I had lots of bloody school stuff. Oh it's toxic." exclaims the chinky-eyed girl with slight British but still with a hint of Chinese accent, as she arrives in her flat, hastily approaches and pulls a chair for our little chitchat…
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A native of Huangzhou, China, the 20 year-old girl who noticeably has dyed her hair into auburn is already in her third year as a Political Science major at London University at central London, just a few blocks away from her flat.It was her parent's idea to send her abroad to pursue college after she graduated in secondary school. She confesses that initially, she was to be sent to the United States were some of her relatives live. Li Ying really did not like the idea of being an alien in another place, more so living far away from her family. But since she had to follow her parents, she finally agreed on one condition-that she go to school in England. Her parents did not argue because they believed UK is known for their high quality education.Her very first day in school was that of a typical newcomer, scary, exciting and confusing all at the same time. But she did not experience stares from her classmates as expected. Maybe because it was already normal for Englishmen to see their kind, whose skin color was not far behind as theirs. She admits that at first, though she knows basic English, (she now has an English tutor) she had a little hard time understanding the Brit accent.
"It was after every sentence that I got what they meant. The same thing when I talk. They often could not understand me either. But I've gotten used to it so it's okay now," she confesses.
Li Ying admits, studying in England is not that easy. Aside from adjusting to the way of teaching, she had to focus intently and strive hard with the demands of international high standards British Universities offer. This has helped her to become more independent and mature.
"I'm very lucky to study in a foreign land and get the best opportunities so I should really make good of my stay here. At least I do my best especially that the tuition fee is very costly. It will break my parent's heart if they learn that I'm not doing any good here. Compared back in my homeland, we are not spoon-fed here. You also have to do some self-study."
This is one thing Li Ying admires about education particularly in her university. Aside from London University's good reputation as among the oldest schools in England, there is academic freedom.
Cultural shock was also part of her journey wherein she describes British people as less conservative than Chinese.
"It's all about adjusting. I mean, that's life. For me, you should learn to understand and adapt for (sic) other cultures just as long as you don't forget or feel ashamed of your roots."
While Li Ying values her studies seriously, social life is also in her vocabulary.
"But we do it in moderation," she says.
She has met some English guys and admits that they have caught her fancy. She dates once in a while but has not chosen one yet.
"Maybe because I'm focused on my studies. Besides, that can wait," she laughs.
Chinese or British
"It doesn't matter what nationality as long as were both compatible and we understand each other, "she laughs her eyes disappearing again.
Every waking day in England she says is getting more
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