Ullah Inam, a Pakistani student at Henan University of Technology, holds a sign with the slogan “Stay strong, China” to express his appreciation of the government’s and people’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo provided to China Daily)
Special: Battle Against Novel Coronavirus
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, all international students at Henan University of Technology based in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, have lived orderly and comfortable lives in China.
While being concerned with every piece of news and set of data related to the epidemic, international students now have a deep understanding of the efforts made by the government, the school and the people in creating a safer and better world for them.
Ullah Inam from Pakistan is a postgraduate student who was admitted to the university in 2017 with a Chinese government scholarship.
Since the outbreak, he has been helping teachers at the international exchange and cooperation division serve international students living at the university.
“I would like to pay my tribute to the Chinese heroes during this special period, as I have seen the powerful speed that the construction workers demonstrated in building two hospitals within 10 days, the courage of medics who went to the epidemic areas without hesitation, and the strong national unity and cohesion,” Inam said. He added that “the efforts of the Chinese government have made international students who stay in China feel extremely safe and have also eliminated our fear of the epidemic.”
“Teachers at the international exchange and cooperation division also provided international students with supplies such as masks, thermometers, gloves, hand gel and disinfectant.
“There are specific teachers in charge of checking the prevention and disinfection measures in the apartments everyday, as well as being responsible for checking the body temperature of every international student. They have created a healthy and safe living environment for everyone,” Inam said.
He added that the teachers often share preventive guidelines with international students through WeChat.
“When students in the dormitory didn’t feel well, the teachers would immediately take them to hospital and helped contact insurance companies to cover the expenses. Their help made the international students feel the homelike warmth and care,” Inam said.
Kim Taeha from South Korea is an undergraduate student in the university. He has been in China since 2016.
In the early stages of the epidemic, when he knew that there was no adequate preventive supplies in school, Kim contacted a teacher.
“There is no restriction on the purchase of masks in South Korea. Let me ask my family to buy some and send them over,” Kim said.
Five or six days later, the teacher received a call from Kim, who said: “There are 100 masks sent from my family. Please distribute them to our international students at school.”
“We have received a lot of care from our teachers. I also want to contribute my efforts to the fight against the epidemic,” Kim added.
Saffia-Doe Osman from Sierra Leone is a doctoral candidate who was admitted to the university in 2019 with a Chinese government scholarship.
On Jan 21 after the final exams, Osman went to Kunshan, Jiangsu province, and planned to spend the winter vacation with his friend.
However, the sudden COVID-19 outbreak stopped Osman’s plan of returning to school. To avoid infection, the university suggested he live in his friend’s home temporarily.
On April 4, learning that Osman had to go to Shanghai for personal reasons, a teacher at the international exchange and cooperation division reported the student’s circumstances to the disease prevention and control office of the university. The division issued him with a health certificate to help him travel.
The teacher urged Osman to take care of himself during the trip and keep in contact with the school.
In addition, the university continued to keep track of his condition after he checked into a hotel in Shanghai.
“It is usual that during troubles and trials, students who are away from their families are the most shaky,” Osman said. “However, not only the Chinese government but also Henan University of Technology made great efforts to help international students by offering them homelike warmth.”