Trip to Beijing Foreign Studies University, 2009

Date: March 27 ~ April 5, 2009

Members: Dr. Doris Chang (Chair), Cindy Huang (Sophomore), Ting-Ting Chang Liao (Sophomore), Kaylan Liang (Sophomore), Jessie Teng (Junior), Amy Ke (Junior)

Beijing Foreign Studies University

Students' responses:

Trip to Beijing

I participated in the student exchange between Fu Jen Catholic University and the Beijing Foreign Studies University. The exchange lasted for ten days. The purpose of this trip was to learn and observe the differences between the college students in Taiwan and China.

The first day and the tenth day were mostly spent on the airplanes. We had to take a flight to Hong Kong first, and then we had to wait for almost two hours before our transfer planes arrived. The airports in Beijing and Hong Kong were magnificent comparing to the airport we had in Taiwan. I wonder whether or not could you save money in consuming the tax-free goods in the airport. In my opinion, you could get a much cheaper price in the department stores than in the airport. I was talking about make-up prices instead of the prices of something that you could not get in the department stores.

The schedule of the first weekend in Beijing was the campus tour, visiting 胡同 and 恭王府 in 後海, shopping in the 秀水 market, and visiting 國子監 and 孔廟. The faces of the Chinese capital were really diverse. It could be very ancient yet very advanced at the same time. The most clear example would be 後海, when you were there, you would see a lot of old houses on one side while the other side with a roll of bars with young people listening to pop music. Another interesting thing was the skill to bargain with the street vendors was “leaving”. Since we could not speak Mandarin with the accurate Beijing accent, so the vendors would say a really high price for whatever you want to buy. Why? It was quite simple, because you were a visitor to their country. And it was unnecessary to argue that the visitors had more money than the citizens of Beijing. By “leaving”, I meant to play an act of you leaving the store, expressing that you believed the price was too expensive. The peddler would instantly give you a much lower price to the original one, and then you could continue bargaining until the price reached a reasonable number.

I went to the Beijing zoo on Monday since I didn’t have any class on Monday. I saw the pandas there. I watched how those creatures played with bamboos for almost 30 minutes, because in Taiwan you could only have a 10 second glimpse of the pandas. So I wanted to make the ticket worthwhile by spending a longer time with the pandas.

The classes I took were Oral Translation, Foreign News History, Creative Industry, Intensive Reading, and Selective Newspaper Reading, Explaining the English Countries, and Broadcasting (which was canceled due to certain reason). The students were diligent but not all of them are working hard. I’ve met some that were totally obsessed with the Taiwanese soap opera television shows. I liked how the teacher trained them in the Oral Translation; they had many practicing opportunities while they were in school. So when they graduated, they were fully prepared for the society. I didn’t learn anything from the Foreign News History because the teacher was gossiping about his experience with meeting our president Ma when he was still the mayor of Taipei. Then the Creative Industry was an interesting course, because it discussed the problem that China face. Intensive Reading and Selective Newspaper Reading were both boring; these classes were like the high school English class with the teachers gave lecture on the article. Explaining the English Countries was like a history class; the teacher gave lecture on the history of the English speaking countries, such as America, Canada, and Europe.

I met a lot of friends there, some of them were Taiwanese and most of them were Chinese. I had a great time there. If the German Department would hold this exchange next year, I think I would join it again.

Cindy Huang

※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※

Ten-day Trip to Beijing

Beijing, a capital city of China is an immense land that embraces the essence of its nation. In terms of viewing, Beijing has many broad roads that are aligned with a lot of conifers. The sky in the city is grayer then Taipei, and is covered with big clouds. During ten-days of travelling, we not only attended classes in Beijing foreign studies university, but also planned to have touring to visit many ancient places. Thus, our travel could be separated into two parts: field trips and class auditing.

First of all, I would like to provide a brief introduction to Beijing foreign language university (BFU). It is a language college which is regarded as a cradle for diplomacy. In order to give a comprehensive training to the students, BFU provides many courses that are put under English department. The courses could be divided into many branches of studies, such as English department, journalism and communication department, diplomacy department and department of law. Because of its detailed division, the students studying in BFU are able to learn more and fathom further in their fields of study. However, in that case, the students have less opportunity to choose minors. They are obligated to study only the courses that are related to their majors. Therefore, it seems that Fu Jen has given much liberty for their students to get minors in other fields of study.

In order to mingle ourselves to the new environment, my colleagues and I were given the chances to select courses in the campus. Therefore, we could distinguish the differences and similarities between our school and BFU. In my experience of attending their classes, I have noticed that there are many intense reading material provided in the class. The reading material is asked to be previewed before attending the class; therefore, the students could obtain a clear frame of mind on the reading material to help them digest the contents of lecturing. Consequently, the students could develop a constant habit of reading and vocabulary memorization.

Next, I have also participated in another course called public speaking which is served for the freshman. To my astonishment, most of the freshman has good fluency in their speaking. They could utter specifically what they want to say and have good command of using fine words in their description, and is open-minded to the judgments and comments given from other peers. Plus, unlike the students in FJU, they are encouraged to ask many questions to challenge the presenter during the class. A critical mind is thus developed rapidly after all. However, I have found out there is a difference in the presentation: the freshman are only asked to provide outline during their presentation, which could blockade their creation and expansion of researching in their works. Their design in making Power point slide is not as attractive as ours because of the dullness of words higgledy-piggledy placing on the slide. To be pity, they only read the script monotonously instead of spontaneous speaking in front of the class despite of their good articulation. Thus, it is quiet easy for me to feel dreary in the listening.

Aside from class auditing, my colleague and I are provided individually with study partners (學伴), who would like to take us to tour around the campus to adapt us to the new environments. These students not only kindly elaborate the functions of facilities, but also take us to other places outside the campus. For instance, a girl named 王瀟who is quiet familiarized with Beijing city due to her residency in Beijing for almost twenty years, sharedwith us a lot about her interesting experiences. Thus, we could save our energy to visit those places which were not fun at all. Furthermore, I am overwhelmed with the kindness offer from the local students. In fact, our study partners are not served as our personal touring guide but also a gourmet who would take us to a great restaurant to eat and share together. To sum up, the ten-day trip to Beijing is not only left as a remarkable memory in my mind, but also viewed as a gateway from busy life in Taipei.

Kaylyn Liang 梁芳瑀

※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※

Beijing Foreign Studies University

I went to Beijing from March 27th to April 5th as an exchange student in Beijing Foreign Studies University this spring vacation. There were some 25 of us, including students in English, Germany, Japanese, Spanish department, the minister of Germany department and Doris Chung in our department. I attended classes based on the class schedule, went sightseeing with students in FJU and local students, and tasted various foods. It was wonderful to experience another English learning environment and make friends with local students at the same age. Moreover, I explored the culture, lifestyle and essence in Beijing which I might have never seen if I had been a tourist.

Campus& Dormitory

The campus was divided into east and west part by a road and an underground passage beneath. My room was at the west side, while the main campus was at the east side. The building I liked the most was the gym located in the central of west part. It was huge and fascinating, with a chandelier at the lobby. Also, there were lots of pirate English novels in the underground passages at night. The cover looks exactly the same and the price was about 1/8 of the original one. Besides, the campus was quiet and less crowded compared with FJU.
Students in BFSU came from different provinces of China. Therefore, most of them lived in the dormitory. The dormitory I lived was for foreign students, including American, French, Korean and Japanese. Most of them studied Chinese in BFSU. It was interesting to hear different languages while walking through the hall way. The room was simple- a closet, a desk, a TV, a bed, and toilet. The TV programs were not as diverse and interesting as the ones in Taiwan, and there were few English channels.


I attended several classes in BFSU. The classes which impressed me the most were interpretation, reading, and speech and debate. The interpretation class was designed for juniors. After the teacher said 5 to 6 sentences in Chinese, students are required to do Chinese-English interpretation through headphones. Then, the teacher picked up a student to give his or her answer in public. Their interpretation skills were great in terms of sentence structure, pronunciation and fluency.

The reading course was designed for freshman. The textbook was similar to the ones we had in high school. Each chapter contains a short story, and the teacher explained the usage of vocabulary or phrases and sometimes made sentences. Most students previewed the short story, marked the words they didn’t know and looked up the dictionary in advance.

As to the debate class, students who were not debaters were required to take notes in a certain format during the debate. Also, students in the opposite side could ask questions while the speaker was speaking on stage, and the speakers could decide whether they wanted to answer the question or not. It was quite different from the way we were trained in the sophomore year. One thing to notice was that students in BFSU came to class early in the morning. They arrived at class around 7:50, ten minutes before the class started. Sometimes, teachers started the class before the bell rang because all the students were there.

Buddy from BFSU

Each of us had a buddy in BFSU. My buddy was a junior student from Ching Dau Municipality named Wang Yau. Aside from schoolwork, she went to cram school to prepare for GMAT and TOEFL test on weekends because she was determined to study business abroad right after she graduated. Another student, Wang Xiao, also helped us a lot during the days in Beijing. She often bargained with the clerks so that we won’t be fooled. I really appreciated that they spent lots of time with us even if they had to handle schoolwork and personal things at the same time. Before I left Beijing, I promised them I would show them around if they get the chance to come to Taiwan.

Jessie Teng

※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※ ※

BFSU Trip (Campus Life)


BFSU is a beautiful campus which separates into two parts: east and west sections. It is bigger than FJU. There is a busy thoroughfare cross between east and west sections, so people have to go through the underground passage to get to the other side. Unfortunately, Jessie and I lived in west side, but all of the classrooms were in east side. In other words, we had to get up in the early morning in order to go to school on time. The students in BFSU are always very punctual. Not like in Taiwan, most of the students have late experience. I think there was one reason: environment. Students were forced to live in the dorm even though some of them were from Beijing. In addition, there was less entertainment and activity for the students. They slept very early because the dormitory superintendent turned down all of the lights early. In Taiwan, students had a lot of options to plan such as part-time job, club, music concert, night market, and so on. Taiwan is very small that we can meet our friends easily; however, Beijing is so big that most of the students are from other provinces. They went back only during winter and summer vacations. They seldom meet their old friends from their home towns. Furthermore, they were not interested in activities. They concentrated on their studies very much. I asked some of them what do they usually do on weekends; and they said that they like to take a walk and go to cram school. I felt very curious about the cram school part because Taiwanese college students seldom go to cram school. They said that they learned interpretation there and also took IELTS exam next year. BFSU provides a good learning environment. That’s why students in BFSU are so disciplined and have regular life. It’s what I have to learn from them that isolation is a kind of way to make students independent!!


BFSU Trip (Courses)

The first class I attended was Interpretation. The way which the professor taught was that the students took notes when the professor read about five to eight sentences and the students had only one minute to think before the professor randomly called one of them to interpret. It was quite exciting because students needed to have great memory and language skills to interpret Chinese to English in limited time. The second course was Reading. It is very different that students in BFSU use their own English textbooks to learn. In Taiwan , we had English textbooks when we were in high school, but not in college. The professor made me think of my English teacher in senior high because they taught in the same way: first, explain the vocabulary; second, teach grammar and then talked about the content of lessons.


The third one is Cross Cultural Communication. As a matter of fact, I like kentei’s course much better because the course in BFSU was very boring. In FJU, we focus on Japanese culture. There are some interesting activities like role-play, group discussion, and interaction with Japanese students by webcam. Also, we invited the scholar, Dr.Lauren to have a speech to us. In BFSU, the teacher just kept talking about the theories without any interaction with students. To sum up, ours is funnier and better. I remembered that there was a student asked where I came from and what school did I enter. I replied “Fu Jen University.” He was very confused and said “I’ve never heard of your school. Fu Jen is in what province?” I told him that it was located in Taiwan , so he hasn’t heard of it. He suddenly cried out “Wow~ Taiwan?! It’s so cool!!” Actually, I think Beijing students are cool, too. After that, we chatted a lot about the differences between Taiwan and China . It is very interesting to go to different school to learn something not from books.


Amy Ke