Matthew Berry

China is a very extraordinary up-and-coming place. Immersing myself in Chinese society enhanced my passion for Chinese culture to a level that would not have been possible otherwise. Observing the locals living a lifestyle worlds apart from a western perspective was more eye-opening than I had expected. Coming from a half-Chinese background and eating Chinese food every night, I had assumed the cultural shock to be something I would easily take in my stride, yet I discovered that LIVING in Beijing was very unique compared to anything I had been exposed to in the Western world.

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Biggest library in Asia

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Campus next to Weiming Lake

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Living in a far-away country without my family and friends was a very liberating feeling. Having no excuses and nothing holding me back allowed me to step outside my comfort zone and experience new things.

Glorious sunset

Temple of Heaven

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Peking University Group Photo 2015

A big reason why the trip was so enjoyable was my classmates. Within an hour of touching down in Beijing I had made new friends and by the end of the trip our cohort was very tight, we had explored the city together after class, adventured through the city nightlife (this probably happened a few too many times) and struggled with cramming exams, making a few lifelong friends in the process. The unique lifestyle of China is very gripping. At the end of the month when I left Beijing and all the shared memories I had had, I vowed I would go back again. Below is a link to a short video that my friend Emma Wiltshire made of the trip.


Yvonne Lui

The PKU Summer 2015 Exchange was the first time I had been on this program, and to say I was excited was a vast understatement. I was prepared to throw myself in the deep end, progress my Chinese language skills and eat and sight-see my way through this fascinating city. I did all three of those things and so much more on this exchange. I've learnt many intriguing things on this trip, about how the program runs, Beijing as a city and Chinese culture in general, which I will summarize as follows:

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Intermediate Class of 2015 with our teachers

1. The teachers are amazing.
Peking University is one of the top universities in the country. With a population of almost 1.4 billion people, to be able to attend, let alone teach, in a university as prestigious as this one would undoubtedly mean the teachers are top of the range. They were interested in us not only as learners of the Chinese language but also of Chinese culture and food, and they took it upon themselves to arrange out of class experiences out to restaurants and to give us advice on places to sight-see! Since the ultimate imperative on this exchange is to learn the language, I found the teaching at PKU incredibly dedicated and tailored to foreign learners.

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Class trip to the Great Wall, with bonus snow!

2. If you are studying Chinese, try and go on exchange to Beijing at least once.
Being the capital of China, Beijing is an eclectic city with an incredibly rich modern and ancient history, displayed interestingly side by side. It is, architecturally, an antiquated, incredibly old yet simultaneously modern and rising city, with a proud populous and an ever growing unique sense of what I would call "The Chinese Dream". As someone who had a brief knowledge of China's modern history, seeing the city with my own eyes vividly illustrated the things I had learnt about this city and the country. Plus, Peking Duck. You have to try the Peking Duck. Especially rolled up kebab style. (烤鸭卷饼)

The Peking University West Gate

3. If you study a language, any language, GO ON EXCHANGE.
If there is anything to take away from this, it is that exchange is the absolute best way to improve and practice your language skills. Fluency comes with the more practice you get, and there is absolutely no shortage of opportunities to interact with the language in its original environment, where vernacular is fluid and spoken trends come and go. It was interesting to hear a teacher note that the use of ‘哪里哪里’ (an expression used when someone has just complimented you) was something he had not heard of until we used it. That, and, specifically to Mandarin Chinese, the importance of the 'er' (儿) sound and when it it is appropriate to use it.

Overall, the experience was incredibly worthwhile. It is an appropriate length to give one a taste of the country and to take each student's fluency levels up a significant notch, and is something I would recommend to anyone currently studying Chinese.


Zoe Niell

My one month exchange to Peking University was such an amazing experience and I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity! Not only did my Chinese language skills dramatically improve on a daily basis, but I was able to explore China and made some lifelong friends. Even though we had class for four hours a day, the whole trip felt like a holiday! Living in Beijing was a daily adventure, every day after class there was always an exciting new place to visit. And one weekend my friends and I were able to travel to XiAn to see the infamous terracotta warriors. I would highly recommend this exchange trip to anyone who wants to improve their Chinese whilst traveling China have heaps of fun!

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Imitating sculptures

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Terracotta Warriors at Xi'an

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A guy on the side of the street making sugary sweetness

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Summer with Friends

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Riding bikes on the city wall of Xi'an


Jess Lai

A very nice and tasty welcoming banquet of local Shanghainese food for a group of eager students. Courtesy of Fudan University

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Capturing the beauty of the city along The Bung during the day tour hosted by Fudan University

Watching a Peking opera show...having a taste of the local entertainment on a Saturday night! Thanks Fudan!

A panoramic view of night scenery along The Bund

Exploring the ancient water town QiBao on the weekend

Where the beauty of Qibao contrasts with Shanghai's modern apartments

More pics of Qibao

Sundays only meant one thing at the People's Park for single people...finding a possible candidate through the thousands of advertisements plastering the park.


Henry Chen

I’ll leave the other posts in this blog to cover how the exchange does wonders for your Chinese speaking, writing, listening and reading skills.
I’ve been on three exchange programs now; twice to Peking University and once to Fudan.

The first time I went, the decision had been made in the spur of some moment and I wondered if I would regret it. Needless to say, I was not disappointed and the program far exceeded my expectations in terms of its absolute awesomeness.
The second time I went, I thought to myself, “I made such great friends and had an awesome time and ate way too much last time. Surely it couldn’t be nearly as good this time around. Surely, it was by some freak chance that everything fell into place last time.” - I thought wrong. Silly me. The program was amazingly awesome yet again! That was the second time I went to Beijing, doing pretty much an identical program but it was very different.
The third time, I thought, “alright, I’m going to escape my comfort zone and try Fudan university instead of Peking. I’ve heard rumours about how it’s not so good. I’ve had two wonderful exchanges, so it’s about time it turns out to be a mess.” But then, once more, I had a wonderful time.

Great things happen on exchange and any of the concerns you might have had melt away within a couple of days. I wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that every single exchange was a highlight of the year. You’ll make new friends, take photos of them sleeping, play ridiculous games on the subway, see new things, eat too much, get food poisoning, freeze or melt, and buy at least 20L of bottled water. It’s just the best thing ever.

A little gem hidden on the outskirts of Shanghai. Qibao. 25yuan for an entire duck here. Best I've ever had.

Ocassionally, you gotta wind down with some pre-drinks. For some, it was every night hehe (not me of course)

Fudan university has a tonne of wild cats just roaming around campus. Be careful who you make friends with. You might end up petting cats for an hour a day.

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Wonderful teachers! They were sad to see us leave and we were sad to leave them. Grace is crying into the teachers shoulder here.

You know what this is? This is the final exam. Look at how everyone is working so hard! Even the bin next to us is working hard to keep all the trash in. Many snacks were had in class.


Lucia Lu

The 14 something hour plane ride back to Sydney gave me enough time to reflect on extraordinary month I’d spent in Beijing. As I looked over to my friend sitting next to me, who weeks ago was a complete stranger, I felt extremely grateful to have been given the chance to explore this great city, alongside a wonderful group of people from home.

While we were all fairly different individuals, we all had a passion for China and learning Chinese. Beijing had so much to offer us, and the activities we participated in ranged greatly from day to day. Whether you’re a foodie or an extreme nature-lover, Beijing has an abundance of experiences just waiting for you.

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can't go to China and not have a skewer or five
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climbing Fragrant Hill

In the classroom, we were taught the ins and outs of the Chinese language and its amazing history, and this knowledge was immediately able to be put into use in a meaningful context. The one thing you can’t escape in Beijing is the amount of people living and working there, each one a unique learning opportunity. The more I grew to accept and embrace the wonderful and wacky aspects of this city, the more at ease and at home I felt.

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spot the outliers!

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contemplating life atop the great wall

Another fantastic aspect of this program is the Usyd-PKU buddy system. Each of us was paired with a local student from PKU on the first day and these buddies would be our friends and our guides throughout the month ahead. Our buddies not only helped us improve our language skills, they also brought with them a wealth of insider knowledge about Beijing. Learning to speak the way only a local would speak, and travelling to places only a local would go made this trip that much more valuable.

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taking a boat ride with our language partners

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an awesome bike ride into the countryside

One of the best parts about going overseas is being able to share your experiences with others. I’m glad that when we returned to Sydney, we were able to organise reunions on campus and reminisce about our time in Beijing. Every time I see a fellow PKU classmate, a flood of wonderful and irreplaceable memories fills my mind. This was one of the most incredible and enriching experiences of my university life.


Julia Wei

I figure I’d use a couple of photos to capture my time on exchange.

Riding the Chinese metro

The majority of our trip in Beijing was spent aboard the metro, and this photo is a snapshot of what took up a large amount of travels: literally, travelling... these between-destination moments of nothingness were very enjoyable! (although those faces may not seem very convincing at this point)

Beautiful Suzhou

Obligatory person-next-to-pretty-scenery photo. I am holding an ice block, that's pretty self-explanatory. Going to Beijing during the peak of Summer during June may not have been the best choice but at least that means sunnier views and more cold snacks!

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Being with our language partners

On the scale of “I'm only your buddy to speak and practise english with you” to the freaky “I care for you deeply even though you are a stranger”, these guys behind us were “awesome”. Now, I don't know where that is exactly in the spectrum, but these buddies we were paired up with were lovely enough to take us on a day trip to Su Zhou Jie! Good times, and even had a lovely ride on a boat down a river. I also heard this place looks amazing during the evening.


Vicky Chen

The Shanghai trip was a memorable experience, in fact, a highlight of my year. Although it was only 4 weeks, I felt like I greatly improved in my recognition of characters, speaking and writing. It was such a boost! Not only was it an amazing learning opportunity, I met a lovely bunch of people, some of which have become my closest friends. On top of that, the rest of our stay was filled with food adventures and sightseeing adventures such as Tianzifang, Shanghai History Museum and the Bund. The Fudan coordinators also organised activities such as Tai Chi, Beijing Opera, Chinese movies and acrobatic performances, which I thought helped us learn and explore more of the culture. During this trip, I felt that I studied well, played well AND ate well - all in one. I would consider going on the same or similar trip again, next year!

The teacher getting serious so that we could do some serious learning

When there are only three canteens on campus and the food is this cheap, it’s gonna be packed!

friends 4eva

An amazing farewell feast, courtesy of Fudan!


-Elizabeth Xu, B Education/ B Arts, 4th Year

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Beijing street food at Wang Fu Jing. I came, I saw, I conquered scorpions.

The Chinese language exchange program is an unforgettable experience and an amazing way to learn Chinese! It’s a unique opportunity to immerse yourself completely in the language and to make it come alive!

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Immerse yourself in the Chinese language, culture, history, art and environment.

Travel the Forbidden City, explore Tian'anmen Square, eat drink and be merry, experience on-campus university life, all whilst studying, applying and using the language - with fellow peers as your moral support.

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不到长城非好汉 - "He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man"

So seize the moment! Going on this Peking exchange was a worthwhile way to spend my June - July semester break. The best decision I could have made. 10/10 would recommend.


Written by:
Lily Yang (杨莉莉)
Liliane Moothoo (马莉莲)



Liliane: Well, Lily. 我也觉得时间过得很快。And the things that we've learnt at Fudan, I know that we can use it as a stepping stone towards our future studies in Chinese.

Lily:Yes, you’re definitely right! 在这个短期时间中,从我们在上海和复旦大学的经验,大家都通过了很多非常有趣的事情。比如说:除了上课以外,我们学了书法,练太极拳,参观了一些上海有名的地方,还有看了一场杂技表演和一部电影。

Liliane: Not only did we do all those great cultural immersion activities but we also got an opportunity to have adventures of our own.

We've eaten a lot of delicious food, seen the lively scenery in and outside of Shanghai, went out and made memories with friends, had time to study and do homework, blogging for the USYD China Exchange blog and shopping.

And thanks to our intensive study and the usage of the Chinese that we've learnt during our stay, our Chinese must have improved a lot.

And I'm sure that everyone had a wonderful time here, right Lily?

Lily: 对呀。我觉得这几个星期,大家都应该过得很开心吧!好像大部分的学生已经舍不得离开复旦和上海了。
可是所有的好事情得要结束了,对吧?那,我们悉尼大学生又要感谢复旦大学的中文老师这几个星期对我们这么温暖和热心的。最重要的就是, 我们也一定要感谢我们分别的中文老师们: 没有您们的教导, 我们目前的中文水平就不会提高这么快!

最后呢,我要特别感谢我们悉尼大学中文系的张老师。因为她付出了很多时间为了给我们这样很棒的机会来到上海学习。而且, 说实话,有的时候, 我们可能不故意的带給她麻烦,不过她总是还是特别的耐心继续为我们好;从来没跟我们发脾气。张老师,您真的辛苦了!

Liliane: We also thank the staff of the Department of Chinese Language and Literature for having us at Fudan and for their support, cooperation and organisation for this in country study.

And like Lily has said, a big thank you to Zhang laoshi for creating an opportunity for us to do in-country study in Shanghai. You've worked really hard, been really patient with us and did everything to make this Fudan in-country program a great one.

And finally I hope that the future in-country study programs in Fudan University continues to be successful like this.

Lily: 所以呢,谢谢张老师,谢谢复旦大学的中文系老师,谢谢大家!



作者:初级班汉语口语班老师 安晓鹏







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作者:中级二班口语老师 - 程培英




















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Do you want to know what China was like 100 years ago?
Please read Morrison’s book.:

George Ernest Morrison (1862 – 1920), also known as Morrison of Peking or Chinese Morrison, was an Australian adventurer and The Times Peking correspondent.

He went to the Far East, and in February 1894 began a journey from Shanghai to Rangoon. He went partly by boat up the Yangtze River and rode and walked the remainder of the 3000 miles. He completed the journey in 100 days at a total cost of £18, which included the wages of two or three Chinese servants whom he picked up and changed on the way as he entered new districts. He was quite unarmed and then knew hardly more than a dozen words of Chinese. But he was willing to conform to and respect the customs of the people he met, and everywhere was received with courtesy. In his interesting account of his journey, An Australian in China, published in 1895.

In February 1897 The Times appointed Morrison as the first permanent correspondent at Peking. Unfortunately, his lack of knowledge in the Chinese language meant that he could not verify his stories and one author has suggested some of his reports contained bias and deliberate lies against China. There was much Russian activity in Manchuria at this time and in June Morrison went to Vladivostok. He travelled over a thousand miles to Stretensk and then across Manchuria to Vladivostok again.

When the Russo-Japanese War broke out on 10 February 1904 Morrison became a correspondent with the Japanese army. He was present at the entry of the Japanese into Port Arthur (now Lüshunkou) early in 1905, and represented The Times at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA, peace conference.

In 1907 he crossed China from Peking to the French border of Tonkin, and in 1910 rode from Honan across Asia to Andijan in Russian Turkestan, a journey of 3750 miles which was completed in 175 days.

He represented China during the peace discussions at Versailles in 1919.

(An excerpt from WIKI)


By Celia Zhuwei (朱玮)

On one Saturday morning, four of us went to 朱家角, a famous landmark in Shanghai well known for its long history, situated near a lake and a mountain, surrounded by the glory of nature.

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We hopped on a bus at 人民广场 and took a 40 minute bus ride at a cheap price of twelve yuan to Zhu Jia Jiao. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a dusty city and it did not take us long before we found the old town area down the road. The area was a maze of bridges and old lane ways, crowded with restaurants, shops and heaps of 蹄髈 (ti bang). Ti bang is a really fatty piece of drumstick-looking leg meat from a pig, which has been soaked in soy sauce and cooked until really tender.

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So for the next few hours we walked around this place through many lanes which all sold similar items like traditional snacks, meats, glutinous rice cakes, zhong zi and other oddities. Even though it was supposed to be pretty ancient looking, we also happened to see modern shops like Starbucks and Coco drinks, which were pretty out of place. The scenery however was lovely and serene and we spent quite a while taking pictures.

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We had lunch at one of the tea houses within the old town including the ti bang and had a great view of the scenery, but it was overshadowed by the gloomy and cold weather. There were also temples and art galleries which you could visit but that required entrance fees so we skipped on that. In total we spent around 3-4hours at Zhu Jia jiao, we didn't do any serious shopping and neither did we take a boat ride around the area, it was just walking around the location and perhaps getting a bit lost and walking down the same lane way a few times.

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The only tedious thing was the one and a half hour bus ride back to 人民广场 in peak hour traffic, but we slept the whole way anyway so you could say the experience was refreshing.

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By Michael Allison (艾力生)

Time flies and before we know it, we’re at the end of our third week! Exams are looming and though we have been studying hard, a host of cultural interests, local attractions and on-campus activities have kept us enormously busy. With too many goings-on to list in one post, here’s a snippet of what we’ve been up to:

Calligraphy (书法):

Last week we learnt some basic strokes of Chinese calligraphy with instruction from a very talented and extremely patient expert at Fudan. Some of us were better than others (not me). The best that I saw were Jessica’s, Yuna’s and Yurie’s, whose delicately brushed strokes came out artfully on the page (unlike mine). I still think there was something wrong with my brush.


Karaoke (KTV):

Something about filling up on local cuisine seems to just give us the urge to…. Sing. Our local Karaoke has been a reliable after-dinner haunt on Friday nights. Yuanshen’s mastery of Chinese love songs has impressed us all, while Andy has rocked out to Bon Jovi and the Korean girls have showed us how K-Pop is really done.

Xintiandi (新天地):

A reconverted stretch of old stone houses boasting the birthplace of the Chinese Communist Party, Xintiandi is now a lively (and expensive) high-end shopping district. We rubbed shoulders with Shanghai’s elite in the cliquey cafes, were snapped by street-photographers and made a detour to visit one of several obscure historic museums down an easy-to-miss alley.


Beijing Opera (京剧):

Bright colours, dynamic makeup, delicate and precise full-body acting, high-pitched singing, all set to a delightful chorus of traditional Chinese instruments. This is Beijing opera – at times quite difficult for a foreign student of Chinese to grasp – and how we spent our first Saturday afternoon in Shanghai. Each performance was unique and told a different story, enjoyed by all, although the dizzying cymbal claps and the mesmerising rhythms left some of us snoozing in our seats!

The Bund and Shanghai Museum:

The beating heart of Shanghai, The Bund is set either side of the Huangpu River where one can catch views of the soaring Pudong Skyline, including the newly built Shanghai Tower (632m tall!) and the futuristic space-rocket-looking Oriental Pearl Tower.


Where the Pudong skyline points fiercely into China’s future, Shanghai Museum delves deep into the past, with artefacts and historical items that bring to life China’s lengthy history. Its modern exhibition halls feature masks, bronze ware, statues, coins, imperial seals, documents and inscriptions from every corner and crevice of China’s long-winded 5,000+ years of continuous history. Quite a contrast!


Ping Pong (乒乓):

An on-campus gym provided the opportunity to enjoy a short evening of ping pong (China’s unofficial national sport) with language partners Candice, Giovanni and Lucy. While we casually batted back and forth without much skill or competition (alright – perhaps a bit of competition), other players around us bounced back and forth shooting the tiny ball at lightning speeds across the table, some working up a serious sweat!


Another weekend and we’ll be into our final stretch and hitting the exams. There’s a multitude of cultural excursions, historical places and university and program activities to immerse ourselves in here, and a great big bulging city to explore. One more week guys – let’s make the most of it!


中级二班口语 - 程培英老师






By Christopher Best (孙杨)

Yesterday Max and I had a fantastic evening playing football at the Fudan University football field. Five minutes walk from the Tohee village, Fudan has a top quality astro turf field with a surrounding athletics track. Every evening countless students and locals escape to the field to exercise and let off the stress of the day.

Football is particularly popular with male Fudan students seeing students from all over the world come to play. Last night max and I took part in a fiercely contested match including players from Germany, Korea, England, Scotland, India, Italy, The United States , Ecuador and of course China ! It was incredible playing with players from across the world, going head to head and testing our skills in a game that we together all love and enjoy.

It's was an amazing chance to meet and talk to different players about their stories of living in Shanghai and their lives back home. Often because players speak all sorts of different languages, Chinese can be the only way to communicate - this offers a great chance to practice our Chinese and learn a few useful terms for the football pitch !

I've jotted down a few terms just in case you find yourself lost on a football field;

进球得分 !
继续 !
中间 !


By Nancy Zhang (张南希)

Hello everyone! Watching movies in Shanghai was much harder than I thought! At least when it comes to watching Western movies!!! Most of the cinemas only screen a western movie once a day, which is just SILLY.

My friends and I were super pumped to watch “Penguins in Madagascar” so we decided to watch it at Wanda Plaza. But NO, there was only one session that day and we had already missed it.  So then we went to the department store across Wanda Plaza – 巴黎春天(Balichuntian) By then we were getting depressed already.


But GUESS WHAT? They didn’t have it either! We were forced to man up and ask 2 local Chinese girls where to watch the movie. I already knew before that if you wanted to watch a movie in Shanghai, booking it online would be much cheaper (like 50% off!!! 3D movie prices are around 100 yuan and 2D around 70-80 before online discount) so we asked the 2 girls if they could kindly book the tickets for us. They were very nice and even told us the approximate time it would take for us to get to the cinema where there were still screenings for the movie. (Xin Shi Jie – Nanjing West Rd).

The girls sent us a confirmation for the ticket bookings and along with it came a number that we had to input in one of the machines outside of the movie theatres. Then bam bam bam, the tickets would come out of the machine! Yay!

BUT BUT BUT, IT DIDN’T JUST STOP THERE!! As it was a 3D movie we were required to “purchase” the 3D movie glasses. At first we thought they were worth 100 yuan each and we were in for a shock, but then we found out that after the movie, you return the glasses and get your 100 yuan refunded.

So the time came when we could finally enter the cinema but boy was it a disappointment. You would have expected a cinema in Nanjing West Rd to be spectacular but NOOOOOO, there were only 10 rows! *shock shock shock*

* bing bong bing bong – NEW DAY *

Today we went to a really exciting restaurant in Balichuntian. It was located on the 7th floor named “Nanjing Impressions”. What was cool about this place was that it suddenly felt like you entered into the past!!


All the furniture was wooden and rounded, with paper windows and paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling! Even workers dressed in ancient clothing and greeted us in classical Chinese. He said something I absolutely did not understand. (but don’t worry – when it came to ordering food you just had to write the numbers that corresponded to the dishes on a piece of paper)


The menu was also in English, which was good!! BUT!! We wanted to order some veggies so that we could balance out our diet. We ordered some dish that had the word “four vegetables” in it so we assumed that there would be 4 types of vegetables. But what arrived at our table was truly unexpected!!! There was sweet potato, yam, dates and peanuts. (NONE OF THOSE ARE VEGGIES!!!!   )





By Michael Allison (艾力生)

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Bicycles in China are ubiquitous. They are everywhere. At university, rows and rows of bicycles are parked alongside one another – probably more than I have seen anywhere else, ever. If the weather gets windy and a strong gust blows through the campus, bikes will blow over and knock over the next one like dominos.

On the main roads and footpaths, there is a constant flow of bikes in every direction. It seems chaotic. Sometimes two bikes will gently bump into one another as they try to manoeuvre through the traffic. Cars rarely indicate when switching lanes, so eyes must be peeled and riders keenly aware of the changing traffic situation. That said, nobody wears helmets and accidents seem to be rare.

Everyone rides bicycles to get around – it’s cheaper than a car and less cumbersome on city roads so often choked with traffic. The fact that there are so many riders also creates a sense of safety in numbers, as drivers know to be aware of riders. There are bicycle lanes, but they are often encroached upon by the cars, haphazardly stopping here and there, pulling in and out of the curb and swinging open their doors unannounced.

The three golden rules for riding a bike on the roads in China? Watch what is coming your way (both in front and behind), use your brakes often, and, most importantly: don’t get hit. Never mind other riders; they’ll mind themselves.

A pretty sweet set of wheels indeed, I picked this up last week:


It cost me less than $50, with the promise of a half-price refund when I return it to the seller at Christmas time before I head home.

The bicycle seller, at four-and-a-half feet tall is quite a character: thin, tanned and despite his short stature, he marches tall and proud alongside an impressive array of new and second hand bikes outside the east gate of Fudan.

I see him nearly every day and am entranced by the way he toils his trade: with a pronounced jerkiness, he quickly switches from one customer to another, returning to a makeshift stall to retrieve a screw or tool or lock or whatever is needed for whatever job is at hand. He spoke rapidly and his words were difficult for me to understand, but I managed to work through the sale, explaining that I’d only need the bike for a month and that I’d return to sell it back to him when I was done. 好了, sale completed.

A couple of days later, my bike blew over in the wind; the fall caused the pedals to jam so that they would not cycle around completely. After trying with some of my classmates in vain to fix it, I wandered over to the east gate and approached the seller. He took a quick glance, said something that I heard as “再不了” and paced over to his stall to find the right instrument. He wrapped a spanner around the broken pedal and yanked it hard, pulling it back neatly to its original position. He looked up, smiling a big toothless grin, and swung the pedals around all the way triumphantly. 好了. Fixed. Perfect, I said. He turned away and strode on over to the next prospective customer. No charge.

Despite the smiles, he still wouldn’t pose with me for a picture for this blog, though.


By Lily Yang (杨莉莉)

Waking up in the early hours of the morning is never an easy task, especially on a Sunday morning, right? Despite being a night owl, that’s exactly what I did last Sunday (1st December). Irene and Nancy and I went to Suzhou together with two of Irene’s Chinese friends, who were extremely hospitable and acted as our tour guides for the day!
Upon arriving in Suzhou, we started off by joining a tour, but since we realised that the aspects of the tour weren’t to our liking, we hailed a cab and went to explore the city for ourselves. We visited plenty of places, but as the old saying goes, “a picture paints a thousand words”, so I’ll let my photos do the talking.






All in all, despite the rain and freezing temperatures in the evening, I enjoyed the day we had in Suzhou. I’d recommend it if you enjoy nature and want to have a more cultural Chinese experience than what Shanghai offers!


By Liliane Moothoo (马莉莲)

Thanks to a Shanghai travel guide and information from people we know, Yurie, Somang & I were able to visit to a few places today.

First, we went to He Feng Lou inside Old City God Temple at Yuyuan Garden - it's a 5 minute walk from the station but it took us a while to find it.


This place serves delicious food at a reasonable price and it's like a cafeteria, you take the food you want and pay at the cashier.

Next, off to East Nanjing Road and took a look a few stores. This place has everything from fashion to food, it's got it all.


And we came across M&M World, we never have one in Australia so Shanghai is the place to see it. So if you crave for chocolate, try it out.


Afterwards, we continued walking towards Waitan (The Bund), and the weather was clear enough to see the glamorous Pearl Tower.


Finally, we took the train to Jing'an Temple. A friend told us that today was free admission to the temple so we took advantage of that.


After all that sightseeing and walking today, we travelled to Hong Kong Shopping Centre at People's Square to shop, eat, rest and play.



By Louisa Bochner (薄茉莉)

China is known for its contradictions- the juxtapositions: between the old and new; east and west; tradition and an imposed modernity.

After nearly two weeks in Shanghai, these parallels are startlingly clear: Shanghai retains much of the "old" traditions that dominated in China's prime, such as during the Qing Dynasty. Life on the streets is bustling and lively- delicious food stalls boasting full plates for as little at 10 yuan (just $2) are commonplace. Driving around the outer city we see crowded, small housing and apartments, indicative of the reality that this is the largest city in the world. Chinese people are proud of their traditions and history: statues of Mao exemplify the political ideology, whilst Chinese musicians play traditional instruments at crowded street markets. This is the China I expected.

And yet, Shanghai proves to be full of surprises. Despite communist ideology still remaining strong, Shanghai is startlingly western. Just yesterday we were lucky enough to visit the famous "Xin Tian Di" (新天地) and "Tian Zi Fan" (田子坊) districts. We were transported to an alternate reality: the streets screamed Paris, New York and London, the shopping became exponentially expensive and the people richer. How could such a western city exist in the heart of a communist Chinese one? These places are an example of how China is changing: whilst embracing Western influence, the Chinese history is so vast and complicated, that is will not be erased, overridden or forgotten. Shanghai is successfully upholding the balances and contradictions between East and west, whilst ensuring that development isn't made at the expense of culture.


By Evenlyn Lau (刘慧婷)

You might think this title odd at first but please keep reading and you’ll understand why I’ve chosen to use it.

In the past few days I’ve noticed two different types of foreign exchange students: the tigers and the mice. This isn’t to say that there aren’t other types but I wanted to focus on these two.

Tigers are characterized as big, strong and brave creatures whilst mice are small, quiet and they shy away from people. If you were to choose an animal I think people would generally prefer to be a lion and when you’re in China it’s better to be a tiger than a mouse even if you have to fake your confidence. Many may consider certain aspects of Chinese culture rude but not necessarily; sometimes that just means projecting confidence into what you do. For example, when you go to order food you speak up loudly or when you find the courage to go up to someone to ask for directions because you’re lost.

If you’re a mouse you may not get anywhere in China because you’re too small to be noticed (like when you’re indecisive when crossing the road) so even if you have to pretend for a while, be brave like a tiger :)


By Jenny Ngo (吴燕妮)

Today: Wednesday 03 December 2014

We went on an sightseeing field trip to Xintiandi (新天地) and Tianzifang (新天地). Xintiandi (新天地) which means “new heaven and earth” was filled shopping malls, restaurants and cafes. In small groups of people, we took a detour into a Communist party of China Exhibition and stroll onto a nearby park with a beautiful lake. Along the way we saw a bunch of Chinese photographers and a model doing a photo shoot, and decided to our own photo shoot in the park. We also managed to take one shot near where the model was posing.

Back on the bus to the next pit spot, we were split into smaller groups of people and explore the alleyways of Tianzifang (新天地) City which contains little craft stores, coffee shops, trendy art studios and narrow alleys. After our expedition of the area, we ventured into a toilet restaurant for dinner. Eating food out of miniature toilets and drinking out of urinals.

All in all, I had an extraordinary afternoon exploring the cities of Shanghai. It was marvellously beautiful and strangely weird in it’s ordinary way. I hope to discover more of Shanghai hidden uniqueness while I am here.









时间: 15.00-16.30
日期: 2014年11月27日
地点: 复旦大学光华楼西主楼1501室
活动: 中国书法课
画家: 谢建科
学生: 悉尼大学










By Nate Purinut Phumitharanon (张内森)

It was an ordinary day for everyone. In 汉语 and 口语 classes we went through our normal routines of 生词 and 课文。Wang Laoshi and Zhang Laoshi are both great teachers. And our class of 12 really enjoy studying from them.

After class we hurried to the canteen (旦苑餐厅) because it was super cold today! We had no activites planned for the afternoon so me and some friends decided to go to a dog cafe near HaiLun Rd Station (海倫路站). The group consisted of me, Andy, Fan, Nancy, Irene, Angela, Wiley, Cat, Jenny, Yuna and Mike. This cafe is called "Canil Café" or "狗窝". It was situated in the" 1933 building" (上海老场坊), in Hongkou District. This building is one of the coolest local architectures I have ever seen. The old slaughter house was converted into a local favourite, full of relaxing cafes, stores and shops. Only a 10mins walk from HaiLun Rd station.

At the dog cafe there were more than 10 small to mid sized dogs. They were all really cute and playful. The drinks and the egg tarts were also delicious. We were also given snacks to feed the dogs as well.

Afterall it was a really good experience, getting to explore Shanghai and going to lower profile/tourist attraction spots in the city. I really enjoyed the part where there was not a lot of people, which was much less hectic than places like the City God Temple (上海城隍庙) or East Nanjing Rd. (南京东路)

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