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Life and Study in China

 Stop a moment and look up to the sky! Have you ever thought about a career that is beyond the conventional? One that will enable you to reach for the sky? Think no further. Think aeronautical engineering!

  Before coming to China, I knew a few facts about her. According to my studies in high school I knew that Chinese people drink boiled water, use chop sticks while eating and is growing very fast economically. My ambitions included aeronautical engineering, which pushed me towards gaining my next experience in China. And here I stand today, being educated in Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in the largest city of Jiangsu Province known as Nanjing. My long stay here has broadened my views and ideas about China relating different aspects. Today I look China in a better way. I have found that China as a whole is a great nation and people are leading their lives individually to build up a better future. Chinese are noted for good manners, hospitality, and reserve. The people are very helpful and friendly in common. Chinese customs and culture being old are also very interesting and has a great influence on other nation.

  Basically I am from Pakistan but I live in Bahrain. Pakistan and China have experienced a great friendship among each other that was also a reason I was attracted towards China. On the other hand china is mong one of my favorite countries. 14th Sep 2006 I entered china through entrance terminal of Shanghai Pudong International Airport. My friend picked me up. We took a bus to Nanjing and reached Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics after almost five hours. More than three months had passed since the first semester started in nuaa; I was very late to reach. Anyhow I registered myself in the nearby police station, got my resident permit from the passport office and after clearing my medical reports I got started with my classes. It was quiet difficult for me to catch up with the courses as I was lagging behind but I tried and gave a good start.

  In the first few days I faced few problems, mainly the language and food. It became really difficult for me to communicate with the locals here and a sudden change in the food also mattered. In fact in the first few days I just went on eating bread with milk, but slowly and gradually I found out many good restaurants and also many new Chinese dishes were introduced to me, it was a good start for me and I really started to like them. I realized one thing in common that mostly only different dishes of rice and noodles were the main food of people here. Coming to the communication, it really was a trouble for me. Where ever I went I was not able to explain them what I meant. I didn’t even know to say hello to anyone in Chinese. In such a situation few of the Chinese students helped me a lot; they were strangers to me but now very good friend of mine. I am still very thankful for all those who have helped me in such tense conditions.

  Nanjing University of aeronautics and astronautics had become my home for 4 years. During my stay in the university and Nanjing city till now I have experienced a lot of things. I live in the dormitory, living conditions here are good but the start was a bad experience. The beds provided here are different than we used to sleep on; we have to climb the stairs to reach our bed. All here were missing the floor beds. It was like an army man climb on the bed and sleep while in the morning time jump from there. Second thing we missed was availability of kitchen. But after sometime we settled in all these situations and got used to it, and realized that this was in better care for us. As using kitchen and kitchen accessories could be dangerous for us.

  A special part of my stay in the dormitory involves our different kinds of activities we enjoyed. We were 27 students in our class and it was our first batch of foreign students in the jiangning campus of nuaa. The Chinese students and people here gave us a lot of respect and they were very glad to see foreigners being educated in nuaa. Since we were 27 classmates, almost every week came a birthday of anyone and we used to hold a small party in the dormitory with cake, snacks, some music and chill. Other than this whenever we got a festival holiday, whether it was a Chinese festival or a festival from country and religion of any of our classmate we use to celebrate with them and share the happiness of friendship and humanity. In all these small parties we also invited all our Chinese friends who created a mutual understanding among us and we came to know each other better.

  At the end of January 2007 we got winter vacations for about 1 month. Those were our first long holidays in which we had to stay in the university as it was closed those days and all the Chinese students went back to their hometowns to spent their vacations and celebrate their spring festival and New Year. Those days were strange for us as no one was there in such a huge campus except few among us and all the markets and shops around the campus were also closed, but we managed somehow. And for the first time on February 18th 2007 we celebrated Chinese New Year and shared their happiness. Nuaa arranged a party and game activities for us in our main campus for us, which was a great fun and we enjoyed a lot and also won many gifts. Around the year there were many other activities and events arranged by nuaa and also by our friends. Different contests were held, I also took part in few of them. I also joined the sport activities.

  The most important thing for me was that when I came to china I was very fat; I had gained a lot of weight. When I checked my weight I was 86 kgs. Now a person can imagine how fat I was. I made a will that before I go home in the summer vacations I will reduce my weight. And it is said that, “where there is a will, there is a way”. I was able to loose almost 20 kgs and at the time I left for my country I was 70 kgs. It was the biggest achievement for me here which gave a shock to everyone and I was very happy in doing so and changing my physique completely.

  Coming to the educational part our major is aeronautical engineering, it is difficult to study this course but not impossible. We faced a few problems in communicating with our teachers due to language problems, which lately settled down somehow. Educational environment here is excellent as the surrounding is very calm and quiet. After finishing our classes of normal routine most of the mates go to library or any classroom and does homework without any kind of disturbance. The university campus is very big, has got two playgrounds, laboratories of different departments, many dormitory and classes buildings, dinning halls, bank, supermarkets and all, which are essential for a student. The campus is up to date and very beautiful.

  Coming to few of their traditions, which I read in books and now experienced practically, Chinese people use boiled water for drinking which according to the medical reasons and scientifically proven, is very good for health and hygienic purposes. They use chop sticks while eating, in the past West had a wrong concept about using chop sticks and it was thought to be strange but today even in this world of modern technology scientists again proved that using chop sticks is a very good exercise for hands and arms as using chop sticks is the best physical exercise for few parts of the body and activates many muscles inside human structure. Physically people here are more fit due to their punctuality in eating time, having lunch is common at 12 noons, while dinner at 6 in the evening really makes the difference. It counts as a very good habit of keeping themselves physically fit because they don’t eat and sleep which has become a tradition in most of the other countries causing people become fat day by day. Working days are from Monday to Friday and offices hours commonly from 8 to 12 in the morning and 2 to 6 at noon, the nation enjoy their delicious lunch in the meanwhile break time ranging from 12 to 2. Historically loyalty to the family unit has always been important to the Chinese. In general the Chinese way of living is different but very convincing, attractive and mind blowing.

  Nanjing the capital of Jiangsu province has also remained the capital of china long ago. It is a wonderful city with lots of historical and modern places to visit. My friends and I have visited many places, which includes our educational trip to Nanjing museum. Xuanwu Lake, zhong Shan lian are other interesting places I have been to with my friends. I have also been to Su Zhou and Chang Zhou and pearl spring. Nanjing metro was my other big experience as I have never been into subway before. I found that underground subway is the best way to control the traffic problems. Nanjing is among my favorite cities; I am really impressed by the people and environment here and want to make my stay long. After I complete my graduation I am planning to find a job on china. Hope that I succeed in what I plan for. These days we are preparing for our final examinations and recently there was a scholarship ceremony held for the international students in the academic year 2006-2007 and I am glad that I won the scholarship for good attitude and punctual attendance. Although I am not that good in studies but still I will try my best to make my way and I accept the challenge.


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