Student Dorms

Today in Guangzhou it was 10°C and overcast

Teaching oral English in China is not as easy as it seems. While I can’t get my Canadian students to shut up in class, I can’t get my Chinese students to speak up.

A four person dorm. Each person has a bed over a desk with a cupboard for clothes.

In China, the students are a mass of humanity and they move and think as a mass. Ask a classroom of Canadian students what they did last night and your whole class time is finished with tens of possibilities. Ask a classroom of Chinese students what they did last night and it takes 2 minutes. “I went to my dorm, I studied, I ate, I went to bed.” And it never changes from day to day.

One of the reasons for this is that my university campus is in the middle of nowhere and all the students live in the dormitories, which they pay rent for. They are not allowed to cook and there are only 2 places to eat on campus. The Internet is so slow hardly anyone uses it and even though the dorms are mixed, all power is turned off at 11pm. There are no student activities whatsoever. The nearest big city is over 2 hours away by mass transit. Basically, there is nothing to do other than study, sleep and be bored.

The small balcony is used to hang up hand washed clothes to dry. Someone is trying to do a quick cleanup before the teacher arrives.

One teacher I met compared the education system to a prison. The parents send their kids away to a cell in the middle of nowhere. Personally, I think they should add a “house keeping” course to the university program.

A bathroom shared by 4 young men. The crouching toilet has a shower head above it so that it can be used as a shower too.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dominique
    Feb 28, 2012 @ 12:03:58

    Amazing! Our striking students here in Québec should see this…


    • chou chou
      Mar 03, 2012 @ 23:46:35

      Strangely enough, the students here in China say that North American students are very lucky because they can work part time jobs to help pay for their education. Go figure.


  2. Andrée
    Feb 28, 2012 @ 20:52:36

    Yuk! C’est donc ben salauds des gars! Me demande si les dortoirs des filles sont plus propres?


    • chou chou
      Mar 03, 2012 @ 23:49:39

      Your sister Liebling said the same thing. The girls dorms are most likely cleaner but the toilets are probably just as filthy. Most toilets here are permanently stained. It seems the Chinese believe in tearing down and building again as opposed to preventative maintenance.


  3. Trackback: It’s Almost October but I Have Five Mosquito Bites on My Right Leg So I’m Like ???? | Lingering Inklings

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