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The dark side of Chinese scholarship

These are OUR experiences and shouldn’t be discounted because a few of our citizens had pleasant experiences.

As a citizen of the developing world, it has always been my dream to pursue higher education. As a Grenadian, I was given that opportunity by the government to accomplish studies in China.

Before making that decision, I asked several people about their experiences in China. Each person reassured me that it was okay. On arrival in China, I instantly regretted it because of a brief illness. Nevertheless, I decided to forge ahead. To my dismay, the situation got worse. After a few months here, I realised the school environment is not conducive for learning. Teachers dislike me because I’m a foreigner. They purposely fail foreign students because they CAN.

The following describes briefly a few stories from our young talented Grenadians studying in China:

(1). The staff at the international office at my school is RACIST. I’ve never been in a room filled with so much HATE. They are very RACIST. I went to inquire about something at the office. As I entered the Teacher started quarreling. I asked my question and she walked away, murmuring “black monkey” in Chinese.

(2). The African male foreign students on our floor would attempt to pick our dormitory locks at night. We complained. Nothing was done. That left us terrified and traumatised for days. We complained again and they were warned. We requested another room and were denied.

(3). The Shifu or building manager can enter or barge in your rooms whenever they please without any warning. This has happened several times. Even whilst I’m leaving the shower. Imagine living with no privacy. How is that okay? How is this right?

(4). The Professors are very biased. A few of my classmates decided to leave last year as a result of unfair treatment. As a postgraduate lab student, my duties are essentially tied to the laboratory. Recently, I’ve found myself doing menial tasks (washing test tubes, etc.) and not conducting any experiments.

My ideas are given to Chinese students and almost every day I’m told I’m lazy. Sometime last year my lab partner and I successfully completed an experiment, and were in the process of writing our manuscript.

Whilst we were awaiting constructive response from our supervisor on the paper, we found out that the paper was sent to a journal publication without our permission. I have heard this story so many times, now I am a victim of academic theft. Our work is published and we are not featured as authors.

Our Chinese classmates and supervisor are the only authors. This is beyond unfair. After speaking with the supervisor, we were barred from lab work. My lab partner went back to her country and I have contacted our Ministry of Education, but no help has been given to me. I want to go home.

(5). There are so many undergraduate students suffering here. With no financial help from family and friends back home, most are left dependent on a measly stipend, which is late most every month.

Sometimes students are left to beg, prostitute themselves for survival here. RMB 2500 is not sufficient. Students have to pay bills, buy food, etc. Price of food items increased after the pandemic and nothing is being done to assist us economically. If the government can’t afford it, we should be sent back to the comfort of our homes.

(6). My issue is the silence of the Grenadian ambassador. Dr. Abbie David. Where is she? Wey she dey? Abbz doesn’t care about students’ welfare. Her only focus is diplomacy. Each student I have been in contact with have expressed their disdain of this lady. Smile and pretend.

Dr. David left China on maternity vacation last year and we have not heard from her since. We have no one fighting on our behalf here. We are given far worse treatment than a mingy dog roaming our streets, but Sister Abbz is silent. Her eyes are shut to the bad treatment of her citizens.

(7). A few postgraduate students from Grenada and neighbouring Caribbean islands have expressed a lack of funding for lab experiments and publishing papers. Papers cost range from USD1000-4000. The government spends so much money on sending students to China to study. There is no publishing fund for us, only Chinese students. Strange huh.

We are left with few options: GoFundMe, family, prostitution or thieving. I know several minority students who have fell victim to prostitution. Many are also from the Caribbean.

(8). After stealing my topic ideas, I was told by my supervisors, I wouldn’t be able to present my research proposal. This all stemmed from a presentation I did with a “foreign white guest” in attendance a few months prior. The guests enjoyed my presentation and complemented me afterwards.

My supervisor was mad. He thought one of his home-grown students was the best and now I’m paying for my intellect.

Entering this country was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made. I have never received help from my school or supervisor. Complaining to the Scholarship Desk in Grenada or the embassy is a waste of time. They don’t care.

(9). Covid-19 pandemic was birthed in China. Yet, Chinese are scared of black people. It is a belief that returning Africans started the second wave. Here, black is black. Except, if you are a part of countries of the G20 or G8. Chinese will see black foreigners and rush to plaster their mask across their face, turn up their nose, refuse to sit next to you, etc. The pandemic exposed how racist they are.

I believe the main objective of most of these schools, professors, supervisors, teachers are to frustrate, undermine and abuse students. They create an atmosphere of fear. Students are not permitted to speak openly. It’s difficult navigating each day here. So many students have tried taking their lives. Ask the government? Dey are aware but still deaf and blind. We have to endure all this, FOR WHAT?

These are a few experiences from students here. Many students have had pleasant experiences, but this isn’t the same for some of us.

Would I encourage Grenadians to pursue studies here? My answer is NO!!

Many students have made attempts to leave China. Those with financial support have. For others, like myself (we broke), the ambassador is the only person who can grant that request through CSC and MOFCOM.

When yuh poor, yuh exposed ehh! We have chosen to remain anonymous out of fear of persecution and malice.

Grenadians in China