Afghan student learns how to conquer the future

By Sun Ruisheng and Zhang Yu (China Daily)

Updated: 2019-11-13


Some of the international students at the Taiyuan University of Technology participate in a paper-cutting contest on campus in Shanxi province.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Shadab Abdul Samir has a goal and a vision that he articulates in fluent Chinese. He will return to Afghanistan after finishing his studies in China, because his country and family need him.

The 23-year-old student from Afghanistan has studied to become a teacher of Chinese at Taiyuan University of Technology in Shanxi province, for more than four years.

"Although I love it here in Taiyuan, I am eager to go back home and make a contribution to my country's construction and development," he says.

His idea is supported by Li Wei, a teacher at the College of International Exchange and Education, who helps and guides overseas students. She takes care of them in almost every aspect, ranging from organizing provincial tours to even helping them have their dormitories decorated.

Li says: "The aim of teaching students is to make them become better people with a comprehensive range of capabilities."

Before Shadab came to Shanxi, he was a student at the Confucius Institute at Kabul University in Afghanistan, a cooperative institute with the Taiyuan University of Technology. He was initially attracted by Chinese culture and studied the language.

"My father, who once visited the country, often told me that China is a great country with a long history and rich culture, and I could learn a lot of new things," he says.

In 2015, he got a scholarship from the Confucius Institute and went to Taiyuan University of Technology for further study.

In the past four years, he has passed HSK level 6, the Chinese Proficiency Test's highest level, and has traveled widely in Shanxi, and visited other cities in China.

"The Chinese language and culture have opened a new door for me," he says.

He says he will make full use of what he has learned in China after going back to Afghanistan. He plans to do work that's related to the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and help strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

Many overseas students come for further study at Taiyuan University of Technology after taking classes at one of its two Confucius Institutes. The university has one in Afghanistan and another in Jamaica.

A total of 635 international students from 52 countries and regions, most of which are involved in the BRI, attend the school.

Having many international students on campus can help promote bilateral educational and cultural exchanges and also promote the internationalization of the university, says Huang Qingxue, head of the university. Meanwhile, the institution has also established colleges in cooperation with universities in other countries allowing student exchange programs.