Riya Chandan ( student at ToD and then a teacher) had applied for a year long scholarship in 2017. Here is an essay that she had penned a year back before moving to China for her scholarship program. Here it goes:
This year, March 2017, I applied for Confucius Institute Scholarship to study in China for a year. The application process was indeed long and tedious, and there was a time when I almost gave up, but to my delight, a few days ago, I got the good news from Hanban: I was accepted to go to Zhengzhou University!
I was dancing with joy and it seemed surreal to me. But now that I have calmed down, I was going through all my Chinese notes; that’s when I stumbled upon the first Chinese sentence I had formed: 我爱中国。(Wo ai Zhongguo – I love China). I was dumbstruck for a moment and it simply opened floodgates of memories.
I remember 3 years ago about the same time I was that freshman who was completely clueless about what to do with life. Back then I had already completed learning German as a foreign language (I had started learning since school days) and had achieved a scholarship to Germany from PASCH (Goethe Institute), but my hunger for learning new languages didn’t stop there, that’s when someone suggested to me that maybe I should learn Chinese.. Without giving it a second thought, when I googled right place to learn Chinese in my city, naturally, I bumped onto THE ORIENTAL DIALOGUE, PUNE. My experience as a student at TOD was exceptional. My Laoshi – Aditi helped me achieve things I never even dreamt about- may it be achieving 100% marks in HSK exams or working as a Chinese teacher at the same institute where I learned– she always had my back and kept motivating me. Also, my colleagues, classmates, and students all kept
knowingly or unknowingly helping me to achieve my dreams.
Things like Chinese did progress too quickly for me, within a year and a half I had already started teaching and completed my HSK 4. My fascination with China and Chinese always longed me to go to China. Last summer when I received Jinhua Home-stay Scholarship I was excited and as an opportunist, I extended my stay by applying for a Summer School at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics(SUFE). SUFE experience was out of the box; the teachers who taught me, Shanghai city, Beijing tour, the friends I made and Chinese people and culture has indeed made a deep impression on my heart. Every single day I spent in China was just like a fresh experience. Every time, I got lost in this country, I discovered beautiful places. During the 2 months I spent in China – I worked as an Actor, I found a family away from home, my interviews were broadcasted on television and photos were published in newspapers, I was a judge at a food competition and a famous poet in China complemented my poetry – For me, this land was full of unexpected events. After coming back from China, I have continuously wanted to go back and get more and more involved with Chinese language, culture, and way of living.
Now that I have achieved a year-long fully sponsored CIS scholarship (Tuition fees, Living allowance plus a monthly stipend of 2500 RMB), it indeed seems like a dream come true. I can’t wait to go back live the life full of surprises in this dynamic land!