A plane from Beijing to Belarus boarded at 13:10 on February 24, 2020. I arrived in Minsk, the capital of Belarus for the first time, and it was my furthest voyage, which lasted 9 hours and 10 minutes. Right when the plane landed in Minsk I fell in love with this country. The trees, the fresh air, the quiet streets are all what I long for. My hometown is in northern China, therefore the language, way of living and eating habits are very different from Belarusian ones. But the enthusiasm of the Belarusian people can make you feel homey even if you’re far from the motherland.
Before going abroad, I was full of expectation, and hesitations, fear and tension. But no matter what, everything is going smoothly.
“…happy every day”
Fortunately, I adapted to life here quickly. Now I got used to living in the same room with unfamiliar people, I have learned to cook by myself and take care of myself, so I am happy every day here.
But it is undeniable that the biggest difficulty at the beginning was the problem of communication. I couldn’t communicate normally even when I went shopping. I could only interact with Chinese friends. This has affected my everyday life to a certain extent.
The sudden pandemic in 2020 has also influenced life a lot. Because of it, my student life is full of unpredictable situations and for the same reason it has become special. Our classes were conducted online, and I felt the responsibility and patience of the lecturers through online teaching. This semester I’m happy to be back in the classroom.
I realized that I must study the language hard, so I focused on learning Russian every day, and tried to chat with Belarusian students more. My Russian is slowly getting better, although I still make mistakes. I like to communicate with strangers. Even though I don’t understand everything in detail.
I really appreciate my university teachers. The Chinese students’ language is imperfect, so in order to make us understand the topic, the teachers speak slowly, they sometimes use body language to correct our mistakes. Every teacher is very admirable and respectable.
“…relaxed and inspired”
Minsk is very different from my hometown, where there are skyscrapers and huge crowds, and calm slow-paced life is very rear. I like to take pictures of Minsk with my camera, walking along its quiet and peaceful streets. The blue sky and white clouds are very picturesque, therefore I feel relaxed and inspired for my university classes and living in Belarus.
“…confident and independent”
Over about a year of my university life, I have changed greatly. I used to be timid and shy, but now I am confident and independent. Studying abroad is a useful experience, which makes me be proud of myself. I’m looking forward to making progress in studying journalism. I believe that everything will work out for me. Come on!
Zhao Xian’s, a second-year student, International journalism department
Anna Rovina, editor
Anastasia S. Petrovskaya, trainee teacher, proofreader