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“学在海大、筑梦深蓝——第三届大连海事大学来华留学生暨校友论坛”获奖作品展 ——我是如何认识并爱上中国的
添加时间:2022-12-23 10:00:54 阅读次数: 作者:教务部 来源:ISEC


为了给更多海大留学生和校友提供相识相知、交流分享、互学互助的机会,为更多海大留学生们搭建展示自己、锻炼能力的舞台,作为学校2022国际文化节系列活动之一,学在海大、筑梦深蓝——第三届大连海事大学来华留学生暨校友论坛1125顺利举行。



活动采取线上线下同步的形式开展,征文入选的10名来华留学生分别进行演讲,他们专业不同,涵盖了公共管理、法学、物流工程与管理、轮机工程、信息与通信工程等多个专业;他们的授课语言不同,有的精通汉语、有的是全英文授课;他们阐述的主题不同,有的分享学习方法、有的讲述留学感受、有的汇报研究进展,但每个讲述者的言语中都描述着来华留学生眼中的美丽海大、传递着对于学在海大的感恩之情和对未来的美好期待。活动还请到留学生杰出校友向广大同学送上美好祝愿,邀请学校相关教授和领导对广大留学生提出勉励和期望,遍布世界各地的海大人,不论肤色、语言、地域和时差,更紧密地连在一起,师生们尽情交流、共话未来。


经征文评审委员会严格评审,论坛对投稿征文从促进共同发展深化交流互鉴优秀专业论文三个主题分别授予奖项。同时,获奖作品将被收录到论坛征文集。接下来,我们将陆续展示此次论坛的获奖作品。今天要展示的是促进共同发展专题二等奖作品:How I came across and fell in love with the Chinese Community,作者:卢旺达籍环境科学与工程专业博士研究生ABITONZE MAURICE(安在东)。


How I came across and fell in love with the Chinese Community

Abstract: The People’s Republic of China’s (herein: PRC) infrastructure development in Africa through international cooperation enticed my interest in studying in China. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the PRC and the Republic of Rwanda (herein: Rwanda) in 1971, the two countries’ friendly cooperation has flourished. The PRC and Rwanda signed several agreements covering investment, finance, e-commerce, and the development of infrastructure. My dream to further my education in the PRC began in 1987 when I met Chinese engineers working on PRC’s infrastructure development projects. Their brilliant work made me fall in love with PRC and decide to study there one day. My dream came true after a long and difficult journey when I was accepted into the Chinese educational system through the Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC). Now that I am a Ph.D. student at Dalian Maritime University (DMU), I am seeing my dreams come true.

Keywords: China’s infrastructure development; PRC; Rwanda; CSC; DMU.

1. Introduction

Since the formal establishment of diplomatic ties between the PRC and Rwanda on November 12, 1971, the two countries’ friendly cooperation has flourished. The PRC and Rwanda signed many cooperation agreements covering investment, finance, e-commerce, and law enforcement. President Xi Jinping visited Rwanda in 2018 and signed fifteen bilateral agreements between Rwanda and PRC.

Among others, the agreements covered infrastructure development, civil air transport, e-commerce, culture and scientific cooperation, and the development of human capacity. The PRC is now Rwanda’s most important trading partner and project contractor. The PRC has provided numerous assistance to Rwanda in its reconstruction and industrialization efforts. In 1987, seeing Chinese engineers building the road in a very technical and professional manner as part of an investment development project sparked my desire to study in the PRC. The journey was not as straightforward as I had imagined, but my dreams came true and are now being realized.


2. What happened in 1987?

As many people can attest, the phenomenon of falling in love, at first sight, does exist. It happened to me, so I know. This is the true story of how I came across and fell in love with the Chinese people. I was grazing the cattle in the middle of 1987, most likely in June or July. The day began similarly to others. Because of the pleasant weather and climate of the season, I decided to accompany my cousins to graze the cattle. While grazing the cattle, I noticed two tractors driven by people whose skin color was different from mine, displacing rocks from one place to another, creating a road on the sloppy mountain that would otherwise be impassable. In that bright, sunny environment, I kept an eye on those engineers who were doing an excellent job in a short period, but technically, professionally, and safely. Without a doubt, I admired those engineers and resolved to visit their country one day to learn how to operate those tractors. But I could not tell anyone what was going on. When I reached home I told my father the story of the people I saw and what they were doing. My father responded, “They are Chinese engineers who have come to provide us with water and infrastructure.”


3. My way to PRC

I began working as a high school biology teacher shortly after receiving my Bachelor’s degree. From high school to the Bachelor’s program, I had a friend who was one promotion ahead of me. This friend received his master’s degree from Kampala International University (KIU) in Uganda in 2013, and in 2014, he was awarded CSC sponsorship as a Ph.D. student at the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT). He contacted me in 2015 and asked if I was familiar with CSC. I simply replied “No”. He then introduced me to CSC and encouraged me to apply. This was undoubtedly the starting point of my long-held ambition of flying to the PRC for studies. In 2015, I gathered the necessary documents and applied for CSC sponsorship through www.csc.edu.cn/laihua. Unfortunately, luck was not on my side. I had to wait until September 2016 to begin my master’s degree program at China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) (CUG, Wuhan) (中国地质大学,武汉) majoring in Environmental Science & Engineering. The CUG, Wuhan is well-known for geoscience research, with two national key disciplines, geology, geological resources, and geological engineering.


On September 1, 2016, around 10:00 p.m., I landed in PRC for the first time. Landing at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport (武汉天河国际机场) fascinated me because of its well-developed infrastructure. Second, the Chinese language piqued my interest because the first person I spoke with was a female Chinese driver who wanted to transport me from the airport to my final destination, CUG, Wuhan campus. Because of the Chinese language barrier, I could not tell her where I was going. She then handed me the phone and dialed my country mate, who told me to wait until he arrived to pick me up.


4. Life Experience at CUG, Wuhan  

Life at CUG was made easier by that country mate who assisted me in adjusting. However, my first period at CUG was challenging in terms of the Chinese language, climate, and food. By the end, I had learned a few Chinese phrases and knew how to take a taxi, go to the market, and become acquainted with Chinese cuisine.


On the subject of food, I fell in love with hot dry noodles, rè gān miàn (热干面), special food for Wuhan city). Climatically, Wuhan city is very hot in comparison to my country, especially in the summer; this challenged me until I left Wuhan and returned to my home country. I have enjoyed my studies at CUG, Wuhan, especially the fieldwork. I have visited remote other cities such as Yicheng (宜城) and orange plantations on sloppy mountains in the middle of the Yangtze River (长江), both of which are located in Hubei Province, very far from Wuhan city.


I attended several international conferences while studying at CUG. A memorable conference on Big Data and Deep Learning Training & Seismic Imaging, Inversion, and Visualization Methods was held in Haikou, Hainan Province, PRC. Following this conference, I was able to visit various locations in Haikou, a city I adored during the winter due to its mild weather and climate. In the summer of 2018, I received my degree of Master of Environmental Engineering and returned to my home country. But the desire to progress to the next level remained strong within me. Do you know what happened? The following year, 2019, I enrolled at Dalian Maritime University (DMU) as a Ph.D. student with CSC funding.


5. Life Experience at DMU

Nobody ever introduced me to DMU. My desire to further my education, as previously stated, did not end when I left CUG, Wuhan. It followed me wherever I went. I decided to apply for a Ph.D. to gain more experience, but not at CUG. I discovered DMU while browsing the www.csc.edu.cn/laihua website, and after carefully reviewing its website, I decided to apply at DMU under CSC sponsorship because of the course programs they offer. Fortunately, I was awarded the CSC full scholarship, in the College of Environmental Science & Engineering. I am now in my fourth year. What a marvel! God’s grace is the only reason. But the truth is that a new environment means new challenges (new adaptations). In comparison to Wuhan city, Dalian city has very pleasant weather and climate. Nutritionally, the food in Dalian is friendly to many foreigners, so I had no objections. Because it was not my first time in PRC, my integration in Dalian was much easier, but the Rwandan community in Dalian city, international students at DMU, and DMU via International Students Education Center (ISEC) all made significant contributions. I have adapted, and I am pleased to be a part of the DMU community.


6. Studying Experience at DMU

Coming to DMU and remaining here is without a doubt the most important decision I have ever made. When I arrived at DMU, I decided to switch from biological science to materials science. This has introduced me to new research projects that I was previously unfamiliar with, requiring me to work diligently. DMU reveals an excellent teaching staff in terms of the plan, implementation, follow-up evaluation, and assessment. The excellent management, teaching, and research teams, as well as the learning environment I have discovered at DMU, are the reasons I am here, and I will never forget it. I have learned the importance of communication and the benefits of teamwork, where people can help each other achieve a common goal. Studying at DMU also enabled me to comprehend the significance of strength, patience, and perseverance in the pursuit of one’s dreams. Furthermore, I have comprehended the purpose of Chinese life in all of its aspects (e.g. social, economic, and technological).


7. Publication

Coming to and remaining at DMU has been the most significant choice I have ever made. I must study diligently to gain the skills required for practical work. Even though I have exerted a great deal of effort, I still have a great deal of research to complete before graduating. By now I have contributed to three article publications, which are:

1. Hong, X., Yang, Y., Li, X., Abitonze, M., Diko, C. S., Zhao, J., ... & Zhu, Y. (2021). Enhanced anti-Escherichia coli properties of Fe-doping in MgO nanoparticles. RSC advances, 11(5), 2892-2897.

2. Abitonze, M., Yu, X., Diko, C. S., Zhu, Y., & Yang, Y. (2022). Applications of In Situ Neutron-Based Techniques in Solid-State Lithium Batteries. Batteries, 8(12), 255.

3. Diko, C. S., Abitonze, M., Liu, Y., Zhu, Y., & Yang, Y. (2022). Synthesis and Applications of Dimensional SnS2 and SnS2/Carbon Nanomaterials. Nanomaterials, 12(24), 4497.



8. Perspectives and Summary

8.1 My Future Plans After DMU

Today, 64% of humanity relies on fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas), which severely harms our environment. Fossil fuels cause local pollution where they are produced and used, and their continued use harms our entire planet’s climate. As a result of the knowledge and skills I am gaining from DMU, I will be part of the international practitioners contributing to the reduction of fossil fuel energy sources by contributing to the discovery of more efficient energy systems that can completely replace fossils. Although my country, Rwanda, and Africa, in general, have ample water resources and other sources of green energy (sun, wind, thermal, and so on), they are unexploited or not exploited at all. Many factors have contributed to the non-exploitation of those resources, including a lack of energy expertise, a poor legal framework, poor planning, and, most likely, the political instability that exists throughout Africa. I must contribute to reducing the scarcity of energy resources in Rwanda and Africa. To do so, I will need to add two years to my Ph.D. studies program as a post-doctoral researcher to gain additional skills and expertise, and then launch my own energy research company. Furthermore, by following through on the aforementioned plan, I will be a successful individual not only personally, but also nationally and internationally.


8.2 Implication of the Study

This study will be used as a reference for other scholars who want to achieve their big dreams and contribute to reducing national or global problems. As students, we are advised to understand our country’s and the world’s interdependence to promote international cooperation.


8.3 Limitations of the Study

The outbreak of the pandemic COVID-19 disrupted all of my educational plans. I was forced to stay indoors most of the time to protect myself and others from spreading the virus, I had less access to teaching and research materials, such as lab materials for my experimental work. But with more oversight and direction from my supervisor and ISEC staff, I was able to reduce the restrictions. Since my 2019 arrival at DMU, I have not been able to see my family again, which ought to have caused me great distress. However, the large DMU family through ISEC, my second family, assisted me in adjusting to the situation.


8.4 Recommendation

As educated Africans, it is our responsibility to pursue and work toward our dreams. It is our responsibility to use our life experience, exposure, and academic skills from DMU and other Chinese universities from various professional fields to promote the development of our countries. We are strongly encouraged to take action in resolving our nation’s and the world’s problems.


Acknowledgment

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my supervisors, Prof. Zhu Yimin and Prof. Yang Yan, for their unwavering support and guidance throughout my Ph.D. journey. Since the start of my Ph.D. program at DMU, they have treated me with experience, skill, professionalism, and care. My studies at DMU would be impossible without them. I would also like to thank the DMU community, particularly ISEC, for their moral support and encouragement throughout my time at DMU. Their incalculable and unrestricted support makes me forget that I have been here for approximately four years. In addition, I thank the Chinese government for its CSC sponsorship. Lastly, I would like to express my gratitude to my family for their unconditional love, encouragement, and support during my absence.


Personal Information

Author Passport’s Name: ABITONZE MAURICE

Chinese Name: 安在东

Gender: Male

Nationality: RWANDAN

Student Category: Ph.D.

Major: Environmental Science & Engineering

Major Starting Time: 1st September 2019

Email: abitonzem@gmail.com

ABITONZE Maurice(安在东) received his B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Rwanda, in 2011, and his MSc. Engineering in Environmental Science & Engineering from China University of Geoscience (Wuhan), in 2018. He is currently a Ph.D. student in Environmental Science & Engineering College, at Dalian Maritime University. His research focuses on the synthesis, characterization, and applications of solid-state electrolytes for solid-state lithium batteries.


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