Hello! My name is keitumetse S Mhlanga and I’m twenty-one years old. I’m from Zimbabwe but I live in Botswana. I’m now studying in China University of Petroleum (Huadong).

How I Apply the University

When I graduated from high school my mind was full of confusion in terms of what I wanted to study and where. I knew my parents couldn’t afford most of the universities in southern Africa and western countries, so my option was limited. Until I saw an Ad in the internet about studying in china, it was a CUCAS Ad and I was very interested and I created an account and applied. I told my parents about it and they were supportive. The CUCAS team contacted me and I was grateful for the help and effort they put,but half way down the line I didn’t apply with CUCAS because my family and I didn’t know whether to trust this website I found because of the amount of fraud that was happening on the internet. So I managed to get an agent directly in my country to apply for me however I regret my decision now for not applying with CUCAS cause when I arrived and settled well in china I met several students who came through  CUCAS and they all gave CUCAS praises. I believe this problem can be solved if CUCAS had more representatives from southern Africa that could educated high student and parents about its application process to china and build trust with them. Current I’m using CUCAS to help me apply for a winter program to keep me preoccupied during the holiday.

Study in China University of Petroleum

At the moment I’m studying my third year in petroleum engineering at China University of petroleum. First of all I’m lucky and blessed to be in such a great school. The teaching quality is great in terms that the teachers are very committed, focused, understanding and hard working. But I sometimes tend to struggle because their English isn’t clear and that’s understandable because English is their second language but as time goes on I’m understanding them and very grateful for the extra hour they put after class when we need help and that they don’t complain even though at times we can be a bit difficult. Don’t take advantage of the teachers and respect them by following the rules and also doing your work, coming to class on time and keeping silent while they teach. This will create a very good relationship with them and you will do well.

Study Method

My study methods are based on PRACTICES because I study science subjects so I try to practice each subject for about two to three hour a day by doing revision question, homework and class exercises. I also read the textbook to help me with concepts I don’t understand or I get help from a friend or teacher. But it’s not easy as it require me to study hard and with a very packed class timetable. When preparing for exams I prefer to start early. Like five weeks before the exam as it give me time to study each chapter of all my subjects and full understand them. I also use this time to improve on my weak subject and ask for help. I use the internet when I don’t understand terms and I try to fully commit. I also make sure I attend class as it helps me even when it’s boring. If you work hard you will pass and remember the sky is the limit.

Culture Difference

The moment I arrived in china I could feel the difference between my country and it. First of all the language!!!! It is amazing and difficult to learn if you’re not committed. You need to fully commit in order to learn very good Chinese. At my school I only learnt a semester of Chinese so my Chinese is not amazing but just good enough for my basic survival skills in china, but I advise to learn the language because it’s important to learn how to communicate with Chinese and if you graduate you can try find a job if you write HSK plus people will respect the fact that you took time to learn such a difficult language and this shows dedication. China has beautiful building structures compared to my country. It is a very developed country in terms of infrastructure and its economy. When I look at China I see a country full of opportunities that need to be taken by people. I think it’s a very blessed country that managed to go far and it’s still on it way. So take advantage of this. I know I sound crazy cause in your mind you thing of America being the country of opportunities, but China is too as it gives you the chances to try things and make something of yourself in terms of business opportunities, jobs, affordable education and standard of living.

Living expenses

Like I said china has a very good economy so natural it has reasonable prices for basic good and luxuries goods in fact it’s cheaper than America and African. When I first arrived I has so excited about the cheap goods they had and I overspent my money which was a very bad idea. But as time passed I learnt how to economize. I started cooking because I found it cheaper than buying food every day. I use taobao or any other cheap online shopping site that I can find cheap clothes, gym equipment and especially imported products I can’t find on mainland. I also take advantage of the sale and special shops offer. But most of all it try barging with the seller if it possible.so try these things don’t overspend or ball hard or you can find something that suits your budget and research ways to save money by asking senior or Chinese for help.

Make friends with the Chinese students

I found it necessary to have a Chinese friend that could speak English as they can help you the most because they have more knowledge and understanding about their country and when in a difficult situation they can help you. I have learnt that it’s essential to learn to respect them and their culture and values. Don’t impose but understand you’re from different worlds and learn to deal with that and not to cause trouble or break the law. If you respect that you well be at peace. This also goes for the other foreigners you may meet, because you will learn with a lot of people from different countries and they have different cultures or religious beliefs from you. Don’t disrespect these people because of your difference but instead became friend with them and learn from, because they may help in life and I’m not say change who you are but be understand and friendly.

Travel

I haven’t taken the chance to travel but I have tried to see nice place in my city, but I advise you to try while you’re still in china. I have seen that China is unique in its own way and that its beauty needs to be seen and explored for explain Harbin is beautiful during winter because of the ice and it even has an amazing annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. Don’t just sit in your dorm but look for adventures out there and take pictures and have fun and join activates at school. Travel to other cities and you can find cheap hostels to staying in so that you don’t spend too much money. If you miss western food you can find a lot of western restaurant that have amazing food. Personal I love Korean food. Please don’t forget to try Chinese food cause it great too.

Live on campus

Some students don’t like to live on campus and I don’t blame them because China has amazing flats, but this comes with its advantages and disadvantages compared to staying on campus. Renting a flat is expensive because of extra expenses unlike the dorms and you need to be very committed in coming to class because of the distance mainly in winter its difficult  while the dorms are cheap and close to class with less responsibilities. But I can’t say further more on this issues because I live on campus. And remember to be clean and respect your roommate in the dorms or outside campus.

Well basically this is what I have experienced so far and I still have a lot to learn and experience and to travel. But from this short experiences I have learnt so much and I have dealt with a lot of situation that are good and bad. If you ever face a bad situation don’t use violence it doesn’t solve anything but immediately report your problem to a teacher or police. but I don’t regret my decision of coming to study in china.