Emily Martin – Case Study: China 2014 – 2015

May reportI’ve just finished my third year of studying Chinese at Cambridge University, spending my year abroad studying at Peking University in Beijing, China. I was lucky enough to have a fairly relaxed schedule at Peking University, so I was able to do a variety of internships and volunteering during the year, from marketing internships and journalism to volunteering at an orphanage. These placements not only helped me improve my spoken Chinese in a real life environment, but also gave me insight into many aspects of life in China. For example, through talking to my colleagues at the orphanage, I learnt far more about the reality of the Chinese healthcare system, and peoples’ attitude to it than I would ever learn in class.

Kharkhorin monastery, China

Travelling around China and East Asia also formed a very enjoyable part of my year. I am currently travelling alone in the more rural areas of southern China. While travelling is great fun, it has also been a very useful way to practice my Chinese and gain experience of different regional accents and dialects.

While living in China has not always been easy, I have learnt a lot from both the amazing experiences and the challenge I have faced this year.


To anyone considering a spending year abroad, I would while-heartedly recommend it. I have not only gained a better grasp of the language and culture, but feel like it has changed my entire outlook on travel and cultural values.

_0026_Layer 7

Finally, I would like to thank the John Speak Trust for the support I have received this year, it has opened so many doors for me and helped me to take advantage of all the amazing opportunities presented to me this year.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Case Study
One comment on “Emily Martin – Case Study: China 2014 – 2015
  1. John Speak says:

    Emily has certainly made the most of her Scholarship. The Trust are pleased with Emily’s progress during her time in China, her language skills have improved a great deal in the last few months. Thank you Emily for your contributions to the website and on behalf of the John Speak Trust we wish you well for the future.