What brings them to Fudan?


Three international freshmen shared their passions and stories about Fudan, Shanghai and China.

This year, over 300 international freshmen from 51 plus countries and regions have joined Fudan family. This time, we’ve invited three international students coming from different countries to share how their dreams begin to thrive at Fudan and how their interests and beliefs have instilled their life with different shades of colors.

Esfer (Esmeraldito Ferreira)

Esfer is a Timorense student major in Clinical Medicine major this year. Grown up in a rural village in East Timor, Esfer has made up his mind to become a doctor since his childhood when his grandparents could have lived longer if they had been medically treated timely due to the scarce medical resources. This experience has inspired Esfer’s strong determination to become a doctor.

Ranked fourth nationally in the college entrance examination of East Timor, Esfer gained the opportunity to study in Fudan after several academic tests. This was a brave decision for Esfer, since he had to learn Chinese from scratch and come to a country he had never been to.

However, Esfer revealed his love for Fudan and China in the interview. He told us he was impressed by the warm-hearted security guards and Fudan students when he lost his way at his first visit to Fudan. He has also made many friends with teachers and students at Fudan when he was learning Chinese here since 2018.

Esfer (Middle, second row) with his Chinese classmates.

Playing football and badminton with friends are Esfer’s favorite extracurricular sports. He believes a fine physique is necessary for a doctor. The ambition of becoming a doctor has also been supported by his family. Although Esfer’s parents miss him very much, with social media applications being the only approaches to alleviate such missing, they support his decision and they are proud of him.

Esfer (4th from the left, first row) with other football team members.

For Esfer, excellent academic performance is now what he is after, since he wants to learn a wide range of medical knowledge necessary for a qualified doctor. Hope his dream come true.

Mukhtasar (Rustamova Mukhtasar)

The Uzbek girl Mukhtasar is now a freshman from the School of International Relations and Public Affairs. Mukhtasar has started to learn Chinese since 2014, years of Chinese study has aroused her keen interest in the history and development of China and her dream is to become a diplomat dedicated to the development of Sino-Uzbek ties. 

Mukhtasar’s first impression about Fudan came from the photos of the towering Guanghua Building before which many students are reading books on the lawn. The girl said, she was fascinated by this beautiful campus and her heart has been filled with longing for becoming a Fudan student since then. This thought has later led to Mukhtasar’s greater efforts on her academic performance.

Mukhtasar’s Chinese name (“慕华”), literally meaning admiring China, indicates the girl’s “Chinese complex”. Mukhtasar has four sisters, one of which has also become a freshman in China this year. All the five sisters can speak Chinese (the younger ones can speak a little) and they have given some Chinese dancing and singing performances together, which often greeted enthusiastic applause.

Mukhtasar (first from the left)with her sisters

The girl’s Chinese complex was also inspired by the outstanding female Chinese Ambassador in Uzbekistan, Jiang Yan. Mukhtasar said she also although it would be full of challenges to be a female diplomat like Ms. Jiang, she would go to great lengths to realize her dream.

Being smart, competitive and hardworking is Mukhtasar’s impression of Fudan students, and she thinks she should do her utmost to achieve excellent academic performance. She also believes competition is a two-pronged sword which can also drive one to be excellent alongside daunting pressure.

Never daunted by difficulties, Mukhtasar encourages those who also want to join Fudan to trust themselves when hopes are slim since one will never see the rainbow until the stormy rain has passed.

Ivana (Ivana Dinić)

As a freshman major in Chinese Language, the Serbian girl Ivana wants to be a Serbian-Chinese translator in the future. Her bond with China began when she was a little girl. Ivana’s mother used to read her many Chinese stories in which the tale of the Double Seventh Festival (“七夕节”, on July 7 in the Chinese lunar calendar) fascinated her a lot since Ivana’s birthday was also on July 7. These Chinese stories have also aroused her interest in Chinese language and culture.

Ivana decided to come to China to further improve her language proficiency and this is where Fudan came to the picture. “I searched on the Internet and found Fudan University was among the top 3 universities in China,” Ivana explained her decision, “Fudan had really good courses on Chinese language and culture. I thought if I was going to learn Chinese seriously, I should learn from the best.”

Ivana is also an athletic girl interested in sports such as dancing, running and martial art. Before she came to China, she practised karate, taekwondo and aikido and now she is ready to pick up some Chinese martial art moves and even the traditional Chinese handicrafts. “I am looking forward to joining those societies.” Ivana said cheerfully when she knew about the various types of student societies the university can offer.

Ivana’s interests

Moving to another country for four years can be terrifying. Ivana’s family will be missing her a lot but they have given her their full support as they knew Fudan would be the best place for Ivana to realize her goal of becoming a translator. “You may feel uncomfortable about living in another country, worrying what could happen when your parents and friends are not around. However, you will shape an independent and organized personality that will benefit you for the rest of your life.” Ivana opened her arms up in the air and said, “It will be like you are growing your pair of wings, preparing for your flight to the sky.”

The pursuit of excellence is the shared goal of these new faces, in spite of different backgrounds, interests, and life plans. It is openness and inclusiveness of Fudan that makes the interconnection and interaction between cultures possible. We hope these freshmen can bring us more diversified global vision.