In Nepal, student life had always been about carrying heavy books and mugging every text from the textbook. The chubbier your bag, broaden your mind. But those memories often got misplaced like the notebooks in the rack. Being beaten and getting scolded for having poor brain mechanism was like hearing a devotee chant the sutras. Pretty much everything was same until I reached my Bachelors. Anyway, after completing a year I dropped out started the journey from Nepal to China to study International Business.
Mugging up and force study was never the idea; we were free to state our opinion and clench what we thought we needed. We had both Chinese and Foreign teachers with strong English background except some. Foreign teachers were more into a practical study and Chinese teachers were better at theory. Foreign teachers made us do practical assignments, for instance; organizing charity events, surveying foreign businessmen about dos and don’ts of doing business in China. Most exciting of all, me along with four others friends started our own business of food delivery service as a part of an assignment. We even made a business plan for already set-up businesses like iPhone, Samsung, M&M’s, Nestle, Forever 21 and so on.
However, Chinese teachers believed that foreigners love to have fun so the education should be easy and smooth but knowledgeable.
The difference between being a student in Nepal to China is that here they don’t insult us for not getting things in our head. Teachers here are more encouraging than discouraging. They believe that a fish should not be judged based on its inability to climb a tree.
I faced so many problems when I first came in, for example; being scared of teachers and avoiding any direct conversation with them. But they treated us like friends or business partners, discussing and arguing was acceptable. My best-friend from Nepal always said that those teachers, the one who taught me, kept asking her about how was I studying, about how many backs I had piled up. They always laughed after finishing the question. It was heartbreaking to get to know that. But, teachers aren’t like that here. I had and still somewhere have this fear of speaking in front of the mass.
There was this teacher named Josh, he made us do presentations every day and every time we got stuck he would clap and encourage us. He is one of the reasons that I started writing. He said, “You don’t have to be native to write stories and publish novels in English. Dream it and do it. Tell me when you’re ready and I‘ll help you publish it.” He always boosted me to write and after 2 years when he read one of my poems he then said that I am a very talented woman. Anything you wish to know about when it comes to studies and uplifting oneself he is always prepared. Conversely, Nepali Teachers always saw us as future conductors.
I can never forget being picked on for not understanding math. My math teacher always said I was the reason why my friend couldn’t improve. “Sitting with dumb people makes you dumb”, he always said loud enough for everybody to hear. In short, the biggest dissimilarity in the style of teaching that I recognized is that teachers here think it is okay to not know things. There are thousands of other things we know and most of those will help us lead. Education is all about getting ideas, how to put them into action depends on us. Two plus two is not only how we get four, three plus one can be four too.