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What a Kazakh female learned in China

By Marzhan Kamarova | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-09-26 09:46

Sometimes we take a decision that completely changes our lives. When I decided to come to China to learn Chinese 4 years ago at the age of 21, I did not realize that I was taking such a big step.

Although I had learned Chinese for 2 years in Kazakhstan, I was afraid to use it in China as I thought nobody would understand me. What made this decision to study in another country tougher was that I had never been outside Kazakhstan before.

Initially, I missed my family a lot and found the thought of doing everything independently, without the guidance of my parents daunting. But I soldiered on and learned how to be independent, responsible and persevere.

I was living in a dormitory for foreigners and every year I had different roommates from different countries, and it helped me a lot to learn and understand different cultures and languages. We cooked Kazakh or their traditional foods or sometimes cooked Chinese dishes, but I must admit that we sought baidu's help for Chinese recipes and preparations. My special food is kung pao chicken and Peking duck. I tried tofu for the first time in China and I miss it now. I lived in Beijing for three years. Every time my friends came to visit me, I took them to such historical places as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Sanlitun, Olympic Stadium, etc. I like that Chinese people are so friendly and always ready to help you. I learned a lot about real China by walking on the streets. I felt like I was at home, not in a different country.

The one thing I will never forget is my friends. They helped me with my Chinese and with my work. We came from different cultures, traditions, and interests, but became good friends. Before going to China, I had heard that Chinese people were very loyal, and my friends proved it true. When I came back home, I cried for two months as I was missing my friends so much. I still stay in touch with all my friends in China.

When people heard that I was planning to go to China for studies, they told me that "It is really hard for a girl to live alone in another country without family or friends". "It is harder than you think, so think carefully. Some people went abroad and ruined their lives". But I really enjoyed my life in China. Of course I was away from my family, however, I learned about important things. Independence, perseverance, and adaptation in different countries without family-these are the things that I am sure will influence the rest of my life. I am thankful that I experienced such a life-changing adventure. China has changed my life forever. When I came back to Kazakhstan two and half months ago, I found it hard to adapt again. I'm always thinking about China and my life there. I miss my friends and Chinese street food. I am very thankful that the Chinese government gave me an opportunity to study and live there for four years. Yes, I was a foreigner in China and maybe Chinese people did not understand me or thought I was crazy, but after four years I consider myself to be a bridge between Kazakhstan and China. Love you forever, China.

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