So that’s where I teach! Looks like a movie set, huh? My first impressions of the campus were that it was a) huge, b) brand new and c) architecturally very un-Chinese.
Every morning that I teach, I catch a shuttle bus at the Yunnan University main campus that goes to the satellite campus. The ride takes 45 minutes to an hour without traffic. It’s a nice time to think, listen to music, and/or fret about the day’s lesson (I do all of the above). The satellite campus is in Chenggong, a suburb of Kunming that the government has decided will house all of the new university campuses. Other than that, there isn’t much infrastructure out there. This campus is only a year or two old, and first, second and third year students have classes and live there. Fourth year students, graduate students and foreign students studying Chinese are all based on the older, main campus.
The sprawling campus seems unnecessarily large. There are tons of vacant buildings and open spaces that give it a little bit of a ghost town feel. When students are out and about, it seems a little livelier, but I can’t imagine what it will be like if it is ever filled to capacity. It will be like a small city! There are still major sections under construction and the red dirt tracked into the buildings stains all of the stairwells. I love the contrast of the green grass, red dirt and blue sky– the air seems to be cleaner out in this section of town.
The buildings are very nice, and clearly built to last. My classrooms have top of the line technology, and the office buildings all seem to have nice windows and plenty of space. The facilities (sports fields, cafeterias, and grocery store) are all very impressive.
There is a loudspeaker system that plays music and announcements around campus during lunchtime. So far the most entertaining have been sappy-sounding love songs about Mao and “Under the Sea” from the Little Mermaid!