Studying Chinese and being able to study in China is my dream. Now, finally my dream is come true. I have been in China, in South West University to live and study my major of Educational Economy and Management.

I first came to China in September, 2011 to study with China Government Scholarship. To get this scholarship I had to prepare a lot from 2010 to apply for the Chinese Government Scholarship. I graduated my university in 2008 but I did not have a chance to study abroad right at that time, so I had to work as a high school and kindergarten teacher of english. In fact, in 2009 one of my good friends told me that he got China government scholarship and he advised me to apply in the next year. Because I was born in a not good condition family in the countryside of Hanoi, so I thought getting the scholarship is the only way that I could make my dream of studying in China become true. I asked my friend his experiences and I myself tried to find more information from the internet I read a lot others’ experiences which was share in some online forum. At first, I found the schools which have the major I want to study, the school ranking, the study environment, the dormitory, the teachers, and the Vietnamese association in there. And I knew a very useful website named:, It was made by a Vietnam student who used to study in China, and now he is in Vietnam, and he created that website for all Vietnamese students who studied, are studying or will study in China to have a good website to share a lot of information to each other and for the new members. After coming to China, I was supported to be a Mod in charge of Chongqing city folder. I share my experiences and answer all questions in there,too. I share my first time of coming to China feelings, what we need to prepare before coming to China, what we should or should not. To apply for the scholarship, I need to have two letters of recommendation from my university teachers, so I tried to contact them. They were so happy to help me with that. I got my passport, my health check up, my study plan in China, filled in China government scholarship register form, copied and scanned my studying score at university, filled information in the CSC website….

After long, long days of waiting, at last I received the good new that I got the scholarship. I was really happy at that time. I continued to find more information about the school I was going to study, how to get there, how to prepare the luggage and so on. I tried to contact with some Vietnamese students who was studying in China and came back to Vietnam for summer vacation and ask them when they would come back to China, and if I could go with them, because that was the first time I went abroad. Some people they chose travelling by plane, some chose travelling by train, some travelling by bus. And I chose the first half way from Hanoi to Nanning travelling by bus, and then from Nanning to Chongqing by plane. That is much more economical and convenient, only from the early morning to about 11:30 pm I could get to my university. The trip was really hard and tired, but at that time I did not feel like that. I was eager to come to China, to my university and I felt really happy all the whole day. I was really surprised when I received my room. I knew that my roommate is from Africa, and at that time, I thought that it was a good chance for me to use English to talk to him. The room was much better than I thought before coming to school.

I told myself that studying is the most important task for me in China, and I tried really hard. The first year I studied Chinese really hard every day, because at that time, I had just come here, my Chinese was really number zero. I could not understand everything what the teacher and my Chinese friends said. I knew that after one year of studying Chinese I must pass the HSK test at level 4. At first I studied at the basic level class for the beginners, but only some few weeks my teacher asked me to study at higher level class because I studied faster than the others in my class. When I studied in higher level class I was really nervous and stressed, because I could not understand most of the teacher said. My teacher encouraged and helped me a lot at that time. Every day, before coming to the class, I prepared the new lesson very carefully from the night before, if I did not understand anything I could went to find some friends whose Chinese better than me and asked them. Day by day, after about 3 weeks I could catch up with my roommates. I was really happy, and my teacher was, too. My teacher is really good and sympathetic with students. After a short time I was appointed to be the monitor of my class, and my studying result is always very good. At the second semester, my Chinese was improved a lot. I forced myself to study from 60 to 80 new words and watch a movie per day. Because I think that listening Chinese every day is the fastest and most effectively way to study. At the end of the second semester, most of my friend register HSK level 4, but I registered HSK level 5 to force myself to study harder and harder every day because I knew that HSK level 5 is not easy. I am afraid of being failed and my friends would laugh at me, made fun of me, and I tried much more usual. At that time my teacher helped us a lot, too. Some of my friends also shared me their experiences in doing HSK level 5 tests because they also took these examination before. I learned a lot from them, too. Fortunately, I passed the HSK examination level 5. I was really happy.

The second year in China, I started to study my major of Educational Economy and Management. I had been waiting for this day for a long time, because I really like teaching career. I like education. My master supervisor is Mr Yang Ting. He is a respective and very kind professor. Sometimes he is very strict, but I know that is good for me and other classmates. He knows that I am a foreign student, I may cop up with a lot of difficulties in studying process, so he always ask me if I needed any help. He asked us to read books, as much as possible and at the end of every month we have a meeting with him report what I have read, and ask him if we have any questions. After one year of studying my master major, I studied a lot from the teachers with some interesting subjects as: Scientific Research Methods, Education Management, Education Economy, Educational Psychology, Education policy, Education Statistics. I think these subjects are really useful and necessary for us.

Up to now, I have been studying and living in china for more than 2 years. I do not know since when I fell in love with this city, this district, this university. I really like the studying and living environment in here. When I come back my country for the summer and winter vacation, I really miss my friends in here, I miss the smells of Chongqing hotpot, Chongqing shaokao. I miss the taste of hoajiao, xiangjiao. When I had just come here, I could not eat Chinese food, so oily, fat, salty, peppery, so I had to cook by myself for myself. Luckily, we can cook in our dormitory. There is a public kitchen on every floor. But little by little, sometimes I eat out with my friends, my teacher, I do not know since when I got used to with those, and now I really love them.

All of my living cost in here is based on scholarship. I can get 1700 RMB per month, and I have to consider how to spend that amount of money in an appropriate way. Because I was born in an agricultural family, my parents are farmers and the income is not good, so they cannot give me any money. I have to count on myself in here. I have to save money every month so that I can have enough money to buy tickets to go home when summer and winter vacation come. Being a poor student in a foreign country is quite miserable, but quite happy, too. I find a lot of ways to save money. For example when we go to the supermarket to buy food, I usually go there in the evening at about 8pm, at that time the vegetables is very cheap because of big discount, because the supermarket cannot keep that vegetables for tomorrow anymore because the vegetables are not very fresh. On some special days, the supermarket also give a big discount and I buy more things on those days to use later, for example the cooking oil on those days the supermarket only with a half of the prize. I dare not buy more clothes for myself. But sometimes I need to eat out with my friends, and I need to spend more than usually. On the independent day, my friend asked me to travel with them, and I had to consider a lot, because I know that every time I come back from travelling, I am seriously broke. But I really like travelling. I still remember the day we climbed Huashan in Xian. The mountain there is so high, so wonderful. We spent all day from 7 am to 6:30 pm for climbing. I love the feeling when I could climb to the top of the mountain and see around. China is very beautiful.

Cooking is my favorite hobby. Whenever I get stressed I usually go to the supermarket buy food and cook. My Chinese friends do like my cooking. We sometimes cook and have a meal together. They really like Vietnam’s spring rolls, and I teach them how to cook Vietnamese dishes, too.

Our school foreign dormitory condition is quite good. We are two people in a room. There are television, air conditioning and refrigerator. My roommate is quite good, too. He is 3 years older than me, and he comes from Africa. After studying one year, he fell in love with a Thailand girl, and they are very happy. Our dormitory is in very quiet and peaceful. I like the quietness at night in here, so silent, so peaceful, and sometimes I feel so lonely and I miss my family, my brother and my sister a lot. Luckily, I have some very good Chinese friends, they usually talk to me, care for me. They taught me how to play basket ball, how to play rollers skates. Sometimes we go jogging together in the evening to enjoy the fresh air and relax. I love them a lot. They are my good friends forever and ever.

I love being in here in China, in Chongqing, South west university to study and living. Thanks Chinese government scholarship a lot for giving me this wonderful chance. Thanks all my Chinese teachers who help me a lot studying Chinese and my major. Thanks my Chinese friends who make me feel that they are my family, so warm, so closed. South West University is very meaningful and important for me. I will try my best to study harder and harder, and I am sure that, after graduating my master degree in 2015 in here. I will try my best to get CSC scholarship to come back to China and go on studying my doctor degree. I love you, China.


Author Details:

Name:  Nguyen Ta Nam;

Chinese name: Ruan Da Nan

Nationality: Vietnam

Southwest university