Tatyana Potemkina on receving the Chinese government scholarship

MCU student Tatyana Potemkina shares her experience of studying in China and receiving the tuition-covered Chinese government scholarship.

Please tell a few words about yourself.

My name is Tanya, I study at the MCU’s Institute of Foreign Languages. My major is translation and translation studies of Chinese language. I was always interested in studying foreign languages, but, to be perfectly frank, it was a little bit hard for me. I intend to graduate in China and come back to Russia and find a really interesting job.

Where do study in China? Can you describe your learning process?

First, I went to study at Central China Normal University, Wuhan, for language internship. This university is in the top 3 of the best universities in Wuhan. The first year is the language year, that is, we improve our level of Chinese so that we can easily study later, which, not surprisingly, takes place in Chinese.
The teaching staff is just wonderful. Teachers are interested in our development, they are always happy to explain what we did not quite understand, answer our questions and give something additional and interesting. We have three subjects: Chinese, reading, listening. In Chinese, we go through all aspects and nuances in the grammar of the Chinese language and in the usage of words. To be honest, this is a rather complicated subject, since you have to memorize a lot of things, sometimes it is difficult to understand the difference in the use of certain words, but in general it is insanely interesting.  At the reading classes, we parse texts in Chinese, learn to highlight the main idea, and also analyze texts.  At the listening classes, we listen to recordings in Chinese, according to these recordings we answer questions.  The biggest difficulty is the large flow of information that needs to be remembered. You need to be prepared for the fact that in order to achieve good results, you will need to sacrifice time, and a lot of time.  For me personally, studying has always been interesting, so I like to go to the library, abstract from everything and go deep into study.

As for the undergraduate program, I will be taking it at Yunnan Normal University, Yunnan province, the city of Kunming.  I will study by the 5-year-scholarship of the Chinese government. As soon as I arrive there, I will definitely tell you about studying at this university. My major is Chinese language and literature. Why? It seems to me that it is in this specialty that I learn all aspects of the Chinese language and better understand culture through the study of literature.

What did you have to do to receive the scholarship?

The most difficult thing is collecting documents. We were given a list with the necessary documents, and we had to make them in the shortest possible time.  To be honest, even having a list of documents on hand, it was difficult to understand where and how they should be done.  All documents were transported to the Ministry of Education, there they were checked and, since time allowed, some were given back for remaking. So I went to the Ministry of Education more often than home. Thus, around February, I submitted my documents and only in July found out that I had passed. To be honest, it’s hard to say by what criteria I was chosen. I think these are HSK exam results and good grades for exams. The competition was great, and to say that I was lucky, is to say nothing. Well, by then I had already contacted the university about the exact address, where to go, buying tickets, collecting things. Then I had to write an application for distance learning and that’s all.

According to the scholarship of the Chinese government, accommodation and training are covered, as well as a scholarship of 2500 yuan, which is a big plus of this grant. We pay for the flight and meals ourselves. 

What is your schedule?

To be honest, it will be a little boring: at 8 in the morning the first lesson, from 9:40 to 10:10 a change, the second lesson starts at 10:10. From 11:50 to 14:00 lunch break. Many students not only have time to beat, but also to sleep. From 14:00 to 15:40 the third lesson. After it, take a short break and do your homework.

Give some recommendations to those students who want to apply for the scholarship.

You can learn more about this scholarship on the website of the Ministry of Education, as well as a lot of information on the Internet. You can also contact the deputy head of the Chinese language department – Valentina Vashkyavichus.  I think that teachers can also have some information on this grant. You can submit documents to the Ministry of Education. I think if you write them an email, they will certainly help.
Do not be afraid, just do it!  If you have questions, you can always write to students who are on this internship. Personally, it’s not difficult for me to help a person and tell in more detail, since I myself understand that it is difficult to go there without knowing where.

The most important thing is to believe in yourself. Believe that you can overcome all the difficulties that are encountered in an unfamiliar environment. Also, you must clearly understand what for and why you are doing this. Having set a sensitive goal, correctly formulating the ways to achieve it will bring a lot. And of course, the knowledge that friends and acquaintances are always waiting for you at home and that you are not alone.