Weifang China sunset

Being a foreigner in China

This year I’m trying: Being a foreigner in China. Here’s my experience so far!

 

These last 5 years I have lived in 5 different places.

I first moved to Montpellier in the South of France when I was 18, in 2012.

In 2014, I   moved to Cork for a year. No need to say that it changed my whole life.

I continued moving around in 2015 when I left for Brest in France.

Finally, in 2017 I moved to London for an internship! (London had been my dream since the first time I set foot on its soil in 2013!)

Now and since September 10th, I will be living in China for the next 5 months.

 

To be truthful, it hasn’t been easy at all to go through all these changes. Most of the time I was excited to move to another place but there were times when it was so hard I couldn’t stand my life. No friends, nothing to do, no one to talk to… It can be rough!

After London I was looking for a job abroad or an internship or just something! It’s mostly because I need to get that experience but I also wanted to live abroad again. I applied to so many things, barely get any answers and when I did, they did not hire me! It is the struggle of those who recently  finished college right? (High five my friend)

I have studied Mandarin at school for a long time, I couldn’t study it as well as I wished at some point so I became a bad at it. When I found an offer to work in China for 6 months, I just thought “why not”, they’re probably not gonna call me back anyway. I applied… and I actually got the job! I figured that it’d be a great way for me to improve my Chines so now, here I am! Living in Weifang, Shandong province for the next months!

 

Weifang China food

So excited about the food though

 

Being a foreigner in China – How is it?

Weifang Tai Hua

 

It’s a first for me: to be in a country where I don’t speak the language fluently. There were some times in Ireland when I couldn’t understand people (oh the Irish accent!) but it’s actually a first for me to be in this position. I’m not going to lie, it’s incredibly difficult.

I can’t bond with people, I can’t work efficiently sometimes, it’s hard to get by when I’m alone, people stare at me… Oh and there’re also the cultural differences! I thought I’d do great, I’m very familiar with the Asian culture and I have Chinese friends…

Well, clearly, I overestimated myself!

Chinese people are one of a kind, that’s for sure! I try to smile to people, to say hello, thank you, bye, sorry…  Well, they just ignore me and not because I’m a foreigner, that’s just the way they are!  That kind of attitude is hard for someone like me to accept.

Now, I’m way better but the first days I was out of myself sometimes or vexed because someone did not return my politeness. Most of the people are like that but I have also met people who smile at me and who are nice to me so I try to think about these good people!

 

 

Oh and of course, when you are a foreigner in China, people stare, A LOT.

Sometimes they even point finger at me or I hear them whispering to their friends to tell them to look at me! Honestly I was expecting this but it can be tiring. If I have a bad hair day/ face day or if i’m just tired and just want to be invisibleThat’s something impossible here! HAHAHA

I’m fine with it because I realize that for some of them, it’s a first time seeing a foreigner so I try to be understanding!

 

My dazzling Wonderland being a foreigner in china

I do stand out… of course they’ll stare!

 

I try to think of all the advantages that awaits for me and I also try to tell myself “Girl, it’s only been a week“. It seems like I expect it to be just like in London where I would go around by myself without any problem and where I was never bored. I’m wrong to expect that. Of course it’s going to different, of course it’s going to be difficult!

I love London, I’d visit and revisit every corner when I was there! I miss it everyday but I have to let it go now.

 

There are plenty advantages to me situation, right?

 

  • I’ll improve my Chinese (if I don’t I’ll become crazy!).
  • I’m earning money.
  • I am living in Asia which is something that I’ve wanted for a long time now.
  • It’s something that I can add to my resume later.
  • It’s a great thing to experience in a life.

 

 

So YEAH, it’s hard being a foreigner in China but I think it’s only normal since it’s the beginning! I am going to accommodate soon, hopefully and i’m very excited about the future! Let’s think positively! No way I’m letting this stop me, right 😉

 

Weifang city China Tai Hua

This way just my rumbling and first impression as a foreigner in China! I hope I’ll be able to update soon and I hope next time I’ll be able to give some good news such as “My Chinese improved” or “I made a friend”. Or even better: “I’m going to explore on my own soon!”

Until next time !

 

 

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2 Comments

  • Hyojinelleestmignonne 21/09/2017 at 5:35 am

    I’m sure that you will do great as you said it’s just beginning! <3 By the way you're super fluent in English…..WHY!!!!!!!!! (JEALOUSLY) X)

    Reply
    • Joanna 21/09/2017 at 2:02 pm

      OH my favorite Korean girl <3 thank you!!

      Reply

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