MFL Mentoring and The Confucius Institute: Meet Modi Zhu

Hi! My name is Modi Zhu, I’m a language tutor in the Confucius Institute at Cardiff University. I’ll be writing a series of blogs in collaboration with MFL Mentoring about my role within the Confucius Institute, as well as giving insight into Chinese tourist attractions, festivals, and people! But first, I thought I’d share a bit more about myself.


I am from a city in the Northeast of China called Daqing, which is known for its oil, natural beauty, and distinct seasons. I learnt to ski and skate there during the winters and developed a love for many other sports too, such as swimming, dancing, and tennis.  Physical heath is very important in Chinese culture, and we try to keep active to stay healthy!

I have a real passion for music. My mother loved to play the piano, and I was lucky enough to learn from her, but I didn’t stop there! I went on to learn the pipa, guitar, drums, and during my time in Mongolia, I learnt the morin khuur. I love expressing myself through music – no matter what mood I’m in! I will be writing a whole blog about traditional Chinese music and classic songs, so stay tuned.

Languages and Me

Before I moved to Wales, I spent time in Mongolia and Guyana as a Chinese teacher. Mongolia has vast grasslands where cattle, sheep and horses graze and it is here that I learnt to ride a horse. Guyana is a tropical country in South America, where I spent two happy summers, and shared the campus with a local crocodile! Meeting students and sharing language and culture is so special to me, and I consider this a real gift.

When I first started learning new languages, my teacher encouraged me to speak aloud and not to be afraid of failure. They said “As long as you speak, half the battle is won,” and since then, I’ve learnt Japanese, Korean and Russian. To me, the best way to connect with different countries and cultures is by learning their language.

I am so excited to share more about my role in the Confucius Institute and Chinese culture through this blog series. Keep your eyes peeled for the next one! In the meantime, if you have any questions or would like to get in touch, please email me at