How a Zimbabwean student found her groove in Jiangxi
By Mejury Chipato  ·  2022-12-10  ·   Source: NO.50 DECEMBER 15, 2022
Mejury Chipato 

My dream to study in China came true in 2016 when I enrolled for an MBBS degree at Gannan Medical University, a prestigious medical institution based in Ganzhou City in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangxi, a region defined by its pastoral landscapes of rice paddies, rivers and mountains.

Ganzhou is in the upper reaches of the Ganjiang River. It is a fast-developing city. When I first stepped my foot in Ganzhou, it was not very developed except for the city center. By the time I graduated, it had grown into a bustling, beautiful city, with friendly people who are smiling and accommodating all the time.

In the beginning, it was difficult to talk to the local people due to the language barrier. I couldn't understand anything except the popular nihao, which means "hello." The use of a phone translation app made my life easier. With an interest in making local Chinese friends, I started studying standard Chinese, which was difficult at first, especially due to the four tones. But with more exposure, practice and hard work, I began to understand the basic sentences, for instance, how to greet people in general and ask about their day, how to buy things in a supermarket, how to board a bus, how to ask for directions, etc., which allowed me to converse with locals.

The Chinese people are generally friendly, so it was easy to make a lot of friends. Everywhere I went, everyone wanted to be my friend regardless of their social status. This made my stay in China very comfortable and enjoyable, so much so that I never missed home.

Among the many friends I met was Sasha, a young, beautiful and hardworking single mother. Sasha is a successful businesswoman who introduced me to the business world. She introduced me to many businesspeople who also became my friends. Hanging out with them pushed me to also think of doing some business on the sidelines of my university studies. With China being one of the fastest growing economies in the whole world, it was easier for me to start my own fashion business. I launched my own brand of women's shoes, which were produced in China and sold back in my country Zimbabwe—and then the world over. At the 2021 Zimbabwe Achievers Awards, I even won Fashion Designer of the Year.

Apart from studies, I got the opportunity to travel to many cities for business and pleasure. I have been to the most famous sites in China such as the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Guangzhou Tower and the Window of the World in Shenzhen, both in Guangdong Province, the Oriental Pearl Tower and Disneyland in Shanghai, the Terracotta Army in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, etc. I have also been to the famous Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong. Moreover, I also had the opportunity to participate in local Chinese talent competitions, singing and modeling, where I won some awards as well.

These are my most memorable moments that I will cherish for the rest of my life: the experience of being able to fit into the Chinese society and way of living, being accepted and treasured. I came to China as a foreign student but six years later, I became not only a qualified doctor, but also a businesswoman with a well-rounded, balanced life overflowing with good memories and a strong knowledge of China. I consider it as my second home.

(Print Edition Title: A second home)

The author is a medical student from Zimbabwe,studying at Gannan Medical University 

Copyedited by Elsbeth van Paridon 

Comments to 

China Focus
Special Reports
About Us
Contact Us
Advertise with Us
Partners:   |   China Today   |   China Pictorial   |   People's Daily Online   |   Women of China   |   Xinhua News Agency   |   China Daily
CGTN   |   China Tibet Online   |   China Radio International   |   Global Times   |   Qiushi Journal
Copyright Beijing Review All rights reserved 京ICP备08005356号 京公网安备110102005860