As a child, I was captivated by machines and their inner workings. I yearned to design contraptions that could solve real-world problems and improve people’s lives. So when it came to selecting my major for university education, I knew that mechanical engineering was the right choice.
As for university, I decided to study at Assosa University in Ethiopia, because of the university’s reputation for excellence in mechanical engineering and the vibrant culture of the city it’s located in. For a year, I immersed myself in mechanical engineering, studying diligently and working on machines in the lab.
But fate had other plans for me. The Ethiopian government recognised my academic achievements and offered me a scholarship to study abroad, with the hope that I could use my education to help to transform the country’s economy. With excitement, I boarded a plane to China to expand my horizons and make a difference in the world.
A perfect place to study
My arrival at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC) was an experience that I will always hold dear. The university’s engineering programmes are widely respected, and I knew that it was the perfect place for me to pursue my academic goals.
As I embarked on my studies, I had to deal with a rigorous curriculum that challenged me to push beyond my limits. But the professors were supportive and always willing to lend a helping hand. And the International Students Office provided me with invaluable support, helping me to navigate the challenges of living in a foreign country, and ensuring that I had the resources to succeed.
One of the most memorable moments of my time at the UESTC was when I worked on a lab experiment where we designed and built a miniature robot. It was a challenging project that required teamwork, creativity, and dedication. But seeing our robot successfully perform its functions made all the hard work worth it.
During my bachelor’s study, I was able to publish a paper together with my friends, which I’m proud of. I also had the opportunity to participate in several projects, including a fingerprint attendance system and a face recognition-based door security system. These projects were not just about solving problems but also about making a difference in people’s lives.
But my journey at the UESTC was not just about academics and research. I also participated in several Chinese speaking contests and video competitions and won awards. These experiences helped me to connect with the local community on a deeper level and taught me about the beauty and richness of Chinese culture.
As an individual with a passion for giving back, I found myself deeply involved in several extracurricular activities beyond my studies during my time at the UESTC. It was important for me to not only excel academically but also to make a meaningful impact on the community.
I was part of several community service projects. Whether it was cleaning up a local park or helping to build a community centre, I found great joy in being able to give back to the community that welcomed me with open arms.
As the academic officer for the International Students Union of the UESTC, I was able to help to organise academic events and provide much-needed support to international students. The opportunity to contribute to an organisation that aimed to better the academic lives of its members was fulfilling.
Additionally, I served as the head of a student group that helped to promote cultural exchange and understanding among international students from several different countries. Being able to bridge cultural gaps and foster a sense of community among different groups of students was an incredible honour.
When I look back on my time at the UESTC, I realise how much I have grown as a person. I learned to be more independent, more adaptable, and more resilient. I gained a deeper appreciation for different cultures and ways of life, and I made many lifelong friends. I am grateful to the Ethiopian government for selecting me for the scholarship that allowed me to pursue my studies at the UESTC.
The International Students Office of the UESTC did an excellent job in supporting me and other students. Most importantly, the guidance and mentorship of the teachers were indispensable in completing the studies.
Now, I have the privilege of pursuing my master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the UESTC, thanks to the Chinese government scholarship. It is one of the best universities in the world. The Chinese government’s support for the students like me is invaluable. The Ethiopian government also deserves praise for recognising the importance of education and investing in the future of its citizens.
Without their support and encouragement, I would not have been where I am today. It is my hope that one day, I will be able to use the knowledge and skills that I have gained to make a positive impact on Ethiopia and help to transform its economy.
Kedir Abdurezak Nuriye is a master’s student majoring in mechanical engineering at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.
African Times published the article in partnership with ChinAfrica magazine. Living the Mechanical Dream– ChinAfrica