What city did you study in and for how long?
Nicholas: I have been in Beijing now for 6 months working and studying the Chinese language, I am still currently working and studying in Beijing. Beijing is a great city to live in for a foreigner looking to go to China. It has the right mix of traditional China and also modern necessities that all foreigners want. I am able to go out during the day and visit a historic temple and eat Chinese food in a little shack, practicing my language skills at every moment possible, then in the evening I can go out and watch some English football with a pint of Guinness in one of the many western bars.
Why did you decide to study abroad with That's Mandarin?
Nicholas: I have been working in a number of Chinese companies doing marketing and have been studying Chinese throughout my time here so far. I have tried a few different Mandarin school’s however I was recommended That’s Mandarin by a friend who had a great experience studying at there, so I decided to sign up for classes. After only 2 weeks I found myself with greater confidence speaking with my Chinese colleagues and in public, in Chinese. I have been with That’s Mandarin for just over a month and I am still attending classes every weekday and my confidence to speak the language is growing and growing with every lesson and is really helping me to adapt to living in Beijing and immerse myself with the whole culture and explore places I wouldn’t be able to without knowing the language.
What made this study abroad experience unique and special?
Nicholas: I strongly believe there is no better way to learn a language than in the country the language is spoken. It really speeds up your progress and enables you to be fully immersed into the culture and develop a greater understanding of the country and the people. The teaching methods used at That’s Mandarin are tailored to the individuals needs and preferences, for me that was to begin with survival Chinese and learn the daily language I needed. Such as, to be able to order food, buy clothes, take a taxi, directions I was able to build a strong vocabulary and learn the sentence structures, I have since developed from there into learning characters and more specialized areas such as business. This method of learning was really effective for me, rather than just learning from a textbook like other schools I had been at.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Nicholas: This experience has been extremely positive for me in every aspect for my future. First of all personally my girlfriend who I met while studying in Liverpool is Chinese so by learning Chinese in China has helped me learn more about the real China and also help me to be able to communicate with her family and friends in China. With my degree in international business by learning the Chinese language has really helped me in my professional career development, at the moment I am working in International marketing here in China so by learning the language it has helped me be more effective during my work. I believe this will also help me should I return to England and search for jobs in international business.