an issue, and you make lots of mistakes and have odd moments together so they produce a great opportunity for bonding. Basically, embrace new things and you will make friends very quickly. Look through society lists on University Student Union websites as you may even find some activities you didn't even know you were interested in!

      I'd also recommend watching lots of British TV to get an idea of the culture and slang. I'll try and think of some good examples which have entertainment value while not overdoing some aspects of British culture, e.g. some popular shows are very cringy, I've lived in the UK for 4 years now, hang out with Brits a lot, and still can't watch some of their popular TV because of it.

      If you can drink then that may help a little as it will be easy to make friends in your flat/course via bonding by drinking. If not, you might get lucky and find other things to bond strongly over, or you'll just need to put a little more effort into finding and making friends.

      Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions
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      I only just started at uni this year and haven't made loads of friends but 3 are Chinese, (one of which is British born Chinese, other two from Hong Kong). However sometimes when I'm with them one of their other Chinese friends will come along and they will kind of drop me a bit. (I'm white British.) I think it's just because they feel more comfortable and confident speaking to their other friends. People have made great points on this thread about language and cultural barriers and I think it's completely true. I have tried to be friendly and get to know everyone on my course but I must admit there's a very large cohort from Hong Kong who knew each other before arriving who stick with each other (I'm guessing they reached out to each other over social media or something before arriving?). I sat next to a group of them and tried to speak to them before a lecture but they kind of dismissed my efforts and began speaking amongst themselves in another language, which was kinda sad. One of the main reasons I stayed in London for uni was so I could meet a really diverse bunch of people, as there tends to be all sorts of nationalities coming to London, but there is a sense of if people find people of the same nationality they do seem to group together a bit. This is at its most pronounced with the Chinese students, but I do notice it with the European students too, they get very excited if they meet someone from the same place as them. And I think that's fair enough when you've left your home behind to revel in some common ground, it's just sad when people limit themselves to socialising with people from the same backgrounds.
      I dunno, I've rambled a bit, but I basically agree with what people have been saying 👍👍😂
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      (Original post by Helloworld_95)
      See if your university has a sino-english corner (there might be other names for it at other universities), it will be a good way to meet British friends and they will be very interested in your culture so it acts as a good bridge. As the idea of these is to expose Mandarin learners to lots of different local dialects and accents, I imagine a Taiwanese person would be highly appreciated at these.

      Another good way is joining societies in general, that way you will have a common interest. A lot of Chinese, HK, and Taiwanese at my uni joined the more social dancing societies e.g. Swing dance and Tango, and they integrated very well. There's not massive amounts of talking so the language/slang barrier isn't an issue, and you make lots of mistakes and have odd moments together so they produce a great opportunity for bonding. Basically, embrace new things and you will make friends very quickly. Look through society lists on University Student Union websites as you may even find some activities you didn't even know you were interested in!

      I'd also recommend watching lots of British TV to get an idea of the culture and slang. I'll try and think of some good examples which have entertainment value while not overdoing some aspects of British culture, e.g. some popular shows are very cringy, I've lived in the UK for 4 years now, hang out with Brits a lot, and still can't watch some of their popular TV because of it.

      If you can drink then that may help a little as it will be easy to make friends in your flat/course via bonding by drinking. If not, you might get lucky and find other things to bond strongly over, or you'll just need to put a little more effort into finding and making friends.

      Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions
      Thank you so much! That was very helpful! I'll definitely be looking out on some clubs/societies once I decided on which uni to go to!
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      (Original post by Sceptical_John)
      Tried quite a few times in 1st year with little success. Really want to learn about their culture and life in China - what they think Xi - but hard to get them to open up.
      Most Chinese people don't really like discussing internal politics.
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      (Original post by Sunnie_yth)
      I'm from Taiwan so that sort of make me Chinese( Let's not get into the political thing). I'm going to be in uni next fall as an undergraduate student and I'm completely nervous about making friends other than my own ethnic. I mean I really want to make local British friend cause that's the point of studying in UK! But I've been told so much that it's extremely hard for Asians to make British friends and that they aren't willing to talk to you etc. If I'm fluent in English I guess that would make it easier perhaps? I was an exchange student to the US and didn't make friends till like three months later (It was so hard at first) I learnt that it was not about the language barrier(I could speak fluent English and my accent is understandable), but because of the culture differences. It's hard to share things in common. I wonder if it would be like that when I'm in UK. I wish I make friends soon cause I hated to be on my own lol!!
      Ethnically Han Chinese let's just leave it at that. A lot of it is cultural differences I believe, like we don't really understand many pop culture references that are being mentioned in casual conversations etc... Just be proactive and look outside the proverbial bubble, and it should be fine :yep:
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