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Feature: "Can't wait to go," U.S. college students excited to start one-year study in China

Author  :       Source  :    Xinhua     2018-08-19

While watching an artistic performance of an ancient Chinese tea ceremony and Chinese dumpling tasting in the hall of the Consulate General of China in Los Angeles, American college graduate, Kimberley Arredondo, clapped her hands in excitement as she caught a glimpse of what was in store for her in the coming year.

Attending the open-house reception Thursday evening with other 2018 Chinese Government Scholarship recipients and their family members, the recent California State University, Northridge (CSUN) graduate was one of fortunate scholarship recipients selected to study at Chinese universities for one year.

"I feel nervous and excited. But I just can't wait to go," exclaimed Arrendondo who will be student at the Zhejiang Normal University from next month.

"I'm nervous because I'm flying halfway around the world by myself. And I just know a little bit of Chinese," she told Xinhua, stressing that she hopes to improve her Mandarin over the next year to help her overcome the language barrier.

A California native, Arredondo is not yet familiar with China, but she knows a bit about the University in Jinhua, two hours outside of Shanghai, that will be her home-away-from-home during her year abroad there.

"I will be very excited to make a lot of friends in China," she revealed.

Arredondo is one of eighteen recipients this year who were selected to receive scholarships from the consular district of the Consulate General of China in Los Angeles to study in China.

Aiming to promote mutual-understanding, cooperation and exchanges in various fields between China and other countries, the Chinese government has set up a series of scholarship programs to sponsor international students, teachers and scholars to come study and conduct research at Chinese universities.

With her mother sitting beside her, Arredondo queried, "How's the weather in Zhejiang province? Is it colder than Southern California in winter?"

Her mother chimed in, "I am going to miss my daughter a lot in the year, but she needs to fly away and finds what she needs."

"It's good for her future," she added.

Currently, a total of 289 designated Chinese universities offer a wide variety of academic programs in science, engineering, agriculture, medicine, economics, legal studies, management, education, history, literature, philosophy, and fine arts for foreign scholarship recipients at all levels.

Eddie Carrillo, a previous scholarship recipient, was quick to allay Arredondo's nervousness about journeying so far from home to study.

"I've already been granted the scholarship for two years at China Foreign Affairs University, so I understand how all the new students today may be a little nervous about going to a country so far away," said Carrillo.

"I had never been anywhere besides Mexico. The first month is the most difficult. I remember the first two weeks in Beijing, I ate maybe just noodles and rice because I had no idea where to go to get any food," laughed Carrillo, as he shared his experience with other eager students.

"But after the first two weeks, it got better. I met a lot of friends there from all over the world - from Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe. We all kind of helped each other and formed a little community. We explored Beijing together, explored China together," he explained.

"China is a really big country," he added, noting that to learn more about the Middle Kingdom is why he applied for an additional year's study at Tsinghua University, one of the most famous universities in China.

"Congratulations to you for having the passion and courage to be able to look at an adventure like this and take advantage of it. I think you're going to be very enriched as a result of this experience and I can tell you firsthand that when our students return, they come back with passion," said Shelley Ruelas-Bischoff, Associate Vice President for Student Life at the CSUN.

"I am just inspired and I also regret not being as smart as you all to have taken advantage of some of these opportunities when I was in school," she told the students and guests in attendance.

"You may wonder what your new life will be in China. I shall say: don't worry. Learning in China will be great fun," said Zhang Ping, Chinese Consul General Los Angeles, as he welcomed American students and faculty members to the open-house reception.

"In China, you will not only acquire new knowledge, but will also find many ways to enjoy the fascinating Chinese culture and history. You will not only live and study on campus, but will also have chances to tour different places where you can see picturesque scenery and cultural heritage sites. You will also be able to meet with the people from different walks of life. You will find them friendly and hospitable," said Zhang.

"I believe that the strength of the China-U.S. friendship lies in our people and its future rests with our young generation. I hope while studying in China, you will be good-will ambassadors in promoting mutual-understanding and friendship between our two peoples," he noted.

Editor: Li Yujie

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