Author: Muktadir Rahman Chowdhury (Alvy)
Pondering over the decision pursuing my undergrad in China I took three years back, reminds me how confused I was when I got the Chinese scholarship. Since China is not particularly well-known among the people who want to study abroad, I was in a fix whether or not i should go for it. The Immigration officer while checking my passport at the airport put it into word in a more explicit way, "People also go to China to study?"
As I am writing this article from Beijing, I guess it'll be redundant to say what my decision was and so far it has proved to be a neat one. China with its booming economy is one of the best places to build your career and also for living.
Studying in China has it's pluses and minuses. If you are an undergrad-scholarship student you have to study in Chinese which is not enjoyable at all. But if you learn the language well your Chinese language skill will add a new dimension to your resume. In total, it's a 5 year course including one year Chinese language course. Studying Chinese is real fun and it brings your childhood memory back to life. They teach Chinese with such care that gives you the forgotten taste of being a kid. The care, the attention , the encouragement , the appreciation , no matter how you perform , from the teacher the immaculate childish ecstasy you go through after getting high mark in the class give this Chinese classes a whole new meaning. They really have their way to acquaint you with a language that is in every possible manner alien to you. They prepare you well enough for the fight that is studying your major in Chinese.
It is a common scenario in a Bangladeshi university that a bunch of students huddle together and babble for hours, while sipping tea and puffing cigarette. It is almost an integral part of their campus life. But here in china, university is all about the following three: class, homework and exam. And when you are too busy maintaining the first two before you know the semester is finished and the third and the inevitable one, exam is looming on you.
Chinese students also have pastimes in the form of playing football, basketball , computer games which does not sound bad but being a typical Bangladeshi, I guess it is those erratic, meaningless talking that I miss most. Going to the class early in the morning is always a pain in the neck, for me at least. Specially in the winter when you have to expose yourself to the skin piercing chilly wind with a temperature below zero, leaving your cosy bed and warm blanket. Shivering and thinking that who will go to the class in this cold, you reach the class only to find the classroom full to the brim that leaves you doubting their sensibility. The bright side of the winter is you get to enjoy the sublime beauty of snowfall. When it snows at night if you take a peek out of your window, you will witness the ethereal scenery of the sodium street light lit unmarred snow that seems to camouflage the whole universe with it's yellowish glow. But the next morning you feel severe cold, for often snowfall is followed by radical temperature drop. But this is the cost I am willing to give to behold such marvel.
I personally like the summer most partly because summer in Beijing is very similar to that of Bangladesh's, except for the fact that you hardly sweat here and during this time you can hang around with ease without putting on tons of clothes. Unlike winter going to class does not also seem a herculean task in summer.
Anyone who is living abroad will acknowledge that one of the rare occasions of relaxation comes when they are with fellow country mates. We Bangladeshis in China also found a way to get our Bangladesh itself going by having parties, sometimes organized by the embassy and often by ourselves, hanging out together and so on.
In a nutshell, life in China has it's own lusciousness which is waiting for you to savor.