China is playing an increasingly larger role in today’s global economic and political arenas. As China has opened its doors to foreign investment, has become a more active participant in the WTO, and had developed its own economy, it continues to establish itself as one of the world’s superpowers. Knowledge of the Chinese language, culture, and history will be an asset to anyone looking to work in an international field.
With a population of over 1.3 billion people and increasingly lowered trade barriers, China represents a seemingly unlimited consumer base. McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks Coffee are but a few of the global companies that have already begun to take advantage of China’s giant market (but that may perhaps scare you away as well). Large U.S. production corporations and consumer electronics companies are all present in China. When it comes time for you to make the transition, will you have the necessary tools?
More importantly, the dialect spoken in Beijing is practically identical to standard Mandarin Chinese, meaning the language you hear on the streets is the language you want to be learning. This is not the case for cities such as Shanghai or Guangzhou, where the local language is a far cry from the Mandarin spoken on TV, in the movies, and in the government itself. Living in Beijing will give you countless opportunities to practice what you are learning on a daily basis. Check out also this article about what Study Abroad in Beijing Programs really have to offer.
Beijing is a fascinating place to live, as it is the cultural and political center of China. It continues to develop at an unprecedented rate as it prepares itself for the upcoming decades. Though there are environmental concerns, it must be said that China is at the forefront of developing sustainable energy resources. And remember, Practice Writing Makes Perfect Writing counts also for Chinese.
The city has an eclectic combination of old and new, as ancient sites such as the Forbidden City and The Great Wall are complemented with modern developments such as Wangfujing Shopping Street (Beijing’s 5th Avenue) and Zhongguancun IT district. Beijing will definitely be one of the most influential cities in the world in the upcoming century.
What’s there to do for fun in Beijing?
Beijing has a multitude of activities you can partake in when you are not studying. Coming here to study is definitely worth it. As the cost of living is much cheaper here than in the U.S., you can enjoy most of them for a very reasonable price. Coffee shops and tea houses provide nice places to meet with a language partner, study some Chinese, or just chat with friends.
For those who are more drawn to the nightlife, Beijing boasts a large number and variety of bars, located all over the city. The nightclub scene is becoming more popular as well, and visitors can find hip-hop, dance, house, and more at clubs in Beijing. Visiting DJs from abroad also add to the party scene. If you come to China to learn Chinese, you’ll also learn how to keep your Chinese writing functional and fashionable so you’ll be able to use it for multiple purposes! Isn’t that great?
Trips to such sites as the Summer Palace, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, and Great Wall are a must for anybody visiting China for the first time. Beijing also has two amusement parks, a zoo, an aquarium, and the world carnival has visited the city over the past two summers. In the winter, there are a few mountains that offer skiing and snowboarding, located about 40 km north of the city.
There are often concerts on the weekend, recently including top artists and a large number of Mainland Chinese, Hong Kong, Taiwanese, Korean, and Japanese stars. Beijing also has a number of parks that one should visit while staying here. The grass, lakes, and quiet atmosphere provide a welcome break from the bustling activity one encounters on the streets of Beijing. The Fragrant Hills, located in the west of Beijing, is another option for those who wish to enjoy a more natural setting while staying here.
These are but a few of the many things one can do to occupy their time while living in Beijing. But don’t trust me, come and experience it for yourself. Stop wasting your time and come to study in Beijing and get the career you deserve!