Thursday, 16 August

Chinese Student in Armenia – “Besides studying, there’s nothing to do in Yerevan.”

By Ani Gevorgyan

Chzhu Shukhan and Yan Enven are two of fifteen students from China now studying in Armenia on an exchange program.

Chzhu has been nicknamed Shushan, and Yan, Davo, by their Armenian friends.

While the two say they feel safe and well in Yerevan, they describe life in Armenia as somewhat monotonous.

Instead of trying to learn Armenian, they were advised to brush up on their Russian. “When we return to China, we can use Russian there, but not Armenian,” says Shushan.

Davo minces no words when describing life in Armenia. “Yerevan is good for studying. Besides studying, there’s nothing to do in Yerevan.”

 And what do they like to eat? They have a hankering for shawarma and zhingalov hats. They can’t stand Armenian madzoun soup.

Shushan has been studying at the State Academy of Art for the past two years. Davo enrolled their last year.

“Life is boring here. I like sports, but there’s not much of active lifestyle in Armenia.”

The students are taking advantage of the winter break by getting to know experienced artists and discussing their works.

“I’ll tell my friends in China that people here have noses. We hardly do,” jokes Shushan.

Shushan says she decided to come to Armenia to study because she would have spent six years at Moscow’s Art Academy. In Yerevan, it’s three years.

Shushan writes the words Armenia and Yerevan in Chinese. “The word Armenia is the most beautiful sounding word I’ve heard,” says Davo.

Shushan: “I’ve noticed that Armenians love to embrace. When we greet someone, we just say ‘Hello. I’ve missed you’. We don’t even hug our parents, and parents don’t hug their kids.”

Shushan: “We celebrate our birthdays differently. In China, we get together and talk.”

Shushan: “Here, people gather and dance. That’s not acceptable back home.”

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Comments (7)
1. Ed02:35 - 23 January, 2018
still nice ,honest and interesting remarks by Shushan and much culture differences , which could be regarded as "richness" if someone can deal with all these variety... I do agree in winter Yerevan is boring but not in the rest of the year , special in Summer and Spring . Yerevan city hall should create more and affordable places for Tennis, Volleyball , clean amusement parks across Yerevan
2. Monte00:01 - 25 January, 2018
I agree with Ed on the part of "Yerevan city hall should create more and affordable places for Tennis, Volleyball , clean amusement parks across Yerevan" but to be frank, there are many things to do in Yerevan, even in winter. Naturally in the winter months every city is less "lively" or "active" than the summer version of the same city, but it all depends on the individual. Here Davo and Shushan are not really complaining about the winter atmosphere in Yerevan, but Yerevan its-self, which if you ask anyone who lives or has visited Yerevan, the majority will be surprised. Even in the winter months the Yerevan’t cultural life is very much active and thriving. For example Dave and Shushan can enjoy amazing world class music/opera ballet etc…, at Aram Khachaturian or a.k.a. OPERA halls. If not classical music, how about Jazz? Yerevan has great Jazz clubs/bars. If not music. How about visiting Erebuni Fortress? Or how about the so many museums? In Yerevan’s Matenadaran one can find such jewels as a signed document by the Alexander the Great given to the Kingdom of Armenia, or a document by the great Napoleon given to Armenia? Or books, which are well over 800 years old. How about the oldest leather shoe in the world, I’m sure Shushan would love that :) or a bow and arrow from the 1400 B.C.? How about taking a trip to the Yerevan Zoo? You can see Jaguars, Panthers, Siberian Tigers (including a White Tiger) a herd of Lions, and a whole a lot more. You can see over a dozen different types of snakes, including the Armenian Viper, indigenous to the Armenian highlands, which has a dark blue colour skin, and a gold-ish coloured motif like lines on its back. The different breeds of birds, mammals and so on… How about Wine bars? You can try different Armenian wines made by different sorts of grapes? All of the things mentioned above are very affordable… Com’on, there’s always something interesting to do in Yerevan, it’s definitely a city full of passion, energy and great atmosphere.
3. Papik14:08 - 30 January, 2018
“I’ll tell my friends in China that people here have noses. We hardly do." I literally laughed my ass off for a solid minute with this one. I know the year just started, but man is gonna be hard to beat this quote.
4. Peter22:08 - 30 January, 2018
They can go to several small armenian "gyughs" and eat khash in the winter and then compare which one is the best.
5. ani01:52 - 5 February, 2018
very superficial, like most of these rich-kids - of China or somewhere.. studying " arts " for sooo many years... for what ?? Lost time, emptyness of Soul and Spirit.. When I am in Armenia, I'm never boring.. I visit the poor , simple people, bring them some food ,have exchangings , listen on their sorrows and help them practically if needed. I also have good contacts with freechurches where we read the Bible ,sing and listen teachings and preachings... very good times, I ever had in Armenia.
6. Eliza01:18 - 5 March, 2018
The author of this article could explain who, or what ministry, takes responsibility for this exchange and the students. Someone is doing a poor job, if these students are bored. A bit more investigative reporting is needed, here.
7. Doctor Mason20:17 - 8 April, 2018
In July I'll begin live streaming my road trip from Bangkok to Yerevan, where I hope to launch a weekly TV series promoting local tourism. I'll study Mandarin & Armenian while locating students /freelancers to help complete my e-commerce website. Write to "" if you wanna help.
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