A Sino-Dutch Rose of Friendship

GamesI can’t believe I have been here for almost four weeks now to attend the Sino-Dutch programme of CHECK-IT – my first month in Xiamen passed by so quickly. I arrived with the other Dutch students during Chinese New Year;  you could see the fireworks above Xiamen from the airplane. As it was relatively quiet in Xiamen because of the CNY holiday, it was the perfect opportunity to explore the city, the food and the nightlife. Xiamen has so much to offer and we had a great time!

The internship started in the second week, simultaneously with the semester of Xiamen University. CHECK-IT just moved from Software Park 2 to the Siming Campus of the Xiamen University. The Siming Campus is beautiful, its incomparable with any Dutch University Campus. I got to know the Chinese and Dutch teachers during our first office week. Professor Lin, Miss Lee, Miss Yan and Mister David are all very involved with the CHECK-IT programme.

The best view is found at the top.
The best view is found at the top.

Not being able to speak Chinese makes even the smallest things hard. Asking for directions or even explaining the taxi where to go is more difficult. It’s foolish to think that many Chinese understand or even speak English. But it also puts yourself in funny situations. Going out for dinner doesn’t cost much in China but… what to order? I have not yet seen the Dutch famous Babi Pangang” or “Foe Yong Hai”. Learning the characters for beef and chicken really helped. But careful, the character for chicken looks a lot like frog meat.

During the internship at CHECK-IT the Chinese and Dutch students organise cultural activities. In this way we get to know each other and each other’s culture better. The Dutch students organised some really nice ‘getting-to-know-you’ games, and the Chinese students took us out for lunch. Afterwards, we walked through the Furlong tunnel together, visited the Loving Valley and we climbed the Nan Putuo Temple. It was a very high climb to the top, but we made it. The view was amazing! It was a wonderful way to get to know each other and Xiada better.

Roos Doedens – CHECK-IT 14