As China has carried out increasingly closer exchanges and cooperation with various countries in education during the country’s 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), more and more international students are being attracted to the country, making it the most popular destination in Asia for foreign students.
According to relevant statistics, the number of international students in China exceeded 440,000 in 2016, rising to 492,200 in 2018.
Foreign students of Jiangsu University of Science and Technology making dumplings with residents in Zhenjiang, east China’s Jiangsu province, to celebrate the Winter Solstice Festival, or Dongzhi on Dec. 21. (Photo/Shi Yucheng)
Many foreign students have decided to study in the country because of the charm of Chinese culture and their desire to know more about the country.
The idea of studying in China came to Han Maoyu, a young man from Nigeria, at the end of his sophomore year when he started to learn Chinese at the Confucius Institute at Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Nigeria. Han found that the more he learned the language, the stronger his desire to gain more knowledge about the country grew.
After unremitting efforts, Han received a scholarship from the Confucius Institute, realizing his dream of studying in China. In 2017, Han became a student of the postgraduate program of international Chinese language education in Nankai University in north China’s Tianjin municipality.
Over the past three years, Han has been working hard at the university, as all of the schoolmates he knows are excellent, according to the young man.
Because of his outstanding performance, Han became the only foreign student among 10 students who were awarded the honorary title “Student of the Year 2018 of Nankai University.” He also won the national championship in the second “Chinese Language Teaching Idols” Summer Camp.
Han is now a doctoral student majoring in international relations at Nankai University. He said he hopes to contribute to the bilateral exchanges, friendship, and cooperation between China and Nigeria as well as the development of the two countries.
Ke Luhan, a young man from the U.S., majored in Finance at the University of South Florida before studying in China. At first, he took Chinese classes merely out of curiosity, but after taking the courses for two semesters, Ke became fascinated by the unique Chinese characters as well as the country’s splendid culture and long history, with a drive to continue learning the language, according to the young man.
Applying to study Chinese as his second undergraduate major, he decided to study in China after graduating from the University of South Florida.
In 2018, Ke showed his love for the Chinese language, his knowledge about Chinese culture, and his understanding of China’s development in the 17th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students where he won the championship in the American division. In September of the same year, Ke came to Beijing to study for his master’s degree at the University of International Business and Economics.
While studying at the university, Ke, as a witness of China’s rapid development, started to think about working in the country after graduation. The idea became reality in the last month of 2020, when he secured a job in video planning.
The program is aimed at showing China to foreign friends, Ke shared, adding that although the job has nothing to do with his major in finance, he likes it very much.
Unlike Han and Ke, who chose to study in China because of their interest in the country’s profound culture and long history, Uzbek student Wu Di was attracted to China by its fast economic development, scientific and technological progress.
“I saw China’s rapid development, scientific and technological progress, as well as its peaceful and safe environment,” Wu said. He chose China from three countries for studying abroad, and finally decided to study mechanical engineering at Beijing Jiaotong University.
What he has achieved in China has made him more convinced that he had made the right choice. According to Wu, in addition to academic achievements, the experience of studying in China has broadened his horizon and helped him gain a lot of friends.
“More importantly, I have realized many dreams since I came to China,” Wu said, adding that he wants to tell other foreign students that they can achieve rich fruits in China as long as they make efforts for what they want.
Wu is now a postgraduate student of Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing. He plans to be a Ph.D. in Economics and have a career in China.
“I hope to make my contribution to enhancing exchanges between China and Uzbekistan,” Wu said.