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Sunshine Girl Sedem Akorkor Deih

Revision:Zhang Yuntong,He Yuqian,ChexinruiDate:2018/05/30

CCNU 2018 GRADUATES        

Sedem Akorkor Deih is an outstanding student from Ghana who has been studying here for seven years. During the first year, she spent the whole year learning Chinese. And then two years for master degree. And the last four years for PhD.

Sedem was the leader of Yang Lei Feng Volunteer Group. She has a Chinese name, Xiao Rong (smile). She was part of the team that started the volunteers association, and was the organizer and secretary for the association for since 2012. Then She headed it after 2015 when Adams left then in 2016 she handed it over to patrick. Now,she is also a student assistant. Besides English, she can speak Chinese very well.

How long have you been to China and what have you studied in CCNU?

I have been here for 7 years and I studied Chinese for one year and two years of International relationship for master’s degree and four years of Politics for PHD. As for me, I am more interested in culture diplomacy and I like to use art and music to solve problems instead of fight.

What are your initial aims and goals in studying in China?

At first, I was interested in Chinese art and interior design, but things have changed after one year of studying here. Now I really want to understand the Chinese culture and compare it with the culture of my home country to my culture. 

What achievements you have got that satisfied you the most?

I always thought myself as a leader and when I joined Yang Lei Feng I found that it helped me drew that talent as a leader. At first, I was shy but as I did those things I became more outgoing and talkative and it also cultivated my leadership.

Why do you join Yang Lei Feng?

Before 2012, we did not have Yang Lei Feng but we had a lot of students volunteering in hospitals, do the cleaning and stuff like that. Then we felt that we could come together as one so that we can help each other and this is why it was founded.

When you and your team members established Yang Lei Feng, do you have some difficulties?

Because the international office was always back on us, helping us, so it was relatively easy. The only challenge is that some people took that position but when the work came, you don’t find them. So we organizers have to do that. In China, you get more disciplines to obey and you are always supposed to be punctual. But some international students don’t follow those rules. It’s a problem to deal with them.

What are your curriculums and courses in studying here?

When I studied master’s degree, I have classes for two years. But for PHD, we went to the class only in the first year to learn a lot of things about Chinese and our advisors support us to write thesis in the next coming years. And I choose culture diplomacy for doing my research and I try to use what I have learned or certain technique such as art, music and other forms as a communication tool to show my country’s identity and improve my own country’s economy. 

What have you done in your spare time?

In my spare time, I traveled a lot and I liked reading and watching movies but not Chinese ones because Chinese characters are too difficult for me to understand.

Do you have many activities for international students?

Yes, there’s a lot activities for us. In 2013 we founded a no limit dance club. We danced in sports meeting and sang for Christmas. There is a Cultural Festival every year. Students from different countries decide on what they do. As for my country, we played drums and cooked, I like to cook so I made a lot of cakes. We showed others the way we dress and traditions in our home.

I remembered that on the New Year of 2013, I was invited to the house of the dean of the international school.

Did you go through any cultural shocks?

Chinese people are warm and hospitable, so when I first came to China, many citizens invited me to take photos together. So many people did like that, and I’ll have to say that it bothered me for a long time. Smoking is one of the things that are banned in Ghane. People who smoke can not find a job. But in China smoking is very common. Some rude behaviors also made me uncomfortable.

In the universities of our country, we don’t have so many restrictions, such as closing the door of our dormitory building at 11:00 pm every day.

Could you choose one adjective to describe CCNU?

Colorful or spontaneous.

I think most of the time is very colorful, especially for we international students. Because there are different programs in our campus. And sometimes they invite us off campus. 

Is there someone you want to express your gratitude to?

You Mengjia and Chen Nan. I am really grateful to them. They made me grow myself as a leader when I went to this office, because they help me to work here. They are not like just friends or bosses. I think we are family.

You have been working as a student assistant for 6 years, do you think it interfere in your study?

No, because my classes are most time in the evenings.

When you meet some difficulty, what pushed you to struggle forward and stick to your final goals these years?

When I came here, things do not go as I wanted and I used to cry a lot. But after crying, I started to encourage myself and think about the time I studied Chinese culture and the people around me and that were enough to push me.

If full mark is 100, which scores do you want to reach?

98.I have achieved a lot both in academic field and student assistant work. There are 2 scores missing, which means sometimes I can feel tired.

What is considered as the most precious during the time you live here?

I met a lot of friends. I think the most precious are the people, the degree and any programs we organized. Because when we come here, China is so far from Africa. It will take 16 hours to fly from here to my country. And the tickets are so expensive. So I went home once a year. Basically, I spent my life here. I have friends and especially when I go to the office, we are more like a family. I have a twin sister, before I came here, we were always together. So when I first came here, it’s a hard time. I met different people and most of them speak Chinese. But now we are like a family; I have my friends, I have my family.

What advice would you like to give the International students in CCNU?

I think it is important for us to know that we studied Chinese which is a different culture for us and we should compare it with our own countries and learn from it so that we could make some contributions to our countries. Besides, being here is not all about study, it is about a different life. So I suggest that we should make full of our time, not only study hard, but to enjoy the life here.

What do you want to say to CCNU?

I think that it should keep on being student-oriented and then it should be more concerned with our international students. In fact, it has been concerned, but I hope it can get a higher level. When I met some students, they all said they wish to study in CCNU. I have gone to Wuhan Institute of Technology, but I didn’t like to go to Wuhan University, because teachers there are not as patient with international students as teachers in this office. Maybe because there are too many international students there. Our teachers treat me like a family member. They care a lot actually.

What’s your future plan?

Definitely I want something better for myself. I want to find a place where I can continue to grow. I hope I can find a job to grow my international talent. It might connect with my major, but I don’t care. Maybe I will find this type of job just like a student assistant, because this job can make me happy. And I want to find a job in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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