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Across China: African student eager to start postponed new semester
From:Xinhua  |  2020-04-29 23:29

GUANGZHOU, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Students in China are now keeping a close eye on the foreseeable new semester as COVID-19 ebbs as they have been stuck at home during the longest winter holiday ever.

Said Ahmed Bahwal from Somalia, a doctoral student at Guangzhou's prestigious Sun Yat-sen University, said he cannot wait to go back to his research lab to catch up on his suspended programs.

The epidemic has disrupted the student's busy schedule to conduct scientific experiments in his lab. "I always feel fulfilled to have my day tightly scheduled, so that I won't be under excessive stress preparing my doctoral thesis," he said.

This year marks Said's seventh year in China and it was back in 2011 that he first set his foot on China after accepted as a postgraduate student in the northeastern city of Jiamusi. The cold but snowy winter was something fresh for the man from a tropical country.

Said returned to his hometown after graduation in 2015, but decided to pursue his doctoral degree back in China after two years of work, and this time he chose the southern city of Guangzhou to get a glimpse of a more modern and vibrant China.

Whether in Guangzhou or Jiamusi, he is welcomed by locals with their enthusiasm and friendship. "China is a vast country with a long history, which has really impressed me during my study in the two different cities that are over 3,000 kilometers away from each other," he said.

Said majors in biochemistry and molecular biology, and intensive lab research has become an inevitable part of his student life. In the past three years, he has spent every winter and summer holidays in the lab because "it's never easy to gain a doctoral degree."

His research plan during this vacation was spoiled by the epidemic and he has been advised to stay on campus to avoid crowd gathering after the virus was reported in Guangzhou.

Since then, students have been updated with the latest situation of the epidemic and knowledge on how to protect themselves in instant messaging groups set up by different departments.

Said has witnessed the city's efficient measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus and quick response to ensure food and necessity supplies, as well as people's cooperation since late January.

Said received a free nucleic acid test earlier. He told Xinhua that it is reassuring that Guangzhou offers wide coverage of free tests. "The measure not only ensures personal safety but also guarantees the well-being of the city."

China has reached out to the countries in need with donated medical supplies, said the doctoral student. He also expressed his gratitude for China's efforts to help Somalia.

During the time trapped indoor in the past few months, Said said that he has finished reading hundreds of literature, but "what I'm looking forward to most is being back in the classroom and the lab." Enditem