I am a second-year maths student from the University of Sheffield, I grow up in China and migrate to the UK at 12 years old. The first big difference I have found out about the education experience is very different compared to China. Teachers are genuinely kind and support students’ mental health more over the exam grades that students have achieved. The fact that not too much homework and fewer contact hours compare to China once again shocked me a lot when I attend high school in the UK.
Life is generally more free and vivid which is great for a person to experience stuff more real. Often when I chat with friends in China.
The patterns of getting on with my Chinese girlfriend’s parents and their family relationship were so different from what I experienced here in the UK.
Chinese people have many family members and it’s a tradition that they live together, while my parents don’t really care about where I’ll go after graduation. So my girlfriend’s parents don’t want their daughter to be too far away from them, which makes our future plan of living in the UK together really tough. I also heard that in China, the parents-in-law usually set multiple “tasks” to examine how much he loves their daughter as well as his financial status, hope that won’t be too hard for me.
I was born in the UK and I am half Chinese and half Vietnamese. When I was growing up I did receive many racist comments but I would turn around and back up for myself.
But one thing I felt was much more shocking and depressing was that I was discriminated against by other Chinese people when I came to Sheffield to study because of my poor Chinese. And once a Vietnamese said to me that “you are not a real Vietnamese” because all I was doing were “white things”. I still don’t know how to handle this exclusion from East-Asian people who share the same heritage with me.
I have been living with my British boyfriend and his family for almost half a year. I did enjoy staying with them, but one thing that made me uncomfortable is that his dad always came to me and start talking about political issues. I know there are tensions when it comes to certain sensitive topics, and I don’t want arguments in the house. It made me uneasy, I just don’t know how to deal with these situations.
I have stayed in the UK for almost nine years right now and I am currently in my second year of doing PhD at the University of Sheffield.
It was hard for ME to adjust to the low-pace life in the UK when I first arrived. I have faced many cultural differences which I could not understand, and also had language barriers at that time. As I became more comfortable with life in the UK, I have worked part-time in a Chinese restaurant. It is great to find that people do not discriminate against different types of work here, which is different from Chinese society. This is also one of the reasons why I want to stay in the UK after getting a PhD.