To start learning was a pretty spontaneous decision for me, when I proudly announced it, my friends have smiled at me and even my parents thought it was just one of my crazy ideas which I wouldn‘t stick to. I also had doubts myself, since the internet is full with comments like “Chinese is the hardest language in the world” or “It takes so much time to learn Chinese it’s just not worth it”, and the idea of tones and characters just seemed very intimidating and confusing to me. But I was determined. While doing a 3 month course at my University in Germany, I also applied to study 2 semesters at the East China Normal University in Shanghai – and got accepted. It sounded surreal for me to leave my home for one year and study in a country I knew almost nothing about, except that it was very different from Europe. Beside the university course, I started doing a lot of self studying and I was surprised of how fast I was making progress. So when the time to go to Shanghai has arrived, I felt pretty confident with my Chinese – until I conversation. When registering for my dorm at ECNU‘s campus, I couldn‘t understand a single word the ladies at the reception were saying, neither did they understand my stuttering tries to form Chinese sentences. However, these experiences just motivated me more. I persisted, supplemented my Chinese classes with a lot of self studying and 8 months later I am reading books, watching movies in Chinese and feel very confident to pass HSK 5 soon. Looking back, learning Chinese was one of the biggest and best decisions of my life, not only because I had the best time of my life here in Shanghai, but also because I fell in love with the Chinese language and culture. The countrie‘s culture and history are very rich, the art and traditions diverse and interesting and the language is vastly different from European languages; you can express things in very different ways and speaking it will enable you to speak to more than one billion people who have completely different views on live and society than people in the West. I am determined to reach fluency im Chinese and I liked it so much here in China that I am even planning to come back to work here after graduation. To everyone who is interested in learning the languages I can only say: Do it. Yes it will take a lot of time and give you many headaches, nut nothing that is worth having in life is easy to get. After all, Chinese is not as hard as many suggest and the experience is so rewarding that it is worth every second.