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My choice

When I was about to finish my high school studies, I wasn’t quite sure about what I want to study next. I did quite well in the majority of classes and my interest in a variety of subjects was also relatively broad. Therefore too many options seemed appealing to me and it was especially hard to select the one that might be right for me.

Eventually, I decided to apply for BSc. in Business, Asian Language and Culture as it offers a great mixture of different areas of study. To me, it was a combination of willingness and curiosity to learn the language and get acquainted with a culture I did not know much about. It is definitely a great challenge to study such a demanding language as Mandarin, but on the other hand, mastering it means having acquired a valuable skill which is still not very common among European countries.

Apart from that, business and economics cover pretty much every aspect of our daily life today so even after finishing the degree, we can easily decide to turn a different direction when pursuing our career. Altogether, it gave me a good reason to choose Asian Studies Program at CBS.

My programme

Studying Asian Studies Program can be very exciting and challenging at the same time. It is the combination of business related subjects along with the quite complex language part which requires a great amount of patience and time to be spent on. Therefore it is fundamental to know how to spread our focus when besides studying Chinese several other business subjects are also demanding.

There is another important aspect to be mentioned which is a transition between Year 0 and Year 1. It is crucial during the Year 0 to focus entirely on the study of Mandarin, listen daily to different audio language lessons, movies or videos and study outside the classroom as much as possible. Even studying ahead of the curriculum is an idea to consider. It may sound nerdy, but it will definitely pay back later on during your first and second year when you will save a lot of time which you can rather use to concentrate on other business-related subjects. Simultaneously you’ll avoid being stressed especially in the periods when the exams are approaching.

Now I am not saying that later on you should pay less attention to the study of Chinese. Just the opposite! Learning Chinese is not a quick process. It definitely takes more time to become fluent in Chinese than in any other European language. I speak from my own experience. Often I felt frustrated when I could not see results after many hours spent studying. But it’s all part of the process. Chinese requires patience, self-discipline, and consistency in learning.

However, it will certainly pay off when you will come to the level of mastering the language. Chinese culture is rich and visiting China is a thrilling experience! Speaking Mandarin becomes an imperative when one wants to immerse into Chinese culture and truly comprehend it. On the top of it, understanding the culture and the way Asians think facilitates doing business in Asia. Plus, there are still not so many people in Europe who can speak Chinese, and if you are the one who does speak it, you have a huge advantage! Useless to say – China is the second largest economy in the world, but you probably know it.

My advice

This program may be right for you if you are self-disciplined and you can stay persistent with learning Chinese even in the moments when it feels like there is no progress or the progress is very slow. Of course, it is not a rule, but many students at some point experience such a language learning crisis. Embrace it as a part of the whole process for sooner or later persistence bears fruit.

Maybe you are a kind of a person who enjoys being busy and active all the time? Yet giving up some of the commitments when your calendar is full might actually be beneficial to you. Having only 3 – 4 commitments at a time keeps us more focused and make us more efficient. What we want is to stand out and to be excellent, not mediocre. Therefore rather than committing to a bunch of different activities, it’s better to focus on few and do them to our best.

Finally, time for relax is as important as the time we spend working if not more important. Trying to push our limits can work in a short run, but it has a negative impact on our productivity and energy levels. It almost immediately reflects upon our performance. Procrastinating or loss of focus are commonplace examples. So treat yourself nicely! Indulge in an activity you love! And forget for a while about all the things you are to do.