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BRI gives students new horizons

By Xing Wen | China Daily | Updated: 2019-04-03 08:42
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Rejuvenation and romance

As for young professionals, the BRI has provided even wider platforms for them to tap their capabilities and build careers.

For Tian Junnan, a 30-year-old engineer at the China National Administration of Coal Geology, the BRI has helped rejuvenate China's petroleum industry, in which both his parents have worked. It has also laid a good foundation for him to build up quality partnerships with counterparts in international energy corporations.

Tian observes that quite a number of countries, who initially stood on as onlookers, have become enthusiastic in "opening the market and collaborating with Chinese institutes and companies" after witnessing completion of many successful BRI-related projects. "In terms of overall cooperation, I've found that I can easily gain more trust and support when I negotiate with my international counterparts," says Tian.

Tian was a graduate of geophysics from the Azerbaijan State Oil and Industry University in Baku, Azerbaijan. He says at the university in Azerbaijan he was taught many innovative ideas about the exploration and extraction of petroleum.

"Well-known scholars from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and Geological Society of America came to give us lectures, which helped me to get a clearer picture of the past, present and future of the industry."

Upon graduation, Tian came back to China in 2014, with not just a thorough grounding in geophysics but with an Azerbaijani girlfriend, Aliyeva Gunay.

"I was attracted by his unpretentiousness, politeness, honesty and respect for others, and we married in 2016," says Gunay.

Gunay, 27, is a doctorate candidate and also a part-time assistant at the China University of Petroleum. The past three years have seen her help in enrolling Russian-speaking students, organizing various activities with the student union and help launch cooperative programs between Chinese and Azerbaijani universities.

She says that after China began to offer scholarships to students from countries involved in the BRI in 2015, giving grants to about 10,000 international students each year, more and more Azerbaijani students came to the country to pursue higher education.

"The number of Azerbaijani people who study and work in Beijing has at least exceeded 400, as can be seen from the WeChat group that my fellow countrymen use to keep in contact with each other," she says.

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