August 26, 2016 By Memunatu Bangura
The People’s Republic of China, through Chinese government scholarship grant, has supported another batch of 49 students from various institutions in Sierra Leone to purse courses in different universities in China.
The Chinese government scholarship covers bilateral programme, Chinese University programme, Great Wall programme, China-EU students exchange programme, China- AUN scholarship programme, Pacific Island Forum programme and World Metrological Organisation.
As part of marking 45 years of excellent relation between Sierra Leone and China, the Sino-Sierra Leone Alumni Association (SISLAA) in collaboration with the Chinese Embassy in Freetown Wednesday at the Bintumani Hotel organised a symposium for new awardees to connect with the culture and education of China.
Explaining his experience in China, president of SISLAA, Dr. Maxim Conjoh said he studied Psychology at Huazhong ShiFan Da Xue (Central China Normal University) in Wuhan, where he acquired a doctorate degree in Psychology.
He explained that every university in China has a department that is responsible for accommodation, scholarship allowance, medical issues, tours etc. for foreign students.
Dr. Conjoh told the new students that studying in China was an intriguing affair and urged them to make proper use of the opportunity.
He continued that every undergraduate student was required to do Chinese language and pass a proficiency examination called ‘Hanyushi ping Kaoshi’ before proceeding into the major studies.
According to him, the Chinese have a unique culture that could best be described as extremely rich, thus calling on the students to make their stay in China a memorable one and concentrate on their studies.
Dr. Conjoh added that the students should mind and carry themselves responsibly during their stay, noting that there were various challenges and distraction.
Public Relations Officer of SISLAA, Austin Thomas described China as a country that graduated from being the ‘sick man of Asia’ to the world’s second largest economy, behind the United States of America.
Thomas said it took China 22 years to arrive at the pinnacle of world power.
He continued that China was a household name with over a thousand graduates who studied there, around the world, and cautioned the students to travel with less African casual wears to avoid regret on arrival.
One of previous beneficiaries of the Chinese Government Scholarship, Amadu Fullah Kamara, narrated that in his first year he studied Chinese language at Anhui Normal University in Wuhu and later moved to his major studies in University of Science and Technology in Heifi.
He told the new students that they would be faced with challenges of speaking and learning Chinese, adaptation to the season and types of dress codes for the different season.
He stated that the Chinese are friendly, while the learning environment would be conducive, adding that it was a must for them to study hard to become creative and innovative and work for dynamic exchange with other countries.
He implored the departing students to utilise the opportunity during their stay and serve as ambassadors for Sierra Leone.
On behalf of the new students, Adama Koroma from Njala University, who will be pursuing a master’s degree in Public Health, said they were grateful and thanked the China government for the opportunity.
She said over one thousand applicants applied for the scholarship, with 49 of them selected, which opportunity she said they would utilise properly.