[The United States] Amaryah Hannah Robinson, Northeast Normal University
I believe that many people have come to China for the study and exploration of the mysterious Orient. My reason was probably the same. However the beginning of my journey was met with endless hiccups, which also served as experiences that would later open doors. What does China mean to me? China means creating, hope, inspiring, nurturing and achieving the impossible.
First, it comes to creating. I grew up in a mountainous area in Alaska, the United States. Although my hometown is attractive and breathtaking in its wildness, it is not inhabitable. I had always been a hardworking student, but my mother fell ill when I was 8 years old. So I started my first job. I pursued my academic study while taking on work, and graduated with honors. At first, while studying, I had to do three jobs at the same time.
Unfortunately, one day I injured my back severely in an accident while working. Three fractures brought to an end of my labor and sent me to the operation table. Fast forwarding many years, it was my mother’s idea that I came to China to study. I had never thought about leaving the United States, but opportunities missed cannot be regained.
Therefore, I packed my luggage and started my exciting adventure in China, where I was offered the opportunity and time to study and relieved my pain. As for me, China “created” an opportunity to hope for the future. I made use of my time to study languages, not just Chinese. And I always made careful observations on Chinese people. The senior citizens often sat against the sunlight and played Chinese chess, poker and other games. While middleaged women would gather together, talking about their families, neighbors, and children. This was how I learned Chinese.
Then it comes to hope. I have always studied hard. But as far as I know, we pay little attention to secondary education in the United States. To cover expensive tuition fees for higher education, we either take out a loan or have a rich family to rely on. I came from a single-parent family, and my mother had to take care of four children. So it seemed like an impossible dream for me. However, China brought me the hope of realizing my dream.
For the first year study in Northeast Normal University, I got good grades on my exams and could apply for scholarships. And it was a great honor to be offered a full scholarship by China Scholarship Council. That was the first time, since I was 8 years old, that I did not have to worry about tuition fees and cost of living. In this way, China has given me hope and opportunity.
Next is inspiration that brings new vitality to me. The pursuit of higher education is my dream, and inspiration makes it achievable. China has brought me infinite possibilities, so I am inspired to motivate others as much as possible. I often served as a volunteer inside and outside the campus to help others with my own strength. And I would keep on teaching in rural areas. It was my duty because China promised me a better future. Thus these people could be inspired and brave enough to realize their dreams.
Nurturing is the next word. The way professors at Northeast Normal University teach makes study more attractive. The professors are always willing to help me solve any problem. I ran into trouble when I first learned Chinese, and suffered from many language tests. But the professors encouraged and helped me from the very beginning.
I thought that Northeast Normal University was like fertile black soil in China’s northeastern areas, providing good environment and essential nutrients for students. They nurtured students, making them achievers of infinite possibilities. Last year, not only did I pass all the exams, but was also awarded the “2017 Outstanding International Student” prize.
Finally, achieving. I have achieved my dream of receiving higher education in China. Moreover, I have obtained a deeper understanding of the world and realized many more dreams. I once had a dream when I was 5 years old, i. e. to learn another language. I could not find the words to express my passion and gratitude for China. My mother always said, “Fortune equals effort plus opportunity. ” China created an opportunity for me and I kept on working. I will not waste this time, this hope, this inspiration, this nurturing, and I will achieve my dreams.
China has offered me so many opportunities and continued bringing forward new challenges and chances. China has given me hope and inspired me to realize my potential. Therefore, I have achieved my distant dreams in the past and future. This is my China.
The story is from "My Beautiful Encounter with China" Essay Competition organized by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchanges (CSCSE).