Chris Eloho, a Nigerian student, is about to realize his dream of pursuing a Master’s Degree in a Chinese university.
This is a dream the 23-year-old has held for six years, even before he gained admission to learn at a private university in his home state of Delta, where he studied Petrochemical Engineering for his Bachelor of Science program.
“I’ve always wanted to study in China, not anywhere else,” he told Xinhua.
That explains his excitement when he received the news early this year that he had been chosen to study in China with a scholarship provided by the Chinese government.
“At first, I thought it was a joke … Later, when it dawned on me that it was real, I didn’t know how to contain my excitement,” he said.
Eloho is one of 24 Nigerian students offered full scholarships earlier this month to pursue various degree programs in China.
The scholarship is part of the China-Nigeria Bilateral Education Agreement (BEA) seeking to enhance educational exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.
At a pre-departure ceremony held for the beneficiaries in Abuja a week ago, Qin Jian, the charge d’affaires of the Embassy of China in Nigeria, said education is one of the important areas of cooperation between the two countries.
“It is not only a demonstration of the close people-to-people exchanges between China and Nigeria, but also a great inspiration for deepening our bilateral exchange and cooperation in educational field in the future,” Qin said.
He urged the awardees to seize the opportunity to study hard while getting to know China well and enhance friendship.
“In an environment of different language, culture and life in China, I hope you will overcome any difficulties and challenges with courage, make full use of time, acquire professional knowledge, and strive for excellent results so as to live up to the expectations of your parents and your mother country,” he added.
At the same event, Nigeria’s Permanent Secretary for Information Ayotunde Adesugba expressed gratitude to the Chinese government for extending another scholarship opportunity to excellent Nigerian students this year.
She said the consideration was well-appreciated by the government and people of the West African country, while urging the students to make good the opportunity given to them by doing great exploits in China.
The scholarship beneficiaries will begin to leave the shores of Nigeria next week or early September, to pursue their dreams. Some of them will be away for five years.
Eloho will join a two-year program to further his study in petrochemical engineering at the prestigious Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in China.
He said since his letter of admission arrived, he has been reading so much about Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei province, where the university is located.
“My plan is to make great exploits in China, making every opportunity count. I have read a lot about China and I am glad that the opportunity has come for me to see for myself all the good things I have read and heard about that great country,” he said.
Eloho said studying in China presented an opportunity to learn new things outside the four-corners of the classroom.
Now that his dream about studying in China is about to come true, Eloho promised to his parents to rank among the best students in his year of graduation.
“Coming back home with an excellent performance in my academics is my ultimate goal. This will make up for the years of sojourn in foreign land,” he added.
Currently, about 237 Nigerian students are studying in China under government scholarship.
Source: Forum on China-Africa Cooperation.