Welkom in China! 中国欢迎你！
China has one of the oldest, continuous civilizations in the world, going back to at least the Shang dynasty of 1600 BC. Chinese characters, too, date back thousands of years. Today, many aspects of Chinese culture will still seem strange to a foreigner. From small things such as snacking on cold chicken feet, to the big celebrations during Chinese New Year, living in China will surprise you day after day.
Geography and Climate
China has the largest population in the world, who live in the fourth largest country. By far the most people live in the South and East of China, as North-Western China is largely mountains and desert. Because China is such a huge country the climate varies considerably. Beijing, in the North, can get really cold during the winter months. On the other hand, in Xiamen, on the South coast, it’s beach time half of the year.
Politics and economy
At the end of the civil war in 1949, the Nationalists retreated to Taiwan and the Communists took control over the mainland: The People’s Republic of China was born. After Mao Zedong’s death in 1976, China choose to reform its economy under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, which led to decades of fast growth and the China we know today. Whereas under Mao China was closed off to the world, now almost every multi-national company has stores, offices, or factories in the country. Never in history has a country’s economy grown so fast as has China’s over the past decades.
Traditionally, China is home to many religions and philosophies, such as Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. The most influential philosophy is Confucianism, which mostly describes how to be an ethical person. Everything traditional was banned under communism, but religion is making a comeback in recent years. Many Chinese also believe in supernatural phenomena as astrology and divination.
China is home to many languages. Except for a few minority languages they are all related, and all can be written in Chinese characters. Besides their local language, everyone is taught Mandarin Chinese in school. As a result, Mandarin is the most widely spoken language, with1.35 billion speakers world-wide. Will you be the next one?
Study in Beijing WeChat group
To keep you up to date about studying in China and the activities we organise for Dutch students, feel free to join the Study in Beijing WeChat group by adding the account name of: Studeren in Beijing. Soon there will also be Study in China WeChat groups for different Chinese cities.
If you have any questions regarding studying and living in China, please send an email to Ms. Milou Pol, firstname.lastname@example.org.