xi's moments
Home | From the Readers

Chinese student's first impression of the UK

By Lu Naxi | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-10-13 10:38

The University of Glasgow. [Photo By Lu Naxi/chinadaily.com.cn]

Today is September 28, 2023. I've come to Britain for one month. Now I want to share my first impression and feelings of the United Kingdom.

"Freedom" may be the first character of Britain because it's pretty free and even disorderly. They go on strike frequently. In England, the railway and subway have gone on strike several times this month. And in Scotland, universities went on strike on September 15-16 and 27-29. They amassed outside the main gate and said, "We want a fair pay!" Then they began to sing Bella Ciao and other songs and walked along the street. At that time, I walked with my classmates from the campus to the city center to have lunch. When we got to the restaurant, we saw the crowd come and raise slogan. They not only strike in the campus but also outside to let others their demands. According to news, this strike was part of a joint strike at 180 British universities across the UK as the term began. From Scotland to England, from Wales to Northern Ireland, every university went on strike. There are three main labor unions in Glasgow. Each of them will organize strikes at different times. Every teacher who is a member of the union will participate in the strike.

I asked some students and teachers about the influence of strike. "Does the strike help?" They said it doesn't help much. The working hours and payment may improve but not much. They regard strike as a normal thing because they lived through strikes all year round last year. "Hope things get better this year. Last year, the strike was so serious that many students wrote letters to colleges to return the tuition fee because many classes were canceled because of frequent strikes," one of the students said.

Well, I've come here to study so I hope the strike is called off soon. I don't think this "freedom" is good. Because it only causes disorder and delay and gives back nothing. They want to improve the working hours and payment but finally get very little. So nobody is a winner and nobody gets what they really want. The restriction of order is better than the freedom of disorder. It's better that everything work properly and regularly.

Second character is cultural diversity. Here, in classroom, students from all over the world sit together and study. Teachers and teaching assistants also come from around the world. Two of my major classes are taught by Americans. One of the teaching assistants comes from Kazakstan. And two teachers in the department come from China and Bulgaria. In this multi-cultural atmosphere, I can hear multiple accents, multiple opinions and so on. These experiences can help me understand the world more properly. It opens my mind to different cultures and nations.

However, the feeling of loneliness is always there. During my undergraduate studies, I've been struggling with loneliness. But once I came to Scotland, I tried to get out of loneliness and connect with people around me. I hoped to make new friends. But after these attempts, I seem to have returned to my previous state. The reality of social communication being useless is becoming more and more apparent. If others aren't eager to integrate into a new environment, then what's the purpose of communication? Is communication without gains still worth preserving? I try to ask myself. Maybe this situation will change in the future. So let's take the time to talk about this.

That's all for the first month. Looking forward to the next experience.

Lu Naxi is a postgraduate student in international relations at the University of Glasgow.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.

If you have a specific expertise, or would like to share your thought about our stories, then send us your writings at opinion@chinadaily.com.cn, and comment@chinadaily.com.cn.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349