West Coast New Area

Bangladesh student finds sense of belonging while studying in Qingdao

By MD Fojla Rabbe Forhad | ( | 2023-06-09

Editor's note: We have asked expats living in China to share their stories about the cities they work and live in. MD Fojla Rabbe Forhad is from Bangladesh and he is now studying textile engineering at Qingdao University.

I'm MD Fojla Rabbe Forhad from Mymensingh, Bangladesh and I have always harbored a deep passion for education and a burning desire to explore the world. When the opportunity to study abroad in China presented itself, I seized it with both hands, ready to embark on a life-changing journey in Qingdao, Shandong province.

Filled with excitement and nervousness, I boarded the plane and soon found myself in the vibrant city of Qingdao. The city welcomed me with open arms, and I was instantly captivated by its beauty and cultural richness.

I am currently studying at Qingdao University, where I will spend the next few years pursuing a degree in textile engineering. I am determined to excel in my studies and make the most of my time in Qingdao. I was greeted by a diverse community of fellow international students, all eager to learn and grow together.


MD Fojla Rabbe Forhad (right) from Mymensingh, Bangladesh takes part in a cultural and art festival with Bangladeshi students at Qingdao University. [Photo provided to]

At the beginning, I faced several challenges. For example, the language barrier proved to be a significant hurdle as I had limited proficiency in Mandarin. However, I possessed an unwavering determination and a thirst for knowledge. I quickly enrolled in language classes and sought guidance from my Chinese classmates, who kindly offered their assistance. With perseverance, I gradually started to grasp the language, allowing me to communicate more effectively and engage with those around me.

As I acclimated to life in Qingdao, I began to explore the city and immerse myself in its vibrant culture. I marveled at the city's fusion of ancient traditions and modern developments. I developed a deep appreciation for Qingdao's picturesque coastal landscapes that are known for their golden beaches and sparkling blue waters. I often found solace in the serene beauty of the city's parks, such as the famous Xiaoyushan Park and Zhongshan Park, where I could unwind and reflect amidst nature's embrace.

My thirst for knowledge extended beyond the confines of the university. I sought opportunities to learn about Qingdao's rich history and cultural heritage. I visited historical sites like the May Fourth Square, Zhanqiao Pier and the iconic Qingdao Beer Street, where I learned about the city's past and its renowned brewing industry.

I also immersed myself in local festivals and celebrations such as the Qingdao International Beer Festival and the Lantern Festival, where I witnessed the city come alive with vibrant colors, joyful music, and mouthwatering delicacies.


MD Fojla Rabbe Forhad (second, right) takes one-day trip at Laoshan mountain in Qingdao, Shandong province with three countrymates. [Photo provided to]

As a textile engineering student, I have always been fascinated by the rich history and culture of textiles. When I learned about the Textile Valley in Qingdao, I knew I couldn't miss the chance to explore it. The valley is located at No 80 Siliu South Road in Shibei district of Qingdao. The existing development has been well-known as a tourist destination for its historical Bauhaus-style building and the museum that documents the history of Qingdao's first textile factory.

At the museum showcasing the history of textile production in Qingdao, I learned about the city's deep-rooted connection to textiles.

The Textile Valley of Qingdao not only showcases the city's industrial prowess but also reflects its commitment to sustainable development and cultural heritage. It was an unforgettable journey that left me inspired and eager to further explore the world of textiles in my future endeavors.

But it wasn't just the city's beauty and culture that left a lasting impression on me - the people I have encountered have too. I have formed strong bonds with my Chinese and international classmates, who welcomed me with warmth and kindness. We have shared meals, laughter, and endless conversations together, exchanging stories of our backgrounds and experiences. I cherish these friendships as they offer support and a sense of belonging, making me feel at home in a foreign land.

My story of being a foreign student in Qingdao is a testament to the transformative power of education, cultural exchange, and the indomitable spirit of individuals determined to make a difference in the world.

My journey will forever serve as a beacon of inspiration for future generations, reminding them that boundaries are meant to be challenged, dreams are meant to be pursued, and the world is waiting to be explored.