Apr.-June 09

Jan. -Mar.09




Global Exchange Newsletter
July - September 2009

We are glad to present you our 2009 July to Sept issue Newsletter and hope you enjoy it.

In This Edition:

What’s new in Global Exchange?
- Students Activities: Knowledge Competitions with international from other schools in Beijing
- Sport: to play basketballs on weekend in summer

Beijing through a student's eyes: students photo collections

Current Students Interview
- Maximilian Koller from Austria
- Mr. Rasmus Sandberg Sloth from Denmark
Connecting with Alumni
- Mr. Andreas Dietschi from Switzerland.
- Mr. Patrick Thostemar from Sweden.
Get to know Global Exchange
- Teacher interview: Ms. Xu Hao

- Our students experiences and introduction of Beijing modern arts district: 798

Knowledge Competitions with fun

This summer, one of popular activities among our students was to go to Lush, a popular bar in Wudaokou, entertainment center near BLCU, to participate "Knowledge Competitions" with international students from all over Beijing each Wednesday.

Our students usually participate the event as one team to compete with others. It is fun, entertaining, challenging and self-improving event. It may covers sports, music, movies, geography cultures, history and more. It is also great opportunity to meet and be networking with broader base of international students from all over the world and to share some fun in Beijing.

Summer Sport: To play basketball on weekend:

Summer is the time to enjoy outdoor activities. This summer, playing basketball is popular among our students in Beijing. Once a week or another week, our teacher John takes small group of students who are interested in basketball to Beijing Language & Cultural University. Our students not only enjoy the physical exercise, but also have the chance to meet the international students in BLCU or other institutes.

Beijing through a student's eyes: one of our professional trainee, Mr. Neal Matteo who is a photographer, took a lot of photos to ordinary people daily life in Beijing. We have selected 18 of them and want to share with you.

Current Students Interview

Maximilian Koller from Austria
Educational Background: University, MSc
Brief Work History: 5 years, 2 days a week in an engineering company
Languages Spoken: German, English, Spanish
Hobbies: Piano, Accordion, Travelling, Climbing, …

Please tell us a little bit about you and what you did before you came to China
The past years I studied mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Vienna and worked for an Austrian engineering Company. I graduated from university one week before I left to Beijing.

What are main reasons for you to decide to come to Beijing to take a Chinese course?

First of all, I wanted to learn a new language. When I asked in my company in Austria, they gave me the opportunity to work for them in Beijing for a year. This is why I am attending a Chinese course now. I will learn all the basics I need for working with Chinese people.

Do you have a special hobby or passion?

Piano, Accordion, Travelling, Climbing, …

Tell us briefly what you are doing in China?

I am learning Chinese for 3 months and will work afterwards for one year
Tell us a few memorable experiences in Beijing? How do you compare life in Beijing to your home country?
I am glad, that I only have good experiences here in China. There are many differences to Austria, but if someone wants to travel, it is mostly for new experiences. In general, Chinese people are friendly and helpful, although it’s almost impossible to communicate in another language than Chinese – good for people that want to learn Chinese. In case I needed something particular which I couldn’t express with a few words, I always got help from either the language school or other students. It’s also great, that Beijing is a really safe city.

What are your best memories of living here in Beijing?

I think it’s really nice that I also got to know Chinese people. It’s not like it is in other schools where you are only in the “community of foreigners”. Many Chinese people want to speak English – I want to speak Chinese, so I really enjoy this kind of language exchange. I also like that there is always something new to see here. I never get bored during the weekends, because either you can go out or do sightseeing.

Has your experience here in China changed you?

My friends will tell me when I am back home.

Did your time in Chinese program in Beijing help you reach your professional and personal goals?

It’s definitely a very good asset. China is a very big market for my company. Very few people speak Chinese or are familiar with the Chinese culture, in my company in Austria I don’t know anybody.

Is there a particular experience you can tell us about that was personally important to you?

During my time in the language school I have never been homesick.

Could you give us some comments and feedback of your home staying in Beijing? How this help you

My apartment is situated in a really Chinese neighborhood. I had the chance to experience Chinese life there. The rooms are big and tidy and there is a big living room and kitchen. When I was there, I shared the apartment with a German, a French, a Polish, and 2 Chinese – a good international mixture for mutual cultural exchange.

What do you find most interesting in Beijing?

The city is always changing and everyday they build up new buildings due to the economic growth.

What advice would you give for those thinking of coming here?

Chinese is a language that someone can’t learn in part. So you should stay in China for more than just a couple of weeks and see that you can get a job.

Mr. Rasmus Sandberg Sloth from Denmark

My name is Rasmus peter, I am a Danish student. I live in Copenhagen where I attend Copenhagen business school, studying Chinese language and culture. 

After having studied Chinese for a certain time period, I decided it was time to actually go to china and practice my Chinese language skill. the course provided by global exchange center gave my the possibility to combine an intensive Chinese course with living at Chinese host family. this combination does not only give you the chance to practice your Chinese skills on a daily basis but it also gives you an rare and extremely interesting in sight into the sometimes difficult Chinese culture.

Due to china’s extreme development and increasing global influence, I found Chinese, as a study, very relevant. In the future I hope to teach danes in Chinese language and culture, or get to work to at an international company in Denmark doing business with china within the art or fashion industry.

I am staying in Beijing for one month, during my summer holiday, to improve my language skills. Whilst I am staying in Beijing I hope to ameliorate my language and my knowledge about the Chinese culture.

After only one week in Beijing,I have already gotten an rare insight into the Chinese culture .especially,I have found it difficult to get used to the Chinese eating habits,as it is far from similar to that of the danes.furthermore,I have been extremely surprised with the Chinese hosbitality,while being in china I am Beijing treated as an “xiao huang di”.

In addition to all the experiences I have had in Beijing so far, the one that has made my feel the most independent was the first time I transportated myself form home and to school by metro.suddenly everything was possible! Suddenly you were not entirely dependent on your host family.

Before coming to Beijing I thought I was going to see a lot of beautiful ancient Chinese archiceture,however,I realized that Beijing and china in general, due to the cultural revolution has lost a lot of physical history. However, I must emphasize that even though china has lost a great part of its physical ancient history, the mental history is still very much alive in modern china.the culture is just as , or even more, interesting than the physical history.

My name is Rasmus peter. I am 20 years old, I live in Copenhagen, attending Copenhagen business school. I speak Danish and English fluently, and can understand and communicate basic conversation in Frence,Italien and German.

My hobbies are arts, fashion and calligraphy.

Best regards

Rasmus peter sandberg sloth

Connecting with alumni

Mr. Andreas Dietschi from Switzerland. Andreas was in our program 2008.


Tell us a little about your background and what are you doing in your country?
Hello, my name is Andreas and in Chinese I have the innovative name "小首长"(little Chairman). I finished high school two years ago. After my grades I collected some working experiences, went to Guadeloupe - where I decided to go to China - , went to the (mandatory) military service in Switzerland, got thrown into military prison for five days, because I refused to obey an order in order to protest against their decision to force me into sergeant school, managed to get dismissed from military service and then – finally - I went to China!

After returning home – with many tears in the eyes – I served three months of my civil service time – instead of military service – in a restaurant where unemployed people get reintegrated in the primary working world.

And because I miss(ed) Beijing so much I decided to study Chinese, instead of math, so a week ago I started at university!

Tell us more about the city you are in?

Zurich is the biggest City in Switzerland; it is often mistaken to be the capital city of Switzerland. Its one of the banking centres of the world and is therefore really expensive. But you get a lot for the prices you pay. You have a lake to swim in, an “Old Town” to maunder around in, clear air to breath in, only 30 minutes by foot at max to stroll into a forest, where you can hunt rabbits and deers… or just enjoy the nature; and in Beijing relations its really close to the mountains too.

What have you been doing since left Beijing in our programs?

Crying like a child.
I started with paragliding and “Nature-Yodelling”.
Now you all have your cliché confirmed of the Swiss, who is yodelling while hiking in the mountains and cooking chocolate on a wooden fire after he milked his own personal cow. C’mon I know you all wanted to hear this.


What effects of your study in China last year on your current career?

I’m studying Chinese; there couldn’t be any bigger impact.


Today, when you look back your study program and experiences in Beijing, Do you have any suggestions to our centre on how to improve our program and to better service to our students?

First of all I really liked the family feeling at the school and appreciated gratefully the
personal effort the school team showed.

I would consider a big improvement, if you would put in real tables, so that the students are sitting at a table. I know the rooms are small, but at least in room one and two it should be possible. Then the internet or the computers were just extremely slow, there is room for improvement as well.


Do you have any comments to someone who is considering to take our program in near future?

If you consider to stay longer in Beijing, try to find as soon as possible an apartment. The dorm is quite expensive for what you get.


We are trying to provide more valuable services to all students after they left China? Such as some online programs to connect them with Chinese students. Do you have any suggestion on how we can connect our alumni better?



Any other comments

Thank you a lot!

Mr. Patrick Thostemar from Sweden. Patrik was also in our programs 2008

In october 2008 I came to Beijing to study Chinese at Global Exchange. I had been interested for Chinese indie-music for a long time and now it was time to kill two birds with one stone. My plan was to stay in Beijing for 6months and learn Chinese while exploring music venues and bands. It ended up in a 1year long adventure going on from the north to the south of the middle kingdom. An adventure that brought me lots of wonderful friends, cultural understanding, language knowledge and a chance to get to know myself more.

I used to study economy at a normal high school in a normal city in the way to normal country Sweden. Curiosity brought me to china and I spent 20weeks taking private courses at GLE, 2hours/day. This gave me a very good basic knowledge about Chinese. The classes were always made interesting by the schools professional and kind teachers who really struggled hard to make us lazy foreigners learn Chinese. The school used to arrange lots of activities for the students and there was always something going for the adventures and social. I quickly made my own social network and never participated in any of the activities. But from what I heard from my classmates they really enjoyed it and it was always made very affordable.

When I was done with school in March I went home for a month. But I couldn’t stop thinking about china and all of the sudden I was back, in a city called JingDeZhen in south China. I worked there for 4months as a English teacher and thanks to the foundation I got at GLE I could now use Chinese in my classes and picking up phrases was not a problem longer. In south China my Chinese just simply exploded and I now consider myself speaking fluent Chinese.

Now I am back in Sweden again. Studying at a university where we study economics with focus on China. And it doesn’t take a genius to understand how valuable my knowledge is. I now have many business contacts, friends and ideas on the other side of the globe. And I know it will not take long until I walk the streets of Beijing again. I am already planning to go back to China really soon to work some more on my language skills. And the choice is obvious, GLW. Why? Because it’s a really good school that can provide me with the perfect atmosphere and teachers for learning Chinese.

I highly recommend this school and I can promise that it will give you a very good start on your Chinese adventure/career.

Patrik Thostemar(三宝)

Get to know Global Exchange

Teacher interview: Ms. Xu Hao

  Tell us a little about your background?
Hello , i'm Stephanie,my chinese name is Xuhao. i'm from Beijing and work there .i'm graduated from
Beijing Union university.

Why do you like to teach foreigners Chinese? What you have enjoyed most in your teaching?
What was the most difficult part of it?

I would like to know people who comes from different country ,to know different culture. it is so interesting

I also can make lot of friends from my teaching. not only in a class i with my students are friend but also
in a real life. the most difficult part , i think it s should be a student who 's beiginer dont know any chinese.

Do you feel that Chinese is a difficult language to teach?

Actually chinese is one of difficult language to learn ,but i dont think so its difficult to teach, chinese
language is most of interesting language.if u learn it.you will find .
What is your habby or passion?

Except club i like everything. especially swim.i love it.

Where did you go to university, and what did you study?
I was graduated in Beijing. My major is computer program.

How long have you been in Beijing? What do you think of it?

I was born in Beijing. Until now I am still in Beijing. In my heart Beijing is the most beautiful city ,
especially the Beijingner.
Do you think Chinese or English is harder to learn?

Chinese compare to English , I think English is easer than Chinese .
If you could travel for two weeks for free, where would you go?

Wow. sounds so great. If for free , I really want to go Sweden.
What impresses you most during your teaching?

Be honest , I think the most impression is from students during my teaching.
What are the most interesting activities you have organized?

For me go to the Fragrant hill and Karaoke with students was unforgettable and fun..
What are the most touching things your students do?

The most touching thing has been students contact with me often after they are return home .
What do you like to do when you are very tired?

when I feel tired I would like to sleep and listening music.

Our students experiences and introduction of Beijing modern arts district: 798

One of senior trainees Mr. Gunnar Jauch, who is architecture designer, wrote his version of introduction of 798, Beijing modern arts district.

798 Art Zone is one of my favorite places in Beijing.
Anyone with a feeling for a thriving art scene within a genuinely historic architectural context will share my feelings.
798 Art Zone is a part of Dashanzi in Chaoyang District, situated along the Capital Airport Expressway, about halfway to the airport, that houses a lively artist community, within a 50-year old decommissioned military factory buildings of unique architectural style. The area has often been compared with New York’s Greenwich Village or SoHo.

It is very easy to get there – every taxi driver will know this place. Qi Qiu Ba Yi Shu Qu is all you have to say (but, please, with the correct intonation, otherwise he might stare at you and say:"Shenme?"
Try to avoid the week ends, it just might be a bit too crowded.

Information on ist organization, history and current exhibitions can be found on the Official
Website of the 798 Art Zone or at the following sites:
http://www.798art.org/about.html; http://www.798.net.cn; http://www.798art.org

A Brief History:
As mentioned before, the charm of 798 Art Zone derives mainly from ist architecture.

The factory complex has been realized in 1954, as a part of the "Socialist Unification Plan" of
the military-industrial cooperation between the Soviet Union and the newly-formed People's
Republic of China.

Since the idea of the factory compound was to produce modern electronic componenrts, the
Russians suggested that the Chinese turn to East Germany from where they imported most of
their heigh-tech equipment. In 1951, on request of then-Premier Zhu En-Lai, a delegation of
Chinese scientists and engineers travelled to East Germany, visiting a dozen factories. In
1952 the project, by far the largest of East Germany in China, was greenlighted,, and ground
was broken in 1954.

The project had stunning dimensions: The selected location of Dashanzi was a 640'000 m2
area, a low-lying patch of farmland on the norheastern outskirts of Beijing. The complex was
to occupy 500'000 m2, 370'000 of which allocated to living quarters. The initial budget was
enormous: 140 million RMB, 17 million US $ at today’s rates.

The architectural plans were left to the Germans, who chose a functional Bauhaus-style over
the historical-ornamental Soviet style, triggering the first heated disputes between the German
and the Russian consultants on the project.

The plans called for large indoor spaces designed to let a maximum amount of light into the
workspaces, with all the skylights facing north to reduce the shadows and the glare of the sun

Construction was hampered not only by the constant disagreement between the German
planners and the Russian consultants (who called the German's high --and expensive--
quality standards for buildings and machinery "over-engeneering") but also by the Soviet Red
Army's tremendous drain on East Germany's industrial production. The equipment was
transported directly through the Soviet Union via the Trans-Siberian railway, and a 15 km
track of railroad between Beijing Railroad Station and Dongjiao Station was built especially to
service the factory.

The factory began production in 1957 and quickly established a reputation for itself as one of
the best in China. It offered considerable social benefits to its 10'000 to 20'000 workers,
especially considering the poverty of the country during such periods as "The Great Leap
Forward", such as:

The best housing in Beijing, with fully furnished rooms to whole families for less than 1/30 of the worker’s income.
Extracurricular activities such as social and sporting events, dancing, swimming and training classes;
Ist own athletics, soccer, basketball and volleyball teams for men and women;
Literary clubs and publications, and a library furnished with Chinese and foreign
(German) books;
Jiuxianqiao hospital with German equipment and the most advanced dental facilities in

After 10 years of production the factory was spilt up into smaller and more manageable
components. During Deng Xiaoping’s reforms of the 1980s the factory came under pressure,
deprived of gouvernment funding. It underwent a gradual decline and finally ceased
production in the 1990s.

Artistic Rebirth