Pakistani Hidayat Ullah, 29, is pursuing his PhD degree in biochemistry and molecular biology at Dalian Medical University in Dalian, Liaoning province, and has found studying and living in China to be pleasant.
"China is like our second homeland. People here are quite cooperative and supportive," he said.
In the first year working in a lab in Dalian, Ullah published a research paper in the prestigious international biochemistry journal Molecules. The article has been cited many times, giving it a significant 4.5 impact factor. His second academic paper will be published soon.
Ullah attributes his success to the advanced techniques available at the lab and great support from the teachers, his Chinese counterparts, and fellow international students he has encountered.
"Dalian Medical University is famous in my country for medical studies. I am very grateful that the China government scholarship helped me to realize my dream of studying here," he said.
The university began enrolling international students in English medical education in 2004. Currently, over 1,200 international students from 81 countries are studying on campus, including 97 from Pakistan.
With a growing number of graduates from 119 countries, the university continues to attract students seeking a high-quality medical education in English.
Ullah arrived in Dalian in 2019. During a connecting flight through Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, he felt the hospitality of the Chinese people.
"I couldn't imagine that a stranger at the airport would buy water for me, even invite me for lunch, when he knew I couldn't pay by mobile," he recalled. "My first perception of China was really impressive."
Ullah plans to continue his academic journey as a postdoctoral fellow in China to gain more research experience, then go back to serve his country.
He also encourages international students to consider coming to China for their studies, citing the hospitality and support he has received throughout his time there.