【Editor’s Note: In this edition of Dialogue@ZJU, we bring you an inspiring collection of narratives from Zhejiang University students hailing from four continents. Emily Alkanan from Iraq, Tungamirai Eric Mupona from Zimbabwe, Jose Luis Fonseca Conejo from Costa Rica, and Ervins Gorelovs from Latvia share their unique experiences and perspectives on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Their participation highlights the Initiative's global impact and ZJU's role in fostering international collaboration and understanding. Join us in exploring how their captivating stories intertwine with ZJU's commitment to the Initiative.】
Quotes from the interview
"Zhejiang University is just like a dreamland. You can find everything you want in it. It's really an amazing environment for the student to improve him or herself."
"As you can see here, these are all the pins that I got in the Asian Games and Para Games. I got them from different countries and also from my university. Whenever I see my pins, it will remind me of many stories. I like to help people. So to get a chance to be one of the volunteers in the Asian Games, that really makes me proud of myself, and it's a really unforgettable experience."
"China and Iraq can promote the connectivity of Asian, European and African countries. Many projects are happening in Iraq now. For example, roads and bridges and other constructions and promote development in many industrial and medical area."
Tungamirai Eric Mupona
"In 2019, I established the Abroad Path Leaders (APL). This idea is like the platform is a path leader for international youth to integrate into the local societies. After I came to Zhejiang University, I was thinking how I make use of the knowledge that I'm getting in class in order to improve this platform. What I think I am already doing right now through APL is what we call public diplomacy. It has the opportunity to also promote people to people exchanges, getting some inspiration from BRI."
"The Belt and Road Initiative，I think it's a grand framework from China. In Zimbabwe, I think the results are easy to notice, especially the infrastructure sector, because BRI talks about connectivity. So when we talk about BRI, we should start from infrastructure development."
"After graduation, I hope that I can still continue doing that through my capacity to contribute to promoting the cooperation between China and Zimbabwe."
Jose Luis Fonseca Conejo
"Studying in China is not common for people from my country. Being in Zhejiang University to study with Chinese people, with other foreigners, it's actually pretty cool for me. I really like it."
"In America, we don't know that much about China. Maybe I should do something to let the American people know how China is, or at least how my life is here. So I learned by myself a lot of editing and shooting skills. It's interesting just to let them see how this part of China is."
"I truly think PIEGL (Master Program in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Global Leadership) is one of the best programs I could have attended. So I would say one of the key elements is to have this multicultural, diverse background which is located here in China. And, of course, academic-wise, we had wonderful lectures, and we had wonderful study trips. We went to many local companies. Hangzhou, in particular, is famous for being very entrepreneurial. There are many famous companies coming from here. I would say it's such an entrepreneurial environment that it just sucks you in. Once you come here, it's very hard to leave."
"Education, exchange of culture, experience, that's very important. And to me, that's a very valuable way how this Belt and Road Initiative can help, not only financially, but also from the cultural perspective."