《My life-changing experience in China: A journey of learning and growth》 | studychina.chinaservicesinfo.com

《My life-changing experience in China: A journey of learning and growth》

By AYOUB BECHROURI chinadaily.com.cn Updated : 2023-12-12

University:Beijing Sport University
Tutor: Zhang Lei

Reflecting upon my transformative journey as an international student in China, I am overwhelmed with profound gratitude for the myriad of experiences and opportunities that have enriched my life. My name is Ayoub Bechrouri, a Moroccan scholar who embarked upon a sojourn to Beijing in 2018, driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge and personal development. My tenure at the esteemed Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) has been an odyssey of cultural immersion, linguistic mastery, and the pursuit of my passions for sports, nature, and self-actualization.

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China has always fascinated me with its rich history, intangible cultural heritage, technological advancements and ground-breaking research. I came to China with the hope of immersing myself in this dynamic and diverse society, learning from its wisdom and traditions, and preparing myself for the future. In my journey so far, I have been privileged to receive numerous accolades, such as the International Outstanding Student Scholarship from the Chinese government, the Outstanding Student Graduation Paper from BLCU, and the HSK 5 certificate. I have also secured a scholarship from Beijing Sport University, which has opened up new avenues for me to explore my passion for sports coaching and mentoring.

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As a person, I consider myself a dreamer and someone who values discipline, integrity, and perseverance. In China, I found a perfect balance between these values, and it has helped me grow as an individual and a global citizen. The Chinese people have been incredibly warm and hospitable, always willing to assist me in any way possible. I have been fortunate enough to travel across the country, from the stunning Inner Mongolia to the serene Heavenly Lake in Chang Bai Shan mountain and the picturesque Huang He River. China's beauty and diversity never cease to amaze me, and it has opened up new perspectives and insights into my vision.

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The famous quote, "The world now needs China, not China needs the world," has resonated with me since I arrived here. China's rapidly growing economic development, technological advancements, and emphasis on social welfare have made it a beacon of hope and inspiration for many. As a foreign student in China, I have been privileged to witness firsthand how the country has transformed itself into a global leader in many areas. Life in Beijing and other big cities is incredibly convenient, thanks to the seamless integration of technology and daily life. From ordering food to buying tickets or fixing things at home, everything is just a tap away, and this has made my stay in China even more enjoyable.

However, the media scenario in China is different from what I am used to in my home country. Social media platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Twitter are not accessible, but there are many exciting apps like Bili Bili, Weibo, and Xiao Hong Shu that offer unique opportunities to interact with people and learn new things. WeChat, which is the most popular app in China, has become the lifeline of people, and it is difficult to imagine life in China without it.

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As a Muslim and an African, I was initially apprehensive about how my religious and cultural beliefs would impact my stay in China. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that China values diversity and encourages people to practice their faiths in peace. I have been able to attend Friday prayers at a mosque and meet Chinese Muslims who share their experiences and foods with me. I have also visited important historical and cultural sites like the Confucius Temple to gain insights into Chinese philosophy, values, and traditions.

During my stay in China, I have learnt Chinese and volunteered as a sports coach for kids. Coaching American football and soccer has helped me blend into Chinese society, interact with locals, and learn about the unique qualities of Chinese kids. I have found them to be curious, enthusiastic, and energetic, and being around them has given me great energy and inspiration.

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China's response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been exemplary, and I have seen how the people came together to support each other and follow the government's instructions. The Chinese idiom, 同舟共济 (tóng zhōu gòng jì), which means "to work together towards a common goal," exemplifies China's approach to crisis management. It has been inspiring to witness how the Chinese society has become more resilient and cohesive during this period.

Furthermore, in conjunction with my personal maturation and advancement, my sojourn in China has exerted a profound influence on my familial and social acquaintances residing in my country of origin. By means of my narratives, photographs, and videos, they have acquired a more profound comprehension and admiration for the multifaceted aspects of Chinese culture, history, and society. They have acquired knowledge pertaining to the opulence and heterogeneity of Chinese gastronomy, music, art, and literature, thereby fostering a more receptive and inquisitive mindset towards the realms beyond their customary sphere of comfort. In accordance with the Chinese adage, "read ten thousand books, travel ten thousand miles" (读万卷书,行万里路), my sojourn in China has broadened their intellectual vistas and engendered an ardent yearning to embark on their own voyages of exploration. Numerous individuals have expressed their fervent desire to one day embark on a pilgrimage to China, in order to personally witness the enchantment and splendor of this nation that has captivated my heart.

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In conclusion, my life in China has been a journey of learning, growth, and self-discovery. I have been humbled by the hospitality, kindness, and wisdom that the Chinese people have shown me, taught me valuable lessons about myself, others, and the world at large. I believe that China has a lot to offer to anyone who is willing to explore its diversity, dynamism, and complexity and that it can inspire us to become more creative, compassionate, and adaptable individuals. I have found a home away from home in China, and I am grateful for every moment I have spent here. As the Chinese idiom goes, 学无止境 (xué wú zhǐ jìng), meaning "learning knows no bounds," there is still so much more to learn and experience in China. I look forward to continuing my journey of discovery and contributing to this beautiful and dynamic society.

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