I can’t believe I’m in Beijing

Jamaican and Chinese flags

My name is Danielle. I am from Kingston, Jamaica


Recently, my entire life was turned upside down.

I have lived my entire life in Jamaica, visiting other countries for the occasional vacation, but never non-english speaking countries, and always countries in the Western Hemisphere. I learnt Spanish in high school and university, but not to the level of being fluent. It was always my dream however to live in a Spanish-speaking country for a while, just so I could become fluent. I mean, if I devoted 12 years of my life to the language, I might as well finish what I had started.

I did my undergraduate studies in Media and Communication with a specialization in Radio at the University of the West Indies. Then, soon after graduation I got a job as a producer at a regional television station. In the days I was a producer and in the nights, I was a fiend applying for every scholarship I could find. I had this strange need to pursue Masters studies in a foreign country as soon as I possible. So, as I completed and delivered the application for one scholarship, I would move on to the next.

On paper, it doesn’t look or sound like I applied for that many (4), but with an extremely demanding full-time job, four (4) was plenty. After the 4th application was handed in, I decided that I really did not have the energy to apply for anymore. So I put down my pen (my computer really), and forgot about them. One by one the calls came in, but since this blog is about me studying in Beijing, I will focus on the Chinese Government Scholarship.

The call for applications for persons interested in studying in China came out around late September/early October. The list of requirements for the application was long, and looked something like this:

1. Application Form for Chinese Government Scholarship (filled in Chinese or English)

2. Highest diploma (notarized photocopy)

3. Academic transcripts (notarized photocopy)

4. A study or research plan.

5. Recommendation letters (3)

6. Applicants for music studies are requested to submit a CD of the applicants’ own works. Applicants for fine arts programs must submit a CD of the applicants’ own works (including two sketches, two color paintings and two other works).

7. Applicants under the age of 18 should submit the legal documents of their legal guardians inChina.

8. Photocopy of Foreigner Physical Examination Form ’m a recipient of the Chinese Government Scholarship.

I handed in my application and forgot about it. One fine day in March, I got a call from the Chinese embassy in Jamaica asking if I was still interested in the scholarship, and if I was, I should come for an interview the next day. The next day came, and I went to the Chinese Embassy. The interview was very short, about 10 minutes and again I forgot about it. Then in the middle of July, I got a call saying that I had been selected as a recipient for the Chinese Government Scholarship. The rest is history.

It is amazing that 2 months ago, I had no idea that I would be living in Beijing for 4 years, but here I am, and enjoying each day as it comes. Hopefully, it will be a great experience that I will never forget.

The CCTV Building, Beijing

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