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Navigating the Tapestry of Culture: My Wuhan Adventure in Computer Science

time:July 1, 2024 author:石铮 edit:石铮


Setting off on a journey beyond my familiar French landscape,opened an exciting new chapter in my studies at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan. The thought of exploring the unknown was both thrilling and a bit worried. As I took my first steps into this new world, I felt the words of 王之涣's poem resonate deeply within me "白日依山尽, 黄河入海流, 欲穷千里目, 更上一层楼"--a beautiful reminder to keep seeking knowledge and to always strive for greater heights. It is the time that the worries disappeared suddenly.

First Steps Beyond Borders

Leaving the familiar world of France for the first time felt like stepping into a place full of endless possibilities. But this new adventure started during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding unexpected challenges to my journey. Despite the many restrictions and uncertainties of the global health crisis, I found comfort in having my girlfriend by my side. She, too, was on this exploring adventure with me, and together, we turned these challenges into opportunities. Exploring the campus became a shared adventure, strengthening our bond as we adapted to our new surroundings.

My first encounter with China,Wuhan--my first destination outside France and its neighboring countries, was a mix of excitement and nervousness. The COVID-19 rules limited our face-to-face interactions, making this college experience very different from what I had imagined. However, in these unusual times, we found joy in discovering the campus together, uncovering hidden spots, and making memories that became the heart of our studying experience at HUST.


Friendship Across Cultures

Amidst the challenges of the pandemic, meeting a friend named "黄河 ", became a beginning point in my journey across culture. When restrictions eased, 黄河 invited us to celebrate Chinese New Year with his family in the countryside. The celebration was like stepping into a colorful painting, full of Chinese traditions and warm hospitality. Their kindness left a lasting impression, adding rich cultural layers to my experience.


The following year, my close friend 李柏霖 invited me to his hometown for the New Year. This time, I discovered a completely different set of traditions and met his high school friends, with whom we created unforgettable memories.


Every day, new friendships brightened my travels even more. From the school's dance community to members of the SICA association, my new friends made me feel at home in this new place.

Discovering the Heart of Tradition

The traditional Chinese New Year celebration was an explosion of senses—a whirlwind of colors, smells, and customs. Sitting down for dinner with 黄河's family in the serene countryside of Jingmen or with 李柏霖 in the lively town of Beiliu, I was amazed by the strong ties connecting generations. The elders, living peacefully close to nature, shared their wisdom about the importance of embracing change. This was a deep lesson in life, one that reshaped my understanding of growth and resilience.


Cultural Exchange and Self-Expression

With newfound inspiration, I eagerly began to learn more about China. Joining the school's street dance crew became my way of expressing myself and connecting with the culture. Dancing with my Chinese friends added fresh moves to my style and created a performing space where we could share the rhythms of our different backgrounds. It was a joyful exchange, a celebration of diversity where we all learned from each other.


Building Bridges

In the spirit of cultural exchange, I eagerly joined associations like English Corner and SICA. These groups became bridges linking international students with their Chinese peers, creating a space where ideas, languages, and traditions came together beautifully. Each interaction was like adding a brushstroke to a painting, depicting unity in diversity. These gatherings also allowed everyone to showcase their talents, whether it was singing, dancing, or playing instruments. Sharing these talents brightened our journey, adding joy and inspiration to our shared experiences. 


Giving Back: A Grateful Journey

Recognizing how deeply my time in China had changed me, I felt a strong urge to give back to the community that had welcomed and helped me so warmly. Volunteering became the way of showing my gratitude. Through these efforts, I aimed to share the joy of discovery and adventure, hoping that others could enjoy their journeys as much as I have here at HUST.

Passionate Teachers and Supportive Supervisor

During my studies, I was lucky to meet a group of passionate teachers whose love for their subjects sparked my own excitement for learning relevant domains. I was especially fortunate to have a kind and dedicated supervisor. From the very beginning, she helped me find my research focus and has closely followed my progress ever since. Day by day, I found my researching direction. Her constant support and conversation with my fellows have been vital in keeping me on track to graduate smoothly on time, adding an essential and encouraging layer to my academic journey.


Graduation felt like a breath of fresh air after the intense and stressful journey with constant studying and persistent moderating leading up to it. Wearing the traditional cap and gown was empowering, marking the ending of years of hard work at HUST. The joy and pride we shared while taking photos with fellow graduates captured the essence of our achievements.

An unforgettable highlight was sharing a meal with our administration teacher, who had guided us throughout our journey. This moment was a special chance to reflect on our experiences and express our gratitude to him. These celebrations made the graduation period not just a conclusion but a refreshing and deeply memorable celebration of our success to remember the past, grasp the present, and chase the future.



The Journey Beyond Campus

Amidst the hustle of academic pursuits, I carved out time to explore the vast landscapes of China. From the historical city of Jingzhou in Hubei, where 黄河 shared the significance of artifacts, to the bustling metropolises of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, every destination added a layer to my cultural understanding of China.

These cities, each with its unique blend of history, modernity, and culinary richness, collectively deepened my understanding of China's multifaceted identity. The journey beyond campus wasn't a mere exploration of physical spaces. It was also a profound connection to the heartbeats of each city, transforming my educational odyssey into a rich and authentic experience.


Sichuan's Pandas and Hiking

Journeying into Sichuan province, I marveled at the adorable pandas in Chengdu and explored the futuristic city of Chongqing. Yet, the most poignant experience was the visit to Leshan. The path to "the Giant Stone Buddha at Leshan Mountain" was fraught with challenge--from struggling to find train tickets to missed trains and taxi refusals due to distance. Undeterred, we discovered a bus to the foot of Leshan that ran once every four hours, traversing the city just in time. Step by step, slowly ascending.The ascent up the mountain was arduous, but the sight of the giant Buddha at the summit made every challenge worthwhile. As a friend aptly remarked, the path to witnessing a divinity is never easy, but the perseverance defines the meaningfulness of the journey.



As my academic journey in Wuhan approaches its finale, I am filled with gratitude for the experiences that have shaped me. From the studying challenges posed by a pandemic,the vibrant tapestry of cultural exchanges to cheers at the graduation ceremony, each chapter has left an imprint on my soul. From cultural immersion and dance collaborations to facing challenges head-on during travels, each encounter has contributed to a richer and more nuanced perspective. This journey is not just about acquiring knowledge but about embracing the beauty of different perspectives. I gained recious memories and friendships as well as a sense of gratitude for the little things in the journey of discovery. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, and it is also my third year from France to China.As I look towards the future, I am eager to continue weaving connections between cultures, fostering understanding, and celebrating the richness that diversity brings to our collective story.

At this moment, I prepare to bid farewell to Wuhan and climb the Yellow Crane Tower again. The poem "欲穷千里目, 更上一层楼" echoing in my mind, I think I have reached a higher level here.


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