Soobin Rim

What does a day in the life of Dual Degree Program student look like in China?

My day starts at about 7 in the morning. Since I live in the international student dormitory, it doesn't take long to get to our morning classes. I often opt for a quick breakfast such as steamed stuffed buns (baozi) or noodles served with soy sauce (banmian), and then I’m ready to hit the classes.

My classes of the day are composed of a combination of Chinese classes, computing science related classes, and electives. Instructors at ZJU are friendly and easy to approach.

College life in China is full of fun and excitement. Living on campus allows me to make friends from all over the world and lasting memories. In my spare time, I often go out with friends to try various Chinese regional cuisines. Of course, I also enjoy “treasure hunting” on TaoBao (淘宝), China’s biggest online shop.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced when studying abroad? How did you manage to overcome it?

One of the biggest challenges I have encountered is definitely resulted from the lack of the language skills. When I first arrived in Hangzhou, I often had a hard time not being able to clearly communicate my destination to a taxi driver.  My language skills have gradually improved since, of course, technology also helps ease commutation with one another. I recommend didi-dache(滴滴打车) for getting a taxi and belema(饿了吗) for ordering food delivery.

What was the best, memorable moment of your experience so far?

Without a shadow of a doubt, the best moment of my experience in China so far was my trip to the Yellow Mountain with my friends. Yellow Mountain, known as Huangshan(黄山) in Chinese, is one of the most magnificent mountains I have ever been to. I would never forget the beautiful sunset I’ve seen from the top of the mountain, and I would recommend everyone to hike up there and take in its breathtaking view.

What are some must-do things in Hangzhou?

One thing I love the most in this city is definitely walking around the west lake. I think people would fall in love with the lake as soon as they get here.:)

What is the most valuable lesson you learned from your overseas experience? What were the greatest rewards?

Live the experience! Living in another country is entirely different from just travelling around. It’s impossible not to see the world in a new way after living abroad.

What advice do you have for future Dual Degree Program students?

Be prepared to face the challenges of adjusting to a different world and life and get ready to learn something new!

How did this international experience shape your outlook about your career and life in general?

As an international student from Korea, English is not my mother tongue. So I truly believe that being able to speak another language changes my way of thinking and my view of the world. I wanted to know another language beyond English, and Mandarin becomes a natural choice for me due to the increasing importance of China on the world stage. Knowing the Chinese language and culture would no doubt equip me with a competitive edge in a highly globalized world and the experience of studying abroad also helps positively shape my personal growth.