International students express gratitude for safety amid pandemic
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s reply to a letter from all Pakistani students studying at University of Science and Technology Beijing has received passionate responses from students from other countries who are studying in China.
The 52 Pakistani students from the university recently wrote about their experiences and feelings of studying in China in a letter to Xi and expressed their gratitude to the university for providing care and help for them after the COVID-19 outbreak.
In his letter, Xi wrote that the Chinese government puts people's lives first and treat foreigners in the country the same as Chinese nationals, making no exception in offering them care. He welcomed excellent youth from other countries to study in China and encouraged the students to communicate more with their Chinese peers and join hands with youth from all countries to contribute to promoting people-to-people connectivity and building a community with a shared future for humanity.
Xi’s letter was quickly spread among international students in China. Some from the School of Humanities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, many of whom are now studying online due to the pandemic, also shared their experiences and love via different ways.
Mei Miyamoto, a Japanese student, made a delicate video named “My Challenges Under the Coronavirus,” showing her different studying life while facing the novel coronavirus outbreak, and published it on WeChat.
In the video, Miyamoto said the pandemic had brought both challenges and opportunities. She had been worried whether the online classes were effective, but later found herself loving the new way of learning. She also has been practicing Mandarin with Chinese people online and searched recipes to learn Chinese cooking, such as Mapo tofu and dumplings.
As an SJTU Goodwill Messenger, she also made a promotional film of her university and uploaded a series of photos under the theme of “Shanghai Impression” on social media.
“The experience during the virus fighting makes me feel closer to China, as well as my school,” said Miyamoto at the end of her video. “I am getting to know China better, and find that how precious my life of studying abroad is.”
Marco Mazzola, an undergraduate of Chinese language from Italy, expressed his eagerness to share the charm of China with the whole world and a willingness to make efforts on the friendship between China and Italy and the construction of the community of a shared future for mankind.
Anastasiia Brovko, a Ukrainian postgraduate of Chinese language and literature, said she felt President Xi’s concern from the letter as well as the warmth and safety from the Chinese government, school and teachers. She also hopes to continue her doctoral degree in China.
More international students sent their encouragement and love to their “second hometown” – China – during the fight against the virus. Foreign students such as Japanese postgraduate Sayuri Kobayashi, Korean postgraduate Ki Ra Park, and Moroccan exchange student Hasnae Naoui donated more than 20,000 yuan (US$2,823) toward the prevention and control of the epidemic. And Norwegian alumnus Helge Hagen Strokke, Japanese undergraduate Baba Naoto and Thai undergraduate Watchareewan Wongsuwan sent their best wishes to China via new media platforms, using pictures and words.