For a normal Chinese student, school is Monday to Saturday from 7:30 am to 10pm. If the student is lucky, their parents live close or allow them to go home to sleep in their own bed. If not, the student will have a super small apartment close to school or will live in the dorms. These students get to go home on Sundays to see their family and rest a little.
I go to Chinese school Monday to Friday from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm. My host students have been super excited to be able to leave school early, so that they can actually get some sleep. During the school day, there is a 2 hour break for lunch and rest and a 30 minute break for dinner. In school, I have tai qi, folk music, calligraphy, ancient physics, english, chinese, history, tea culture, and language culture classes. From morning until dinner time, excluding the 2 hour break, my schedule is filled with these classes, so I am very busy at school. After dinner, I join my host student in her classroom for a study hall from 6 until 8:30. In this self study time, the students sit quietly and complete their homework. The students are quiet even if there is not a teacher in the room. Usually one teacher is in charge of watching over 3 or 4 rooms each night. The teachers are also there to answer any questions the students have about the homework, but I have never seen a student actually ask a teacher a question.
The whole set up of the Chinese school is really different than American school. The students stay in the same classroom all day and the teachers switch classrooms. Teachers also usually teach about 2 or 3 classes a day, leaving them with 6 or 7 free periods. The teachers are expected to read books and research their field of study to keep their knowledge up to date. When the teachers teach, they lecture to the students or go over the homework they assigned. Students do not raise their hand to ask questions; they are expected to figure it out on their own.
So far my classes are going really well. I am learning a lot of neat things about Chinese culture. I have learned so much Chinese in the 2 weeks I have been at school already. I can't wait to see how much Chinese I leave China with. Also, Madi comes this week! I can't wait to see her.