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Author Topic: Coming to China with a teenager  (Read 6729 times)

The Local Dialect

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Re: Coming to China with a teenager
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2013, 03:11:57 PM »
Yeah I don't think I'd bother with international school just for her senior year unless it was absolutely necessary.

A language program through the uni where you teach sounds like your best bet. My feeling is that the school will be fairly pleased with this arrangement. Teachers with kids are seen as more stable and you'll be bringing business to their program.

I would try and choose a school in either a 1st tier or a larger 2nd tier city that is well known for having a lot of foreigners. While most universities have language programs, in smaller cities those programs are going to be filled mostly with Asian students, and she may find that aside from the Chinese language barrier, she'd have a significant language barrier with her fellow students. If she's a typical teenager it will be important for her to have peers of roughly the same age, and especially in a new country, young people can have a really hard time adjusting if they feel too isolated.

Aside from the obvious Beijing and Shanghai, I'd look at cities like Chengdu, Kunming, Nanjing, Harbin, Guilin/Yangshuo and Xian. These are cities that often attract foreign students from Western countries, and, not coincidentally, also tend to be cities that attract tourists/visitors (not that they are necessarily tourist towns, but these cities have something to recommend them besides coal mines and factories). There are places, even larger 2nd tier cities, where people end up teaching but where no students would really choose to go and study. I would avoid cities like say, Taiyuan or Zhengzhou, for that reason.

chocodog

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Re: Coming to China with a teenager
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2013, 08:36:16 PM »
Actually if there were Japanese students that would be very good. She has been learning Japanese for a couple of years now. She could kill two birds with one stone, practice her Japanese and learn Chinese. What about Hangzhou?

« Last Edit: February 25, 2013, 08:44:58 PM by chocodog »

mlaeux

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Re: Coming to China with a teenager
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2013, 10:47:16 PM »
Quote
I would try and choose a school in either a 1st tier or a larger 2nd tier city that is well known for having a lot of foreigners. While most universities have language programs, in smaller cities those programs are going to be filled mostly with Asian students, and she may find that aside from the Chinese language barrier, she'd have a significant language barrier with her fellow students. If she's a typical teenager it will be important for her to have peers of roughly the same age, and especially in a new country, young people can have a really hard time adjusting if they feel too isolated.

That's exactly what happened to my son. My first year was spent in a little beach city called Weihai, in Shandong Provence. He got thrown in with a bunch of Koreans in his first university program and it really kind of soured him on the experience because he was struggling (they moved too fast) and he just couldn't relate to the other students. However he did manage to find some friends to hang out with.

When we moved to Chengdu, it was easier for him to make friends because of the large foreign population, but that lead to hanging out in bars (one in particular) and smoking pot with some French dude in his building. Also, coming to Chengdu really set his Chinese back because Sichuanhua is difficult even for Chinese people from other provinces to understand.

Quote
Actually if there were Japanese students that would be very good. She has been learning Japanese for a couple of years now. She could kill two birds with one stone, practice her Japanese and learn Chinese.

I have never met a Japanese person in China...Let's just say that there is a lot of tension between the Chinese and Japanese.

Maybe you should consider going to Japan instead? I know they certainly pay more. However, if you do go, try to stick to the Northern provinces, due to that whole Fukashima contamination issue. That stuff is going to be around for a looooooong time.

chocodog

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Re: Coming to China with a teenager
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2013, 11:33:13 PM »
Yes, I know there is a lot of tension between China and Japan and I wouldn't think there would be many Japanese students but I saw a couple university websites which had Japanese pages. I'll go to either China or Japan. The dependent visa is too messy in Korea

teacheraus

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Re: Coming to China with a teenager
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2013, 01:08:48 AM »
We definitely have some Japanese students here at my school studying Chinese. It may depend on where you are in the country... I am in the Northeast... But it is also true that there are a significant number of Korean and Russian students here. 
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gonzo

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Re: Coming to China with a teenager
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2013, 02:13:09 AM »
Shanghai is the front door to China; look there first. And there were Japanese students and teachers even in li'l old Guilin in my time 16 years ago, so Shanghai would certainly have plenty. Japanese culture is a very desirable article on the east coast.
Look at Shanghai University and Shanghai Jiaotong University for language programs, but there are many others.
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Borkya

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Re: Coming to China with a teenager
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2013, 12:12:08 PM »
I live in a teeny, tiny city and even we have Japanese students (and teachers) studying chinese so I can only imagine in a place big enough to have a McDonalds (we don't) you could find many Japanese students.

It's great to hear that your daughter sounds into moving to china! Sorry I have no other advice as I don't have kids myself.

BrandeX

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Re: Coming to China with a teenager
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2013, 03:22:23 AM »
Yes, I know there is a lot of tension between China and Japan and I wouldn't think there would be many Japanese students but I saw a couple university websites which had Japanese pages. I'll go to either China or Japan. The dependent visa is too messy in Korea
There are Japanese people all over China, you just can't "see" them unless you happen upon a group and they are speaking Nihongo.

chocodog

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Re: Coming to China with a teenager
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2013, 07:20:43 PM »
Arghhhhhhh! The more I research the more confused I get. I'm still trying to figure out what cities would be good for the both of us.

piglet

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Re: Coming to China with a teenager
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2013, 02:24:48 AM »
Make a list of things that are important to you (size,climate,air qualitiy,things for your daughter) and take it from there. I went by climate and size and found my first place,and from there hopped to my second place. You will find the right place eventually just try and figure out what criteria for choice you want to use.
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Borkya

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Re: Coming to China with a teenager
« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2013, 10:44:51 AM »
Arghhhhhhh! The more I research the more confused I get. I'm still trying to figure out what cities would be good for the both of us.

I had the same trouble. This is what you do. Forget everything you know about China. Make a list of the things that you guys want/need. Is being near a int'l hospital important? Being in a richer place a poorer place? Being near other foreigners? It's different for everyone of course, but write down what you both want.

Then work backwards using that list. I'll admit that while chengdu was high on my original list spicy food was a deal breaker for my very, very tame palette. Slowly, you cross places off the list and you are left with just one or two choices instead of a million. 

Also, I found the Moon Handbook called Living in China to be very helpful when I was deciding where to go.

jpd01

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Re: Coming to China with a teenager
« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2013, 04:46:20 PM »
Hmmm, the idea of bringing a teenager to China kind of horrifies me. The only western teenager I've ever met here in China was an ABC (American born Chinese) in Shanghai. His parents were working there, and left to his own devices he was finding all kinds of trouble to get into. I met him at a sports bar in Jing an and the stories he told me about what he was getting up to were pretty strange. Having a daughter might be easier though.

Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Shenzhen and Guangzhou might be good places to start looking.
Certainly avoid enrolling your daughter in a high school program. Having worked for a couple of the highest ranked high schools in my city I can tell you the quality of education was shockingly bad. Most teenagers from families that can afford it are doing everything in their power to avoid having to attend senior school in China.
If you end up in a smaller place and want to enrol your daughter in a language program, look up the local "normal" university. These places were the teachers colleges in the old days and from mine and others experiences the quality tends to be pretty good.
On the flip side the highest ranked university in my city has the worst feedback on its language programme.

Good luck with your research, every one here is waiting for you to share your experience.
"I don't understand what I did wrong except live a life that everyone is jealous of." Charlie Sheen.

chocodog

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Re: Coming to China with a teenager
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2013, 06:14:45 AM »
What a pisser!! I'm trying to plan my great escape and I get pounded with the news that my daughter needs braces. (Her mouth looks like a traffic jam of teeth) Looks like China or wherever is gonna have to wait. I only have one word for this and I bet you can guess what it is.

mlaeux

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Re: Coming to China with a teenager
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2013, 07:46:29 AM »
Awww...too bad you have to put your plans on hold. Please keep us updated.

chanhonam

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Re: Coming to China with a teenager
« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2013, 12:40:50 AM »
Just curious, why this requires not coming to China. The dentistry here is relatively cheap, easily available (unlike UK) and not from the dark ages.