I am sure that most people at work believe that they have a busy life. Especially living in bigger city like Beijing or Shanghai. The working environment can be very competitive and fast-paced. I personally like to live in smaller city like Suzhou, but still the life and work style is fast-paced. My son was 1.5 years old when I enrolled in the BA program of BeiwaiOnline. I was pretty busy already at that time as being a new mom trying to balance work and life. But I realized that I need to make a change.
My husband was very supportive. As a matter of fact , he enrolled in a different major in BeiwaiOnline. We were both proud of our ambitions and were excited for the new journey.
It is not that easy of course. At the beginning, we tried to find the whole time to study. For example, we planned to spend one or two hours every night to learn English. After experiment, we realized that it was not going to work out. Because my son is very young and he still needs a lot of care and attention at night. Also sometimes we needed to work overtime in weekdays. So we changed our plans. We decided to look through the books to get a general idea. The trick is that you have to take notes and write the most important things down. Then we use the time when we are on bus, waiting for someone or even the break time after lunch to study. From my experience, I think once you have a deep understanding of the books, it would be very easy to pass tests and finish the assignments.
This semester, we have the multi-culture communication course, I benefit so much from this course. Sometimes we take things for granted and we firmly believe what things should be done and how we should behave. It is not the case when we deal with foreigners. I realize that we should stop assuming that other people are like us.
I have a close foreign friend Jane who is from America, we share lots of common interests and when we met each other, we talked a lot. Recently she got divorced and she was not happy. From Chinese culture, as a close friend, we should provide suggestions. So I did that. She looked at me strangely and said:” why did you say this to me.” She said: I am an adult already and I am not the baby.’’ I was shocked. But after reading the book, I understand that I should respect her culture. Where she was raised up in America, which very much emphasize the individualism and independence. Even though I was trying to make her feel better, I still need to respect it.
Before learning the cross-cultural communication course, I think we need to improve the English fluency to have good dialogues with foreigners. But right now, I think the deep understanding of the other culture is also very important. For example, now at work when communicating with foreigners, I pay close attention to the background and context, trying to encode the exact meaning rather than the direct translated messages.
Overall, this is my first year and I am still learning many things beside English; such as how to manage my time properly. The process of reaching the goal can be difficult but I am not alone. I am grateful.