Editor's note: Xi'an, the Chinese city hosting the first ever China-Central Asia Summit, is both the starting point of the ancient Silk Road and an important hub on today's Belt and Road Initiative. Its unique status has attracted many students from Central Asian countries who are looking for both quality education and a fresh cultural experience. CGTN's T-House had a chat with five of these students, who shared their views on life in Xi'an, and multidimensional exchanges between China and their countries. The opinions expressed in the video are their own and not necessarily those of CGTN.
Ancient city, young faces. Five foreign students at Northwest University speak on what they enjoy about living in Xi'an, why they chose here to further their study and what they look forward to in the cooperation between China and their countries.
CGTN: Why did you choose Xi'an as your study-abroad destination?
Shaimukhanbet Yerkezhan (from Kazakhstan): Before I was living in China, I was really obsessed with the culture of China and I was considering a lot of options, options about choosing my future bachelor's degree and where I can get it, I noticed this university has really perfect teaching staff, and a good environment for study.
Sharipov Dilovar (from Tajikistan): My brother and my friends studied in Xi'an and they recommended me to study in Xi'an. So I decided to visit Xi'an. The first time I was in Xi'an was in 2018. I like Xi'an very much because it's such a beautiful city, and on the streets we can see so many beautiful trees and plants. I like this city and I decided to study here.
Annamyradov Akmyrat (from Turkmenistan): After my graduation from high school in my country when I was 18 years old, my father gave me an option: You can go to Russia, maybe to Belarus, or you can go to China. But he advised me to go to China.
And in his opinion, if I go to study in China, I will see a different part of the world, I will see different people, I will see a different culture, I will learn a lot, I will be more globally aware. In my opinion, my father was right, because now I'm four and a half years in Xi'an and I love this city.
CGTN: How can China and Central Asian countries enhance people-to-people exchanges?
Yerkezhan: I think the academic mobility will be good for the Kazakhstan and also the Chinese students for studying, and for getting more information about our two countries.
Dilovar: I want to say to young people that they need to go to other countries and learn the culture and be an ambassador of cultural exchanges.
CGTN: What do you think the Belt and Road Initiative brings to the cooperation between China and your country?
Sopueva Gulanda (from Kyrgyzstan): We (Kyrgyzstan) have many similar things, and we can cooperate with China.
This Initiative, improved the condition for our Central Asian countries. Nowadays we have projects with the example of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway.
Abdullaev Akbar (from Uzbekistan): I think this is a really good chance to improve our relationship between the two countries (China and Uzbekistan), especially on the educational part and the economic part.
After graduation, I want to go back to my country and do business with Chinese companies.
Yerkezhan: I think it (this initiative) will be one big step for the bright future, and the good relationships between China and Kazakhstan.
Now I'm not on my homeland and I'm missing my country, but I see how much this program (the BRI) is helping the foreign students there and it's really making me very happy.
Akmyrat: New students who come from our country say that products, imported goods in our country, maybe 80 or 70 percent of imported goods in our country are from China. That's an impact of the Belt and Road Initiative. I guess after the China-Central Asia Summit there's going to be even more cooperation.
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