Soochow University, here I come

So, I’m registered. As of yesterday afternoon I am officially a student of Mandarin at Suzhou University (cue hollers and hats thrown in a random and celebratory fashion).

The whole process was pretty straight forward, and I have to admit that I’ve little clue as to what is actually going on (mantra – follow the Korean kid that looks like they know where they’re going – it will either lead to a mandarin class or some great kimchi, either way, I win).


I technically registered about three weeks ago, so as I could get my visa renewed. Registration breaks into four expenses. The first, tuition, is 7,500 RMB. There are then three other expenses that have been priced with what can only be an inside joke among the faculty – Registration Fee: 250 RMB, Application Fee: 250 RMB and Books/Materials: 250 RMB.


The main reason I had to head to the campus yesterday was for my placement test, which in turn would tell me what books to buy. Unfortunately, it did little help clarify which class my ass is going to be sitting in, nor which books to buy.

The problem, as I knew going in, is that my speaking and listening is somewhat better than my reading and writing. After taking a written test and then having a chat with a teacher (speaking/listening test – very devious), it was determined that I could be in Class 2 for speaking/listening and Class 1 for reading/writing.

Sadly, this doesn’t fly. So, I have to choose between (as the instructor put it) “being tired (lvl 2) or being lonely (lvl 1).”

I had considered putting myself in the Lvl 2 class and just pushing myself really hard to catch up, but good intentions aside, who are we kidding? So, it looks like I’m set to be the Teacher’s Pet in Class 1.

There’s going to be a lot I already know, but at the same time, it will give me the opportunity to fill in the massive gaps in my grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary. It will also allow me to ease into this “Back To School” thing a bit more comfortably.

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