Nieuws - 8 september 2010

'I can't seem to meet Dutch people'

The Chinese student Jia Wan Qing was filmed on arrival in Wageningen. Resource looked her up three weeks later.

'Extremely expensive!' says Jia Wan Qing (22) with a radiant smile for the camera as she pays for her first shopping at the C1000.
Three weeks ago, Jia was the focus of a programme on foreign students on Radio Nederland world service. We saw how she arrived on campus and how she tried to make herself at home in her student flat. Resource wondered how she was doing and went to see her.
Hard to communicate
Jia is pretty busy. She really wanted to make some Dutch friends, but that hasn't happened yet. She has just had the first lectures on her Master's programme on Food Technology. 'It is no more difficult than my Bachelor's course in China. But because of the Dutch accent, the English can sometimes be hard to understand. For the same reason I find it hard to communicate with my fellow students. 'That created an extra barrier to communication with Dutch students, and to asking questions during the lectures. 'In China you are not allowed to interrupt the teacher. It's a pity that I can't ask questions yet.'

Sad songs
With her erhu, or Chines violin, Jia wants to introduce some Chinese culture into the Netherlands. The erhu is a two-stringed instrument made of a rare wood. The sound box is covered in snakeskin and the bow is made of horsetail hair. 'I've been playing since I was twelve. Mainly sad traditional pieces. In the olden days people were very poor in China. To express their feeling they played sad songs.' It is not easy to get a chance to perform here though. I recently saw a man playing accordion on the street, with his hat in front of him. Perhaps I should just do that.'

She mainly sees other Chinese people socially. 'I don't know why it is, but I can't seem to meet Dutch people. I am busy studying in the Forum most of the time. In my spare time I go to the cinema or go shopping in town. I would like it if I maybe found a boyfriend here. I think it would be nice to have a job too, but for that you usually need to speak Dutch. Dutch people are very open and not as conservative as people in China. During the AID, people jumped into the swimming pool in the evening. Chinese women would never do that!'