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Vichea, a student from Cambodia, is going to graduate from Tianjin University this June. In 2008, Vichea came to China and majored in machinery manufacturing and automation benefiting from an educational program between the Chinese and Cambodia governments.

While to "One Belt, One Road" policy was not officially announced until 2014 China has for many years pursued a policy of working with countries across Eurasia to develop mutual cooperation economically, culturally and politically, not for short term gain, but to sustain long-term relationships through building infrastructure, increasing cultural and educational exchanges, and broadening trade. Many students like Vichea have been able to pursue opportunities to further their education and to contribute to building their nations that would otherwise have been impossible.  

Vichea reflected on his experience: “Before I came to China, I was totally unfamiliar with this nation. But my parents encouraged me to study in China. And looking back on this now, I am grateful I listened to them.”

The difficulties of studying his major plus the obstacle of having to learn in Chinese caused him considerable concern at first. Thankfully, he gained help and support from his tutors and classmates and he himself applied himself to his study. Now, he can talk to us in fluent Chinese. For foreign students who are studying at Tianjin University, Vichea offered this suggestion on how to master Chinese: "Watch Chinese videos and talk with Chinese people as much as you can".

Speaking of Chinese culture, Vichea shared with us his fondness of Chinese idioms, such as “nothing ventured, nothing gained” and “blind imitation can produce ludicrous results”. He said he liked to watch a TV program named Chinese Idioms Contest, and said that now it’s not difficult for him to use these idioms appropriately in daily life.

Vichea said: “Life in Tianjin University is filled with joy and I have met with many friends here. I used to play soccer in Cambodia, and now I prefer playing basketball with my Chinese friends,” He said in answer to our question, "The differences between Tianjin University and the Universities in my hometown, are that students in Tianjin University worked very hard and spent much more time in study".

In his spare time, Vichea has learned much about Chinese society and keenly followed China’s national strategies, such as “The One Belt, One Road Initiative”, which welcomes all neighboring countries to benefit from China’s development. “Thanks to these policies, foreign students in China have much greater access to work opportunities than ever before,” Vichea said.

When asked about the most impressive thing about China, he mentioned the thrilling experience of taking the high speed rail, “There is no high speed rail in Cambodia. It is so fast and so convenient. For example, my longest journey in China from Beijing to Shanghai took me less than 6 hours. ” Even before he has graduated, he has received an offer from CRRC. “ I was able to get the position of project manager with CRRC because of my professional training and new skills and my language advantage. I think the position will play to my strengths. I feel so lucky to have benefited from ‘The One Belt and One Road Initiative’,” Vichea said.