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Foreign student finds knowledge and friendship in Beijing

By DU JUAN | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-05-06 09:56
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Pakistani student Madiha Khurshid makes dumplings with fellow international students at Beijing Technology and Business University in Beijing in 2019. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Madiha Khurshid, 26, is a foreign student from Pakistan who is studying for a doctorate in food science and engineering at the Beijing Technology and Business University. She plans to stay in China after graduation to pursue what she believes will be a better career path and also remain connected with her Chinese friends.

"I will stay in China not only because of the open market which can provide much more opportunities, but also the culture and people here," she said.

Coming to Beijing in 2018 for graduate studies, Khurshid has spent almost three years in the capital which she now considers a second home.

"I did lots of research before I decided to pursue further studies in China," she said. "I found that BTBU's food science and engineering major was highly regarded in the academic field."

BTBU's food science and engineering major is ranked 48th globally, she said.

The university also shares information with universities in Sweden, Australia and the United Kingdom. "I can always get the latest information and technology on food science at my university," Khurshid said. "In addition to the academic field, as a foreign student I have also gained rich experiences in art and music and learned a lot about Chinese culture and history."

She joined the university's dance and guitar associations to broaden her experiences.

"Back in Pakistan, women have little chance to learn these. I enjoy the activities held by those associations very much," she said.

The college has organized calligraphy events and visits to the Great Wall and the Palace Museum for foreign students so they can witness Chinese culture and tradition.

At the beginning of last year, when the COVID-19 outbreak started, Khurshid's relatives tried to persuade her to return to Pakistan, but she stayed at school.

"I saw that the Chinese government and my university were making every effort to fight the virus," she said. "I knew that China could get through that difficult time and I felt safe here."

Khurshid has already applied for a Chinese vaccination for COVID-19 and hopes to receive it soon.

On May 17 last year, President Xi Jinping replied to a letter sent by Pakistani students attending the University of Science and Technology Beijing. Xi welcomed all young people from different countries studying in China and expressed hope they make a great contribution to humankind.

"I felt honored to be a Pakistani student in China after reading the letter," Khurshid said.

"My wish is that more students from my country can come to China to learn and make friends."

Beijing has attracted an increasing number of international students in recent years. An education forum last year heard that nearly 110,000 foreigners were studying in the city, and Beijing has become one of the leading destinations for overseas students in the Asia-Pacific region, a Xinhua News Agency report said.

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