Satya Grahat Maja [Photo/China Daily]

When I was admitted as an international student to Shanxi University based in the provincial capital of Taiyuan, I realized I had a life-changing opportunity.

China is now regarded as one of the most dynamic economies in the world and that's why so many international students choose to study and live in China.

Studying in China offers international students an opportunity to understand the country.

I hope what I have learned here can help me with my career development as I plan to engage in jobs relating to economic and cultural exchanges between my home country of Indonesia and China.

I chose to study in Shanxi University for several reasons.

First, the school has a curriculum system with an international standard and very good educational facilities.

Another reason is that I wanted to find a place to live and study where not many Indonesians live.

I used to meet some friends who had an experience visiting, living or studying in China. But their stories were all about big cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. They knew very little about the rest of the country.

When I entered Shanxi University in 2018, I realized the province has a long history and a brilliant culture. It has a lot of cultural attractions and natural wonders.

And Shanxi University itself is a modern school with a lot of history and cultural diversity thanks to its large number of international students.

Back in 2018, I was the only Indonesian at Shanxi University. But this situation offered me a unique perspective to see how a "minority student" was treated in the school and how such a student could adapt to and integrate in local life.

It was natural to experience difficulty living in a foreign country at the beginning, especially being all alone.

But I immediately found life wasn't that hard because I could easily get help from my teachers, other international students and Chinese students.

When I walk through the campus, or on the streets or visit the suburbs of Taiyuan, I always meet a lot of friendly people. They are eager to make friends and to help me integrate into the local culture.

In my three years of living in Shanxi, I've realized the province is a perfect place to learn about the history of China. Its great number of well-preserved historical and cultural sites offers rich material evidence of what the lives of ancient Chinese people looked like centuries or even millenniums ago.

While engaging myself in studying the culture of China, my exchanges with other international students also help to deepen my understanding of the cultures from various parts of the world. To some degree, Shanxi University has built a bridge that has linked me with China and the world.

The author is a student from Indonesia, who studies at the School of International Education and Exchange at Shanxi University.