Lyon’s Business School offered to its students the possibility to spend a part of their scolarship in Tianjin’s business school in China.
During 10 weeks, that trip was focused on two major points :
- Discover the chinese language : students were able to learn how to write ideograms and oral comprehension
- Discover China with cultural activities such as calligraphy, kung-fu, chinese painting etc.
Arnaud Maniveau’s testimony, IMBA 1 student
What are the various activities that you were able to do during that trip in China ?
Concerning classes, we mostly focused on learning Mandarin, with writing of ideograms and oral practice. As you may have guessed, it is very difficult for European students, even if after 10 weeks we started to have a decent level. Fortunately, lessons were very structurated and teachers were always listening to us, always ready to help us, which made our learning easier. We were also initiated with calligraphy to write with style, we were given books to read and we learned traditional songs from chinese pop culture to perfect our oral skills.
Then, outside the school we visited the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, Air’s Temple, Beijing city centre and of course Tianjin. These visits were really interesting and permitted us to get out of the studying environment, we also made friends with chinese students who gave us additional informations and anecdotes about the places we discovered.
Globally, what do you retain from your exchanges with local students ?
We really exchanged with them about cultural differences, for example we noticed that in China everything is more squared than in Europe. Chinese have a great sense of hospitality, they were constantly behind us, always ready to help us. It was really nice to feel supported like that, besides they would often offer us some gifts, when we arrived for example. It’s always a nice feeling to be considered when you arrive in a country that you don’t know.
We also spent a lot of time with them, they love to go to the karaoke to relax and have fun. They invited us to try with them, the first thing that surprised me is that the place is huge. The building seemed normal but inside it was very fancy. I was not expecting that, it looked like a hotel. Besides I never did karaoke before in my life, so it was a big premiere for me. I had a really good time with them, and it was also the occasion to discover chinese students under a new dawn, because we knew them only in a serious environment, even during visits.
What did you think of Tianjin’s business school ?
They have a really great campus, modern and very big. It’s kind of an American college, there are lots of equipments, for example a great library, 2 stadiums and various fields for tennis, badminton, basketball … A lot of link is created with sport’s practice ! The canteen was also huge, I’ve been surprised with the quality of food. We can eat at any time, and the food is very varied and always balanced, it was also very tasty. Furthermore, hygiene is very respected, controls happen every day and they don’t mess with that, but the cleanness of the place was not always the best, but nothing too alarming. I had some apprehensions before arriving in China but they fastly disappeared after my arrival.
Did you keep contacts with some chinese students ?
Yes, it’s mostly contacts that I kept in a professional context, there is for example a student who wanted to launch a business of dried fruits and was interested to export in Europe and France in particular. I proposed him my help if he felt the need, for example to give him informations about french market and our culture, the traps you have to avoid etc. Globally, I have contact details of most of the people I met there and with who I talked, but obviously I’m not going to keep in touch with everyone because we will probably never see eachother again. In any case, I will not forget them, I met really nice people there and maybe I will come back someday, whether it’s a professional context or personal. I will remember their kindness, the consideration and help they gave us, they are very human people and it changes from what we can sometimes experience in France or in Europe.
Valentin Lieutard’s testimony, MBA 1 student
What leisures and activities have you discovered during your trip ?
Leisures in China and France are very different. I’d say that the 2 favorite activities are dinners and KTV. KTV is what we call karaoke, but Chinese are passionate of that and consequently dedicated buildings are high standing and various. Chinese people also love shopping (men and women) but they use internet for that. They order on applications and don’t often move to shops. Excepted floors and food zones, malls are empty in comparison with population’s density.
Concerning our group, we did various touristic activities like visits or walks in special places. In Tianjin for example there is the famous Culture Street full of small local shops (with products like jade, engravings or local food) and expositions that show the development of the city around the crossing river. We also visited the Tianjin’s Eye which is a large wheel built on a bridge.
During our trip to Beijing, we had the chance to visit the Forbidden City, a temple dedicated to Buddhism, and the Great Wall. It was an extraordinary moment, there is a particular feeling, a sensation when you are in the middle of the mountains on top of the part we were able to visit. I can’t retranscribe it but I urge you to experience that by yourself if you have the opportunity !
What did you think of Tianjin’s business school’s campus ?
The school was huge. A campus of approximately 9000 students who almost all live there. We had access to many stadiums for many sports like tennis and basketball. The school’s canteen was on 2 stories, with a great choice of food which was excellent and tasty.
I was impressed by the teachers and their will to make us learn, they were really invested to help us learn chinese and never being left behind. The pedagogic team was always cheerful and wanted the best for us, they wanted us to keep something from that experience. Students were also very kind and wanted to help us in our studies, they understood the complexity of their language and really took time to explain things to us. It was a very rich collaborating experience and it really changed things about me because I’m usually kind of individual. After that experience I think I’m more open minded. We exchanged on our languages, our cultures and our projects.