On September 2016 I put my feet on the lands of Chengdu, China. My aim in China is to learn the western medicine from a well-reputed college called West China Hospital of Sichuan University. Sichuan University is directed by the Ministry of Education. As one of the top universities of China, it is a member of various education projects aiming at developing elite universities, including the Project 211, the Project 985 and the Double First-Class University Plan.
Coming to China
We came as a group of 11 people from different parts of India as the first batch by an education consulting agency. We were picked up by the senior students of the university from the airport to the campus. They were so friendly and they gave us some welcome speeches and made us familiar with Chengdu. Then we headed our way to the campus seeing Chengdu through the window of the bus. We were very excited but some of us were homesick. It only took 25 minutes to the campus which is in the middle of the busy city.
After we reached the campus, everyone was in a hurry to get the luggage and rush to the international student dormitory reception for checking in. Then we were allotted the rooms and moved our things there. The room was very clean, spacious and air-conditioned with an attached bathroom, single beds, separate wardrobes, tables for each and a balcony. It’s so good. We were informed that the class would start next week. So, we got a long week of holidays.
The senior captain informed us that we would go for a city tour the next day, and we were so happy. The next day, we went to the panda base and enjoyed there a lot, and we also ate Sichuan cuisine. At that time I didn't like the Sichuan pepper, but now I like it.
The dormitory I live in
Finally, the awaited classes were about to start. The first class we had was a Chinese lecture. We were eager to learn a new language and the first word we studied is Nǐ hǎo, which means hello in Chinese. And then we learned about some Chinese culture and numbers for the daily use. The awaited anatomy lecture day came and I was so excited to see a cadaver. We needed to be in groups to study the blood vessels, bone, muscles, organs, and everything related to a human body.
Adapting to new life
Day by day new classes started and we were on track. We met new classmates from different parts of the world and made so many friends. There were around 76 students in my class. The campus and the classrooms were pleasing and beautiful. I became busy with lectures in the weekdays and started exploring the streets and nightlife on the weekends.
Studying in China is so different from studying in my country. Even the timetable is different. In China, the classes start at 8 in the morning while in my country classes start at 9 to 10 in the morning according to the colleges. The break time and the teaching methods are different too. I felt difficult at first but I tried adapting to it. Now I'm adapted to it and I don't have any problems with that.
In my country, the whole course is for 5 years but in China it's for 6 years with the internship. Before coming I researched about the university and the hospital on the internet, and I came to know that it’s one of the best university in China. And the hospital is one of the biggest hospitals with so many medical departments and it has robotic surgery.
The picture my Chinese friend gave me
After coming to China my daily routine has changed and I don't know what to do if I go out. Most of the time seniors from the university help us by showing supermarkets, restaurants, the nearby places and how to get a taxi, and teaching us the essential Chinese words to use when you buy things or go out.
During the weekends we used to go out into the nights of Chengdu. The places we usually go to are the pubs and clubs for enjoying the weekends. Some of the people come to us asking where we from and want to be friends but some may be good friends and some just make your friends as in the intoxication of the alcohol. Most of them are good in person and want to have drinks or food with us. Some of them want to take this friendship to the next level like inviting you to home or their personal events like marriage, birthday parties.
Working in the bar
One of the worst experiences that I have in Chengdu is that I was stolen my friend's e-bike that I borrowed for having a weekend party.So, I owed my friend a bike and I didn't want to take my parent's money to buy him a bike but to make my own money. Then I asked my friends to find me a job.
After 2 days of searching, one of my friends recommended me to go to a bar and just see if there was a vacancy that he just heard 2 months ago. I went there in a hurry and the boss told me they have a vacancy for a barback. Barback is a person who helps the bartender to make his work easy. I told him I was okay with that. He said I could start coming tomorrow onwards. I was so happy that day. This was the first job in my life and I was very excited and nervous too.
The bar I worked
The next day I went to the bar for the job. In the bar, most of the colleagues spoke English so I didn't feel hard talking with them and made good friendship with them. Everyone was so friendly with me and treated me as one of them. Those are the best thing happened after coming to China and made some good memories for the lifetime.
After a few months I stopped working there because of an examination that I needed to prepare for. But the boss needed me to work again for him. And I said no and I felt sad for saying no whenever I see him. He helped me so much for everything I asked for. I still owe him a sorry for that!
Travelling in China
I like to travel. But in China, language barrier becomes my biggest problem. It is better to travel with a Chinese friend or guide with you. Still I have travelled inside Sichuan province. I have been to Emei shan, Xiling snow mountain, Qing cheng mountain. And I have visited some cities like Leshan, Long Quan Yi, and some earthquake museum-like Bei Chuan earthquake museum, Wen Chuan earthquake museum, and some other places like Xunlong shan, Wollongong. And I have been to a bio reserve, Bi Feng Xia in ya'an, and some ancient town called ping le, and also many music concerts. These are some places I visited in these years and I'm planning to visit more places in the future.
Bi Feng Xia
There are so many memories China has gifted me. Most of them make me smile and give me happiness when I remember it. There are so many things that meant to happen and not to be. As always trips make so many good memories while climbing the mountain, having fun with the local people, riding the motorcycle, and even stealing the bikes by the local robbers in 1 minutes. They have given me so many memories to remember for a lifetime.
I will miss Chengdu so much. The life I had here with my friends, campus, the nights, foods, everything I enjoyed. I will miss here so badly. After graduation I will go back to India for the medical license examination to be a doctor. And I will often visit Chengdu or maybe I will be back for post-graduation in the university.
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