From Roman Walls to the Great Wall of China

As a language student at the University of Chester, you have the fantastic opportunity to travel abroad where you can fully immerse yourself in the language and culture of your chosen country. With Chinese New Year taking place tomorrow, we spoke to final year Modern Languages student Jordan Marshall to find out about his experience swapping Chester’s Roman Walls for the Great Wall of China.

Why did you choose to study Modern Languages (German, Spanish & Mandarin) at Chester?

“I love studying languages. I chose to study at Chester for the smaller classes, which meant a more personal relationship with lecturers. I originally only applied to study German and Spanish, but had the option to begin Chinese, so I opted for that too.

“As part of my course I have had the fantastic opportunity to visit some amazing places. I have worked in Germany and spent time studying in both Shanghai and Spain.”  

Tell us a bit about your time in Shanghai - what were your most memorable experiences?

“I visited Jiaotong University in Shanghai in September 2015 to study an intense Mandarin Chinese Language course. I had never been to Asia before and their way of life was difficult to get used to at first. Moving from a small village to a city with a population of 24 million was a huge culture shock. I can honestly say I have never experienced anything quite like it, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

“I found that making local friends really helped me appreciate the culture and learn the language. The experiences I had in China were unforgettable. I was able to travel to Beijing, observe the pandas in the safari park, climb the Great Wall of China and see the terracotta warriors in Xi'an among other amazing things.

“After much revision I passed all my exams and picked up a certificate to show off to everyone back at home.”

How has this experience helped you with your studies and prepared you for your future career?

“Fully immersing myself in this country has considerably improved my language abilities. I plan on furthering my language skills this year by visiting Mexico to teach English as part of the British Council programme, as this is what I would like to do in the future.”

What would you say to other people considering studying this degree/studying abroad?

“Thanks to this course and the support from the University of Chester, I have had so many opportunities to travel that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Do it, you definitely will not regret it!”

You can find out more about Jordan’s time studying abroad by taking a look at his blog: Thrown in at the Deep End: A Language Student Abroad.

The China Centre

If you like the sound of immersing yourself in the culture and language of China, you’ll be pleased to know that the University of Chester’s China Centre delivers a variety of activities to promote Chinese culture and enhance the Chinese learning experience. Activities include the Chinese Language and Culture Evenings, where everybody is invited to learn Chinese phrases,  discuss cultural traditions and meet new friends on a weekly basis. This year the University is also hosting Chinese New Year celebrations, including a movie night, a Chinese New Year Fair on Campus and a performance by the Chester Little Theatre.

For more information on the China Centre visit www.chester.ac.uk/china-centre, or email chinacentre@chester.ac.uk.

To mark the Year of the Rooster, Chester city centre will also play host to a fantastic Chinese New Year Parade – giving you the perfect excuse to visit this iconic city.   

Want to know more? 

To find out more about our wide range of Modern Language courses and the opportunities available whilst you study, take a look at our website

In the meantime, if you have any questions about living and studying at the University of Chester, simply get in touch.

E: enquiries@chester.ac.uk  T: 01244 511000