Home / News&Events / Content
International civil engineering students engage in field work at Wuhan University Highway Project
Author:Luo Jingwen  Date:2022-10-18  Clicks:

Going out of campus and onto the construction site, wearing red safety helmets and orange reflective vests is the sort of life that international students from the School of Civil Engineering at Wuhan University have experienced as interns. The international students grew a lot, combining their prior learning with practice.

We are “bricklifters”

Guo Buli (Natacha), Jama, and Aristide are students from Wuhan University’s School of Civil Engineering. Guo Buli and Aristide come from Burkina Faso, while Jama is from Somalia.


The School of Civil Engineering requires students to complete a production internship during the third semester. This is how three international students came to work on the joint highway project of China First Metallurgical Group and Wuhan University, equipped with tools like tape measures and a leveler. They lived and learned with the administrators of the project department, starting their hardworking life.

To ensure that the international students can genuinely develop their professional skills, the WHU internship project assigns dual mentors to each intern. Specific plans for what they will learn and what standards they are expected to meet are tailored for each student.

“Each of us is assigned a mentor. Mentors bring us to the construction site, introduce us to the workflow, and help resolve our problems.” The international students expressed their gratitude to their masters. “This is a wonderful experience. The mentors are so approachable, passionate, and attentive.”


July 27 is the day I’ll never forget. That day was Guo Buli’s birthday. Coming back from the construction site, all her friends, mentors, and fellow students on site sang birthday songs to her when she entered the cafeteria with laughter and happiness.


Flowers, cakes, light beams, balloons, and colored ribbons... With these curated decorations, a canteen staff member even gave her a bowl of ‘noodles of longevity’. Each colleague and friend expressed their best wishes in a traditional Chinese way. Everyone’s face beamed with joy. “Everyone makes me feel touched...... I can feel their love and acceptance.”


From their first impressions of the project to becoming accustomed to the ambiance there, all the way to improving their abilities, the international students were engaged in on-site quality inspection and acceptance, familiarization with the process and filling in the construction log. They cooperated in measuring intervals and following mentors’ instructions to put up scaffolding and raising questions. “It is intensive but meaningful work,” said Aristide.

Coming to WHU with no regrets

Wuhan University was one of the first groups of universities that enrolled African international students in bulk and contributes to initiating Sino-African relations following China’s reform and opening-up policy. Mutual communication and multilateral cooperation have led to an extension of the connection between WHU and African universities over more than 60 years. This connection is even tighter today.

More than 300 international students from different African countries currently call the WHU campus their home. They pursue their major of interest and engage in a range of societal activities. Their courses and communication are all in Chinese, which has an entirely different pronunciation, look and grammar as compared to their mother tongue, causing some difficulties for the students.

“There is so much terminology in the classes that I can barely understand. It depressed me so much that I even felt like giving up and returning to my country.” Having passed HSK 4, Guo Buli still meets immersion challenges when she jumps into an unfamiliar environment, but these are all resolved with the warm care and kindness she receives.

Guo Buli can now speak standard Mandarin fluently, mastering almost all the tones of commonly used expressions. She is grateful for her insistence in the beginning and all the teachers and fellow students who accommodated her by slowing down their speaking rate. “I have close connections with the teachers and fellow students in WHU. I came here for education with no regrets,” said Guo Buli.

Growing through practice

“It’s a pleasure for us to participate in this big project.” The three intern students finished their fieldwork on the construction site with many words for other international students.

Guo Buli said, “For international students like me, I highly suggest they should keep themselves confident regardless of difficulties. Try their best to grab the chance of being an intern and learn as much as possible. Here I perceive the power of ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way.’ I believe I’ll finally succeed.”

Jama said, “Wuhan University is an excellent university. I’m fond of civil engineering and passionate about designing work. Hence, I’ll continue to work on more diverse projects. Some basic skills are necessary before the internships for international students: time management, follow-up and implementation, cooperation in teamwork, and being ready to make contributions.”

Aristide added, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. The one-month internship is short but fulfilled, which plays a transitional role from campus life into society. The practical experiences I have obtained from the internship will have a lifelong positive impact on my career. By going through every stage and through continuous improvements, I’m well-prepared to finish the task in the future. Adequate infrastructure is required for development in my country. Thanks to Wuhan University for offering me the chance to study.”


Rewritten by Wen Puwen

Edited by Zhang Ruoxi, Xi Bingqing, Sylvia



Prev Section:Life
Next Section:WHU holds internationalization conference, aiming at world-class standards

[ Close ]

Copyright @ 2014 Wuhan University