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The self-discovery adventure of Elwin, an Indian student in WHU
Author:Pan Jiachang  Date:2019-10-30  Clicks:

“By always appreciating with a hungry heart, much have I seen and known.” Studying abroad can be fancy, which is an exciting learning experience as well as a self-discovery adventure. Knowing WHU from friends back home, Elwin, an international student from India majoring in Medicine, is now taking his “adventure” here.

Elwin in daily life

Enjoying “beautiful campus blessed with beautiful scenery, including cherry blossoms”, Elwin felt lucky to be a student here. However, as a foreigner living in a totally different place far from home, inevitable difficulties came to him one after another. “The first problem I encountered was about the food. It took me a lot of time to adapt to eating habits here”, said Elwin. “We Indians mainly eat curry dishes, but here I rarely found them in my beginning years.” Missing hometown food might be hard to overcome, but various local cuisines and snacks in China more or less relieved his nostalgia. Elwin now enjoys Hot-and-Dry Noodles, a most famous local snack of Wuhan, and has started to cook himself. “Now I know places to buy my country food and I go there once in a while”, said Elwin. Being more familiar with campus environment nearby, Elwin sometimes hung out with Indian friends, had a big meal of Indian food, and recalled their life back home.

For international students, fully understanding and fluently speaking Chinese could also be a great challenge. Elwin is no exception. “The next and biggest problem was that during my first year here, I couldn’t speak or understand Chinese language at all. Moreover, only a few Chinese people I met were able to speak English, which caused severe communication barrier”, said Elwin, “Then I met a girl, who could speak a little English. We became friends, and she helped me with Chinese while I helped her with English”. Living in Wuhan for years, Elwin now have a good command of Chinese and can even talk with locals in Wuhan dialect. “Elwin speaks better Wuhan dialect than me”, Zhao, who is native to Wuhan and once heard Elwin talking, joked.

Elwin skating with friend

“My campus life is so far so good. I have made friends with people from many parts of the world and experienced different cultures. It’s pretty interesting”, said Elwin. Elwin is fond of singing, and has participated in numerous singing competitions in Wuhan. Winning the second prize in WHU’s Luojia Cultural Festival Singing Competition of Foreign Languages in April, Elwin made a lot of new Chinese friends with same hobbies here. “In fact, he was not feeling well that day -- he had a sore throat. I was really amazed that he still did a very good job”, said hostess of the singing competition, now a friend of Elwin. Friends make life easier, helping adapt to environment and understand local culture. “At present, my friends are mostly Chinese. I find the Chinese people are shy to open up and talk to foreigners at first, but once you start to know more about them, you can feel their enthusiasm and kindness. Gradually, it becomes so easy to talk to and spend time with them”, said Elwin.

Elwin in WHU’s Luojia Cultural Festival Singing Competition of Foreign Languages

Elwin planned to return to India and become a doctor or do business in the future. “I will definitely introduce WHU to my home people in India”, said Elwin, “It is a place to which you never want to say goodbye. I have rediscovered myself here. It is definitely a life-long memory”.

Photo by Elwin

Edited by Zhou Siyan, Li Yushan & Hu Sijia

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