Most Greeks don’t go to China. They go to Paris and London and Rome.
They are all surprised when they hear I have been to China 4 times (so far).
The reason is simple: I really loved asian culture and I started learning mandarin many years ago. Unfortunately it is a very difficult language and although I have been trying for years (at the same time with my bachelor, master and now PhD), my level is still not very good. There is only one way to learn mandarin in my opinion: go to China. The cost will be the same or less with learning mandarin in your country (including living expenses).
Anyway, here I will talk about the first 3 times I visited China.
The 4th time was part of the Transsiberian trip I did, so I will describe it separately.
China trip 1: March 8th – March 14th 2009
China trip 2: July 15th – July 27th 2009
My mandarin teacher in Greece organized a trip to Beijing in order for us to learn mandarin. The university we stayed at was Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU). We were about 20 people I think, some signed up for 2 weeks and some (including me) for one month.
If you notice the dates, you will notice we stayed less than a month.
The reason will be revealed soon 🙂
China trip 3: June 26th – August 3rd 2010
Since we didn’t get to do our month in China, we decided with 2 friends (which since then became best friends) and one girl we did not know (and haven’t seen since) to spend (more than) a month in China.
We did a month of mandarin lessons in BLCU, enjoying Beijing life, and then we travelled (with my two friends, the other girl stayed in Beijing).
Stay tuned! I will describe each trip in more details.
If you want to travel to Beijing, ask me! I have been there 3 times and stayed for a month!