Welcome to Wudaokou Watch! We’ll meet a different Beijing-based international student each week, to hear about their life in China’s capital…
Tell us your name and where you’re from.
My name is Anyieth Jool Anyieth, and I come from South Sudan, the newest nation in the world. South Sudan is located in Eastern Africa, it’s the 193rd United Nations member state, and the 54th African Union member state. South Sudan is known of it rich natural endowments such as oil, gold, and Gum arabic; wild life; and most importantly, the world longest river, ‘the Nile River’ which is about 4,132 miles (6,650 kilometres) long and is our source of fishing.
Why did you come to Beijing?
I came for two years of studies; I am here studying MSc. In Economics at the school of Economics, Renmin University of China. I am in my final year now. Back home, I am a teacher by profession. The reason I came to study in this marvelous and prestigious university is to acquire adequate knowledge and skills which I hope to replicate and improvise back home to the students I teach and thus, make me proud of what I have learned at Renda and in China as a whole.
How is life in Beijing different from in your home country?
First of all, to come to China was like a mist and fairy-tale, when I first arrived to PEK International Airport, I was astonished because of what I saw, the modern infrastructure and the cleanliness all over – things that I used to see in movies or videos. Everything was totally different and strange to me that day. Life is totally changed here in Beijing from culture, politics and economic way of life, social media too has changed even the way I interact with my friends and family in my country.
What are the biggest challenges for you here?
My biggest challenge is not able to communicate freely on social media platform like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger among others due to restrictions and prohibition of VPN. Pollution has been too much for the last two years I have been in Beijing. I am always getting the flu, which was not the case back home. Above all inorganic food is everywhere. Organic food is available, but it is not affordable as a student hence, we resort to inorganic Chinese foods.
Name three of your favorite hangouts and why.
We went for a school trip to Xi’an city and visited Museum of Terracotta warriors and others part sites in Xi’an. This was the best hangout of the year. I like hanging out at the Silk Market because in this market everything is in there and the shop attendants bargain in English, so my bargaining powers work better. The Great Wall is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and in my opinion and nobody should come to Beijing and leave without paying a visit to Great Wall of China. It was a nice time.
What do you do when you are feeling homesick?
I call back to my mom or anyone I miss so much and chat with them, asking all about trending news and new life experiences back home. Sometimes, I read news about South Sudan or novels by African writers, and I watch CGTN African news program at 1am every day.
What do you love most about Beijing?
The hospitality of the Chinese and their enthusiasm to teach their language and culture without hesitation. Oh, taking of photos everywhere, anytime and their curiosity to know where you are from.
What is your most memorable Beijing experience?
My friends and I visited Tiananmen Square during the national day of China and everyone was taking pictures, a lot of Chinese came to take pictures with me and my friends because of my height and unique physique. One of my friend told me jokingly “You know what Anyieth! If you ask everyone that takes a picture with you to pay only 1 yuan, you can make one million yuan”.
How has life in Beijing impacted you?
Beyond measure. Living in Beijing and China for that matter has enlightened my knowledge of the world and broadened my learning capacity, especially with the masters course taken at our school and practical life experiences of Zhongguancun knowledge space, the Silicon Valley of China.
What inspires you and what are your future plans?
Chinese models of economic and nationwide development, the high speed technology of which the world is waiting for, 5G technology initiated by China giant technologies (Huawei) by 2020. These and others have inspired me and hope to learn more as I continue to study and learn day-in day-out. My future plan is to be an entrepreneur, to start with something that I can afford and do, lobby through generating good ideas to persuade Venture Capitalists to invest in my company. To solve identified social problems in the society, by walking in the footsteps of the world’s richest, and greatest entrepreneurs.
Are you a student in Beijing? Let us profile you and your unique experiences here. Drop us a line at email@example.com and we’ll get back to you to schedule an interview.
Images courtesy of Anyieth Jool Anyieth