nearly forty Rwandan students who have recently been admitted to various Chinese universities under the sponsorship of the Chinese government will depart for their studies before the end of the month.
The students were awarded full scholarships by the Chinese government through the Chinese embassy in Kigali.
Some of the 37 students will be going for undergraduate, masters as well as PhD programmes in different courses in both sciences and arts.
Speaking at a send-off reception at the Chinese Embassy in Kigali, on Thursday, the Chinese ambassador to Rwanda, Rao Hungwei, noted that education is an important area of exchange and cooperation between China and Rwanda.
The Chinese government started to provide scholarships to Rwanda in 1976. Up to now, over 600 Rwandan students have been awarded Chinese government scholarships, besides many other scholarships provided independently by Chinese universities, local governments, and social institutions.
Currently, about 1,100 Rwandan students are studying in China, of which over 200 are under various kinds of scholarship programmes.
The envoy extended personal advice to the students tipping them about some of the challenges they may face while studying abroad, especially in form of language barrier and cultural shock.
"But I am confident you will overcome them like your predecessors," he said.
He urged them to make full use of the opportunity not only to acquire professional skills but also broaden their knowledge by interacting with people off-campus and make friends widely.
"Keep an open mind and a strong willed heart to see and to experience," he told the youths
"You will be deeply attracted by a diversified culture of benevolence, propriety, loyalty, piety and righteousness, and you will be touched by the hospitality, inclusiveness and industry of the Chinese people," he said.
Desiree Gacinya, the Deputy Director General of Rwanda Education Board, urged the students to be good ambassadors of Rwanda while in China and expressed gratitude towards the government of China for their support to Rwanda.
He reminded the students to send their reports to REB yearly to enable them carry out a follow up on their academic progress.
Theoneste Higaniro, the chairperson of Rwanda- China Alumni Organisation, an association that brings together people that graduated from China, urged the students to turn the challenges they may meet into opportunities, encouraging them that they will find Chinese to be very supportive people.
Pacifique Nizeyimana, who will be going for a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering, said he hopes to bring back skills that will help Rwanda further develop its infrastructure.
For Derrick Rwema, an International Business student, is looking forward to sharing his culture with the Chinese people.