Transforming the lives of street kids
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Andrés Oliván E-mail
Magazine - City Interview
Written by ND
Andrés is Spaniard and works since 6 months now in Xi'an. He studied hotel management and tourism in Spain and is currently working in an international hotel in Xi'an. He appreciates his time here and sees it as a good preparation and experience for his future career in hotel management. Where were you born? I was born in the south of Spain, in a small city of Andalucia. How long have you been living in Xi’an?
Since last January, almost 6 months. What is your age? I am 24 years old.

When did you come up with the idea of living in Xi’an? I was looking for new things from the moment I finished my studies and a friend of my suggested me China and especially Xian, so I decided to come over here and try if is what I’ve been looking for long time ago. Was it hard to get a visa or a work permit? No, it wasn’t, if you have a contract with a company it’s very easy to get it.

How do you make your living in Xi’an?  Actually I am working in a hotel as a Guest Service Manager, for leisure I go out with my friends, and when I am off from my work I try to do some sports such as basketball or simply spend time in a fitness centre, I try to make full use of my two days off, enjoyed the city and their attractions, or simply taking a rest.

Do you speak Chinese and do you think it's important to speak the local language? 

Well, I only know how to say basic things to survive, but definitely it’s very important to live in this city and of course for my Hospitality career.

Do you miss home and family sometimes?

Yes I do, I miss my hometown and family everyday, because I really love Spanish live, but now I am very young and I don't mind, I know this is good for me and for my future, and also I like to discover new cultures and ways to think.

Do you have other plans for the future?

I like to think in present time, and at the moment my life is here, in China, but definitely yes, I would like to visit more places.

What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?

My company provide me everything; accommodation, meals, laundry, all you can need it, so at the moment I am not thinking in renting a house.

What is the cost of living in Xi’an?

It is very cheap compared with the live in Europe, here I am making a very good time.

What do you think about the Chinese?

Well at the beginning , when I came to China it was little complicate, because the culture of this people are different than Occidental one, specially in Xian, but now everything its ok, in the moment you know how Chinese think everything is more easy.

What are the differences between life in Spain and here in China?

There are a huge differences, Spain is my hometown, so what can I say, but at the same time there are similar things, such as the life in the street, the barbecue restaurants, the weather in Xian is similar to some cities in Spain, and another more things are similar.

How was the change to speaking in a foreign language (English) all day long?

Not many people speak Spanish or English in here, so it is very good for me to improve my English.

Do you plan to study Mandarin?

Yes I do, I think it will be very important for my curriculum, speak Mandarin can open you many doors.

What are the positive and negative aspects of living in Xi’an?

Most of the people here are very friendly with foreigners, especially in my job, the cheap life is another positive aspect, and also I did very good friends in a short period of time. And what can I say of negative things, let me think… maybe the way how Chinese think, sometimes is a little difficult to understand.

Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Xi’an?

If you are interested in learning about Chinese culture and the language, this is one of the best cities, because the people in here are very kind.

Do you have any favorite Web sites or blogs about Xi’an?

I didn't have much time to check in Xian web sites during these 6 months, but as I saw NEW DYNASTY magazine is very useful for foreign people as well as

Our valuable Editor ND has been with us since Monday, 15 June 2009.

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