I am Kamlesh-Singh from Mauritius, a fourth year medical student. I am currently studying at Nanjing Medical University. It is found in Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province. Jiangsu is found in the east of People’s Republic of China.

In this essay I am going to talk about my application experiences, study experiences and life experiences in China. In fact, I came to know CUCAS after coming to China. I did not apply through CUCAS. I got to know about CUCAS through the internet when I tried to help a friend to find universities for pharmacological studies when I was studying.

My application procedures and experience were pretty simple ones. After the proclamation of my high school results on 8th February 2010, my parents supported me to go to China to pursue my tertiary studies. In Mauritius there is no medical university and I had to choose a country. China is a popular choice among young Mauritians. Initially, I applied for the Chinese Government Scholarship (China scholarship council) through Chinese Cultural Centre at Bell-Village, Mauritius. However, I was not selected despite I had excellent results with excellent grades which was quite weird to me and puzzling. I was quite despair and was on think of leaving the thought of studying in China. During the same phase of time, one of my high school friends told me about an agency named OVEC at Moka, Mauritius. OVEC is an agency which acts as a facilitator to those who want to go abroad for studies. I was impressed by Nanjing Medical University. It has 19 affiliated hospitals and over thirty teaching hospitals in Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou, Huai’an, Shanghai and Hangzhou. It has 1key laboratory at ministry level, 2 key laboratories co-established by the ministry and provincial government, 7 provincial key laboratories and research centers. Its’ library is the central medical library in Jiangsu Province and the medical literature center of the university literature service system. The

University library has a collection of over 1,220,000 volumes, including over 5,700 categories of periodicals in English and Chinese. 11 categories of academic periodicals, such as ‘Journal of Nanjing Medical University’, ‘Clinical Dermatology’, ’Clinical Neurology’, ’Jiangsu Medicine’ and so on are sponsored by the university. Besides, the establishment of digital campus brought convenience to the teaching, scientific research, management and study. Furthermore, I choose Nanjing Medical University because of its’ affordable fees. I am from a middle class family so I had to choose wisely for a good university which is affordable for me. Nevertheless, the financial situation was not too good at that time. I had controversial views on the student loan to be taken by my parents in order to pay my studies. On 2nd August 2010 OVEC announced me that I am a ‘Jiangsu Jasmine Scholarship’ winner. This scholarship covers 20000rmb out of the 34000rmb I have to pay for my tuition fees. It was a great sigh of relief me and my family. I was really happy to be the first Mauritian to bag this scholarship. The picture below is an article published on me, for winning the scholarship, in ‘The Independent Daily’ newspaper in Mauritius.

1

 

This scholarship is in fact one of the driven forces for me to live my dream of becoming a medical practitioner. 2nd September 2010 I had my flight to China and I was ready to face my dream.  My family-my elder sister, my mother and my father seeing me off at the airport:

2

 

In addition, my study experience is one of the blissful parts that happened to me here. 15th September 2010 was my first day of study here. I remember vividly of the Chinese class I had that day at 9:40 a.m. My Chinese language teacher’s name is Dr.Zhang Xi. Every international student has a Chinese name here. Mine is called 沙杜 (Sha-Du). That day the teacher gave us advices on how to study Chinese language. The basis was to know the Chinese characters. I had to work hard to get those characters into my mind. There was dictation sessions everyday by the teacher. We had to know the characters perfectly. The first year is premedical year. Basically, there are no medical subjects to study. I had Chemistry, Chinese language, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Studies and Chins Profile as subjects. China profile helped us to study more about Chinese history, culture and geography. The university did arrange an outing for us to ‘Nanjing Massacre Museum’ on 5th November 2010. It commemorates the Japanese invasion in Nanjing resulting in 300,000 victims.

34

 

The problem I encountered during my first year was the English language level of my teachers. It was quite difficult to communicate and express your problems in English. So I had to brush up my Chinese language level in order to bridge the gap in communication. The teachers here are nice and humble. I signed up for a QQ account to keep in touch with my Chinese friends and teachers. It did help in improving my Chinese language level. I wrote the new HSK level 4 exam. I passed it with 257 marks over a total of 300. My teacher was happy from my performance. During my second medical year I started to explore the medical world with subjects like anatomy, physiology, histology, embryology, biochemistry, cell biology and medical law. I also had to study medical Chinese which helps for the internship period in China. I could not choose a better career as medical studies are more interesting than I thought. For example; in anatomy I had the opportunity to work with a real human cadaver during practical classes. This was quite helpful to understand and learn anatomy better. The problem I encountered during my second medical year was to fall ill during exam periods. I was physically weak. It was a first time life experience to encounter a disease during exam period. I did not even have my family members around to care for me. Thus, I had to muster courage and be strong by my mind. This was my driving force. Fortunately, my hard work and courage paid off through my exam results. I felt an explosion of joy. Besides, my third medical year was not an easy one either. I had to study immunology, pathology, patho-physiology, molecular biology, parasitology, medical genetics, laboratory diagnostics, basic surgery, pharmacology, microbiology and medical ethics. The time and dedication given to my third year had its’ worth. I had to sacrifice a lot of enjoy time to understand the basics of these subjects because they are the basics of the medical world. My teachers were quite helpful. They explained me the concepts again and again till I do not grasp the required knowledge. They even give me their contact details for further help at any moment. I feel that students should not feel shy. If something is wrong they must express it with the teachers. The teachers in China are always ready to help. I cleared my third year with good results. From the beginning of my studies, I have always been among the top 5 international student for three consecutive years. I received certificates and cash prize from the university during the scholarship award ceremonies. I am proud of my achievements.

5

 

The ceremony held on 20th November 2010 for year 2010/2011. I am in the red silk shirt with grey tie.

6

 

The ceremony held on 18th November 2012 for the year 2011/2012. I am in the blue shirt posing with Indonesian classmates.

7

 

The ceremony held on 17th November 2013 for the year 2012/2013. I am in the blue shirt with blue tie. At present I am in my fourth medical year. I am still moving on with optimism, strong mind and confidence.

Furthermore, I am having an amazing life experience here. I feel like I am born in Mauritius and grown up in China. I went through some experiences here but I do treasure only the good ones because I am a person who always likes to see the glass half-full. Every experience here is contributing in changing me from a boy to a matured man. After coming here, I was exposed to new cultures and ways of living. Initially it was tough for me because I had to adapt to the new environment. I did not accept the new culture as a whole when my basic habits were at the expense. I did not give up the cultures in order to adapt here. Instead, I used to the new culture to add on to my own knowledge and new habits of living. In China I had an explosion of friendship.

8

 

Moreover, I am a very active student in my university. I do spare some time for some extracurricular activities. I used these as opportunities to share thoughts and ideas with the international friends here. These are platforms where countries meet and have the opportunity to be creative. They also allow me to develop my compassionate nature which I was instilled with in my country.

9

 

This was for the opening dance ceremony of the sports meeting 2012.

10

 

The above is the Chinese painting I attempted without having any experience in such style of painting before.

Besides, the basic living needs are easy to find in China. There is a wide variety of Chinese food. The special dish of Nanjing is ‘suan cai ya’, a dish of duck. Even the ‘suan cai yu’, a dish made of fish, taste good. There are other varieties of dish with pork, beef, and lamb meats. However, for me the choice is limited due to religious reasons. I am a Hindu so I restrict myself to vegetarian food mostly, chicken and sea food. I do miss my home made Mauritian food a lot. Below are some pictures of some Chinese food made by my Chinese friend in the dormitory. They do taste better than the school canteen food. When I am bored with the canteen food I also try some Indian cuisines at Indian restaurants like Taj restaurant or Himalaya restaurant. Moreover, it is easy to find clothes at places like Yiwu Shangdian or Jinbaolu in Nanjing. I can bargain and buy them at cheaper prices. I do some shopping on the ‘taobao.com’ website.

Furthermore, I have no problem concerning accommodation because I live in the school dormitory.  Most of batch mates live outside because they cannot adapt to the lifestyle in dormitories. There are special regulations to follow and I think it is good for my safety. However, if one wants to stay outside, an agent must be contacted in order to look for a desired room. Then one can decide the rent and sign a contract with the landlord.  The student also needs to register the new address at the local police station. Below you can see pictures of my room.

Finally, I will say that coming to China was the best decision. I am experiencing a life changing moment here. I have good time management. Hence, I am able to focus on my studies, hobbies and make new friends as well. China is a country with more than 5000years of history, I am very lucky to be here and I am exposed to many new things like using chopsticks, Chinese arts. The university and the teachers do cater well for me and try their best to help as much as they can. I have 3 more years to graduate and I can say if someone wants to be in China for long study periods then one should be ready to be mentally strong. One must be ready to accept the change that is going to happen and at the same maintaining one’s culture and values. All of us in my batch changed here, the happiest ones are those who accept the positive change freely. Homesickness do affect me here but I always stay positive on the fact that this is just a little part of my life and I have to live it to the full. I conclude that the key to have a real happy and successful life abroad during the studies is to overcome all the fears and stay strong whatever conditions prevail. Besides, I always trust my will power to move forward. I am doing it so others also can.

 

Author Details:

NAME; Kamleshsingh Shadhu (沙杜)

NATIONALITY; Mauritius

UNIVERSITY; Nanjing Medical University

MAJOR; MBBS