In these two weeks, we had a chance to visit amazing places in Guangzhou and its surroundings: Guangzhou Impression Garden, Foshan Changcheng, Shiwan, Pearl River, Tianhe, Baiyunshan Scenic Area, in Beijing: the Forbidden City, Dongcheng, Beijing Zoo and its famous pandas, and of course the Great Wall of China.
We had very interesting lectures and practical classes, for instance, Chinese calligraphy where we wrote Chinese characters, fan-painting, learning Chinese in South China Normal University, participation in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Summer Camp, visit of the Beijing Language and Culture University. At the end of our lectures we had to take the HSK test according to our chosen level. As a part of this adventure, I have also passed HSK 1.
This was an amazing way to get acquainted with the Chinese culture and face the real character of it not only by visiting various tourist attractions but also by living in a natural Chinese environment: we met people who represent this culture that is so different from our own, we talked to them, spent time together, learned the differences between our cultures, dealt with the hot and wet climate that was so unusual for us. Another aspect worth mentioning is the Chinese food culture: despite the fact that we had some theoretical knowledge of the food variety, ability to adapt to their cuisine was a great challenge because of the widely-used spices and the amount of the food offered during one meal. In China, food waste is enormous, since many various dishes are offered in far too great amount than it is needed. Otherwise, they were delicious, though quite different from any other eaten before in any other country.
China surprised, amazed and made us fall in love with it by being so different from any other country and culture in the world, so if you ever have a chance to visit this impressive country, be open-minded and do not hesitate to do it!