East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) held the 2023 Spring Semester International Students Opening Ceremony on March 14 on its Xuhui Campus in Shanghai.
Surrounded by various countries' flags, more than 260 international students attended the ceremony, and were dressed in their national costumes and ECUST commemorative school uniforms.
This is the first time that ECUST held such a grand opening ceremony for international students. It was also an event to celebrate the return of international students back to campus after the COVID-19 pandemic.
This semester, the number of international students studying at ECUST is 451. They come from 90 countries and 63 percent of them are from countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Vice-president of ECUST Li Jian extended a warm welcome to international students from all over the world to return to campus at the ceremony. In his speech, he introduced the achievements of ECUST's international education work in the past, and pointed out that adhering to the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind, ECUST has put forward the idea of "from ECUST to the world" in terms of international schooling.
According to Li, ECUST plans to cooperate with first-class universities around the world to jointly cultivate its international students in the future, and launch various forms of joint education programs such as "2+2" and "2+1" in which ECUST will become a "gas station" on the road of international students' education, rather than a "terminal station".
He said that international students are precious to both their home countries and China, and also the friendly messengers connecting China and the rest of the world. He encouraged the students to "read many books" and "travel thousands of miles", grow into an excellent "ECUST person", create their own stories in China, and also tell the world China's stories with their own perception of Chinese society.
Zhao Hong and Ma Xiang, international student tutors, expressed their ardent hopes to the students. Zhao empahsized three keywords of "warmth", "challenge" and "community", saying that ECUST has created a warm and inclusive environment for students at home and abroad. He expressed his hopes that students can actively integrate into Chinese culture, broaden their horizons, broaden their thinking, and grow into a better version of themselves. Ma encouraged the students to uphold the school motto of "diligent and realistic, inspirational and enlightening", set learning goals, make a good study plan, master the correct learning methods and logical thinking, follow the campus culture, and create their own future.
Sultan Abdulmohsen H Alruhaymi from Saudi Aramco, a national oil company in Saudi Arabia, spoke first on behalf of the new students. He said he has a clear goal of becoming the best chemical engineer in Saudi Arabia, and that he was fortunate and proud to be sponsored by Saudi Aramco to come to China, Saudi Arabia's largest trading partner, and to study in his dream major of chemical engineering at the prestigious ECUST, and he believes that his dream will be realized at ECUST.
Jason Michael Frank from the United States is currently a senior undergraduate student majoring in English-taught computer science at ECUST. He expressed his heartfelt gratitude to ECUST for its help and protection of life during the pandemic, saying that he will be grateful for and remember the learning experience at ECUST for life.
Thi Hue Anh Nguyen from Vietnam, a master's student, said that learning Chinese was a turning point in her life, and coming to ECUST was her best choice. She said she is very happy to have the opportunity to study and talk with students from all over the world on the ECUST campus.
Russian student Oskina Daria is a business graduate student with three years of experience working in international companies. She was one of the first international students to return to China. She said Shanghai is still vibrant after the pandemic, and ECUST's campus is more beautiful, and she is sure that her future will be closely connected to China. She suggested that new students should learn Chinese well, understand Chinese history, deeply experience Chinese culture, and enjoy their university life in Shanghai and ECUST while studying their professional courses.