Study and Life Experience in China’s University

“I’ve always enjoyed traveling and having experience with different cultures and different people. But it’s also a wonderful thing to be able to benefit and enable research, not only in our country but around the world.”- Laurel Clark

 

1. Application Experience

When I was young, I was always dreaming of travelling the world to share and learn different things: how the people live, what they speak, how they learn and how people from different countries interact with each other. Until one day, I woke up, ready to make my dream a reality. I am Muhammad Adnan, a Pakistani National, a dreamer and a pursuer of dreams, and this is how my journey in China begins.

I was searching for the best Universities in China through the internet, when I found Harbin Engineering University; I tried to apply online for my Bachelor Degree. I filled up and submitted the application form. After sometime I received a reply via my email address, informing me that I was just admitted to the University (Harbin Engineering University). The place, the environment, the people, the food, the weather, the religion and the language are way different from what I was used to. However, with my dedication to learn and improve myself in all areas I excel, I courageously took the opportunity , leave my beloved Pakistan and be productive and efficient in China. It was September 17, 2009, when I arrived here to study Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering and Automation, I was expecting of a very uncomfortable welcome but I was wrong, Chinese are very humble and kind, there were representatives of HEU who picked me up and sent me to my University Dormitory safe and sound, I was scared at first but the HEU staffs were really friendly and accommodative. Harbin Engineering University Dormitory was really a milieu; they gave me a fully furnished room with everything I would need in it. I was so thankful because they made me feel like home. The next day, the staff assigned for foreign students handed me a form consisting the enrollment procedure. I went to the foreign office, signed in, paid my tuition fees, dormitory fees and passed the necessary requirements. That time there were different kinds of payment: yearly, per semester and quarterly. I wanted to be secured of my studies so even it was very expensive, my parents did their best to provide the money needed. My family and I think that we really didn’t spend much for nothing; rather we thought that we invested for my better future. After I settled my University fees, I went for Medical to the hospital accredited by the Visa Office. It cost a total of 400RMB for the health examination, right after the result came out, I went to the local police station to register my home address in China, for my safety and to make my stay harmoniously . Finally, all necessary papers were completed, the leader of the Foreign Students Organizations and I went to the Visa office for the legalization of my stay here in China as a University Student. It was already in my plan to pursue my Graduate Studies but I was also aware that it would cost my family a lot, so I decided to applied for Master Degree scholarship in variety of Universities, like what the saying says “If there’ s a will there’ s a way!. ” Based on my experience some Universities when it comes to scholarship are indeed considering the skills, ability, the performance and academic background of the students but others do not. I was granted a full time scholarship in Hohai University, probably one of the best Universities I’ve checked in China. I passed the necessary requirements for the scholarship application such as; recommendation letters, transcript, diploma, passport and application fee. The University sent me back an email notifying me that I was just granted a full time scholarship in Hohai University. I went back to Pakistan and applied for the new student visa. In contrary to the first time I arrived in China, I have to do things independently; go to the University from the airport by myself and go to the office and fix things by myself. When I arrived in Hohai University , they gave me my dormitory room and the procedures of passing all the requirements in the office.

I may say that it wasn’t really that hard to do what is to be done, for as long as you have the right documents and clear medical result there wouldn’t be a problem. In fact, Chinese people from the University staffs to the locals outside the campus were really helpful. Language was probably one of the problems foreign students usually encounter, not having zero knowledge in mandarin or Cantonese was really frustrating that time for I didn’ t know how to talk to the taxi driver to go where I wanted to go, I didn’ t know where to find the places I should be visiting like the Police station, Hospital for the Medical Clearance and so on. The best remedy, I could advice based on my personal experience are: 1. Try hard to learn the basic language, I assure you it would be of great help. 2. Ask someone who can speak and write both English and Chinese and ask him/her to write the specific words, phrases and sentences for you. 3. If you would asked them in English choose the young adults or the younger ones because they could speak and understand English better than those who are in the middle age and adults. As the saying goes, “First day is always the most crucial part. ” However, as time goes by you will get used to it.

 

2. Study Experience

“Education is the key to Success. ”

I believe that Education is the strongest foundation for us to have a better future. I couldn’t deny the fact that Universities in China are really competitive when it comes to quality Education. I have been to one of the prestigious Universities in Harbin and currently in one of the best schools in Nanjing both in China and I noticed one similarity as clear as crystal “the effectiveness of teaching and learning process. ” The professors possess vast amount of knowledge regarding the subject matter, they always make sure that the students learn to the maximum level. I admire their efficiencies in teaching, specially using English as a medium of instruction. The professors always share intellectual experiences connected to the lesson which make the students like me, easily understood how things have to be done. Some of the mentors might not be physically conscious as the others who really dressed well, but they still manage to impart knowledge effectively. In my Bachelor Degree, the learning was more on collecting datas, store them and use them whenever it’ s necessary while on my Master Degree is more on applying what was learned and searching what more is to be learned. It is undeniable that I, as a student who experienced and experiencing learning in China should say that the Education they provide are really excellent. They provide direct learning experience and hands on activities which I think are very important in my field of specialization. In my Bachelor Degree, examinations are always given in advance. The professors give lectures containing the solution to the test questions that would be given in the next few weeks. Some professors were so bookish that we just needed to focus in a particular book, say something about it and the rest were self study. If you attended all the classes, there is a very high tendency of passing the exam and getting a high grade if not then you would need to have a very close friend to ask something about the lecture and analyze it by yourself . There would be major exams in every subject before the semester ends and the results on those exams will lead you to two ends: PASSED or FAILED.

In my current University, The teaching and learning process is very fruitful; you will attend the class with a teacher full of knowledge and wisdom to share. It’ s more on sharing experiences and applying it to real life situations as the saying goes “experience is the best teacher. ” that’s what teaching and learning process like in Hohai University. The professors always require homework and activities to accomplish. Passing is a matter of going to the library, meditate and study. Extracurricular activities are also provided in both Universities like sports fest, dancing and singing competition, ice curving competition and many other interesting activities.

 

3. University Guide

During my Bachelor Degree, I lived in my University dormitory for two years. I spent my freshman and sophomore years, living inside the dormitory with three rooms and three roommates.

It wasn’t really that bad, for the dormitory was fully furnished and I was living with three other Pakistani students which make my first two years in China very comfortable. I learned to cook, cleaned my own room, washed my own clothes and lived independently. There were few cleaners who came everyday to clean every living rooms in the dormitory to maintain cleanliness and orderliness, security guards and cameras were everywhere so the place was very safe and convenient. The head of foreign student’s organization guided me and the other new students around the Universities for familiarization. The place was pretty big and the buildings are well designed. The library was enormous containing different kinds of book; literature, science, history and so on. Different majors had different buildings, which at first was so difficult to find since the place was wide but then through the help of other Chinese and foreign students I managed to cope with the difficulty regarding the buildings assigned for each classes. There were two gymnasiums one was quite small and the other one was really big, sports fest usually held in the big gym. The auditorium was elegant. The foreign office and the staffs were so presentable. The food court was so vast, they offered all kinds of food you could name, and in order to get some food, you must put money in your student card and use it to buy whatever you want to eat. Only student cards no cash allowed. The clinic was neat compared to the hospitals outside. The laboratory for practical examinations had everything a student would need for the activities. After two years I decided to live outside and experience a wider environment, more challenge, more exposure and more learning. Looking for a cheap yet comfortable house was really hard to find the best apartment for rent started at 1500 and up and the location is good, the cheaper ones were 500 to 900 but in bad condition and location or you would need to share with other tenants. I really didn’t want to bother my parents paying for my house and food, since I had more free time, I decided to accept a part time” English Teaching Job. ” I made sure that it wouldn’t be a hindrance to my priority. English teaching opportunities were all around Harbin, so I didn’t really had a hard time finding an extra income to support myself outside the University . After four years of doing my best at school, I harvest the fruit of my labor; MY BACHELOR DEGREE DIPLOMA.

Now that I stepped up to the next level of Education (Master Degree), I cannot deny, that changing environment, people and ways of living is another big adjustment for me. Hohai University is completely different from what I was used to in Harbin, the place is historicaly magnificent. The buildings are obviously old but it’s preserved to maintain their natural beauty. I have visited two food courts inside the University and the food are really delicious and affordable, you can pay it in cash and enjoy the meal afterwards. The University Dormitory for Master Degree, PH.D. and other foreign students are in “one-room-one person” basis. It cost around 1200 per mos. If you are going to pay for it, but in my case since I got a scholarship I am privilege enough to enjoy the free accommodation offered by the University but of course cooking utensils , sleeping pillows and blankets are self provision. The main library is located in the Hohai Campus which is extremely huge, possessing different kinds of research materials, e-books and data bases in different languages which enhanced through the years. According to my personal research Hohai University Libraries with a established local area connection (LAN), students can subscribe to book information searching, E-literatures reading, information of water resources browsing, dissertations of postgraduates in the University and other necessary information’s for 24 hours.

I haven’t explored much of my current University for now, but I am very sure that all I ever needed to complete the tasks assigned to me in my area of specialization could be found here.

The application, the admission, the teaching and learning process, the measurement and evaluation, the assessment and the application of learning from China’s Great Universities to real life situation is forever be my lifetime great experience. I would be forever proud that I got to enjoy the beauty and sweetness of going far away from your own mother land to learn new things, to meet new people, to speak new languages and to live better than before. I will be a living witness of China’ s world class Quality Education.

I am proud to say that my LEARNING EXPERIENCE IN CHINA is my LEGACY.

1This was just taken last June 2013, just before my Bachelor Degree Graduation. There are two big sports field in HEU one of those was the one behind me, where football, soccer, basketball and other games are hold during the University Sportiest.

 

 

2Student life would never be completed without visiting the library. This was taken in front of HEU library trying to get some books for research.

 

 

3One of the amazing things I love during winter is the “ICE SCULPTURE CONTEST” in HEU. As part of extra-curricular activity students are allow joining and being creative as they could be in Ice. So blessed to be able to experience this beauty.

 

 

4This photo was taken last summer few days after I arrived in Hohai University, Nanjing. I just couldn’t resist from this beautiful place overseeing most part of Nanjing.

 

 

Author Details:

Name: MUHAMMAD ADNAN
Nationality: PAKISTAN
University: (Bachelor Degree) HARBIN ENGINEERING UNIVERSITY
(Master Degree) HOHAI UNIVERSITY

Major: MASTER DEGREE IN ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEM AND AUTOMATION