The story of Giulia: an Italian girl living in China!
My name is Giulia, a 26 years old Italian girl and today I would like to tell you about my experience of living in China and my passion about Chinese language.
My journey to discover the Chinese world started after graduating high school when I decided to attend the course of Foreign Languages at the University. I decided to study Chinese because I was very curious about this language, moreover I had the desire to learn more about this fascinating and ancient culture.
At first it was not easy at all! It was difficult for me to remember all that words, ideograms and all the rules of Chinese language which is very different from Italian. However, with a lot of study and hardworking I did it!
Since I was more and more fascinated by this language and Chinese culture, as soon as I got my Bachelor’s degree I decided to go living in China for a semester, where I had the chance to follow a Chinese language course.
I chose to live in Hangzhou where I studied Chinese at Zhejiang University. My class was made up of people coming from different countries: Korea, Japan, Germany, France, Morocco, and more. This diversity in class was a great opportunity for me not only to improve my Chinese skills but also to learn more about my classmates’ countries culture. We did different activities everyday: speaking, writing, grammar and listening.
I loved everything about living in China! My teachers were always very kind, patient and helpful. I think it is mainly thanks to them that I have improved my language skills. Furthermore, Hangzhou is a beautiful city, surrounded by greenery. There are so many activities to do in the city and many places to visit. My favorite place is Westlake (西湖),I often went there with my friends just to take a walk, relax and enjoy sunny days which were not a rarity in Hangzhou.
Another thing that I love about living in China is the Chinese culinary tradition. I’ve always liked Chinese food; I often eat it in Italy but Chinese food in Chinese restaurants has a completely different taste. My favorite restaurant in Hangzhou is called WaipoJia. Me and my friends went there many times and each time we tried different food from Chinese culinary tradition. In particular I like dumplings (饺子), Xiaolong Bao (小笼包) and baozi (包子) but I also like a lot fried rice (炒饭).
During my semester in China, I also had the opportunity to visit other cities such as Shaoxing, Suzhou and Shanghai. However, one of the most suggestive places I have visited in China was Zhangjiajie, a city located in the northwestern part of the province of Hunan. Here I visited the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, Tianmen Mountain, the Yellow dragon Cave, the Glass bridge. I think it is a magical place and I would like to come back there one day.
Even if at the beginning it was a little bit difficult to adapt in a country with a completely different culture, I can say that living in China for a semester changed me a lot and helped me to grow as a person. I will always have a beautiful memory of China and Chinese people and I consider those months as the happiest time of my life!