7 Seychellois students heading for China for university studies

Seven Seychellois students are set to leave for China next week to pursue their master's and bachelor's degrees at various Chinese institutions.

In a ceremony at the Ministry of Education on Tuesday morning, the students, some accompanied by their parents, received their travel documents.

They will be following courses in business administration, architecture and maritime safety administration, among others.

The Chinese charge d'affaires in Seychelles, Mu Jianfeng, said this latest group of students leaving to further their studies in China is proof of the existing relationship between the two countries.

He urged them "to better learn culture when they are in the country by reading Chinese literature and discovering beautiful China."

Jianfeng also cautioned them that their journey may not be easy due to the language barrier as well as being in a different culture and environment.

Under the Seychelles-China cooperation programme, over 180 Seychellois students have followed their studies in China.

There are currently 12 Seychellois students already studying in China, following courses ranging from design, economics, to auditing and engineering.

Speaking to the press after the ceremony, Sylvius Laporte, who is going to study fine arts at the Central Academy of Fine Arts for five years, said he chose to study in China as this fit well with his chosen field.

"As you know China is a country that is well known for wooden carving and this is an area I would like to specialise in," he told reporters.

Another student, Xiang Luo, is going to study business management for five years at Shanghai University.

She had previously studied for a Wellness and Spa advanced certificate at the Seychelles Tourism Academy, but has now chosen her course "as business management is something that she has wanted to do for some time now."

She told reporters that "China is already a country that I have visited in the past and since I have family living there I felt it would be easier for me if anything should happen."

Meanwhile, the principal secretary for education sector development, John Lesperance, urged the students to approach their studies "with dedication, strive for excellence, and, above all, return to our homeland equipped to contribute and share the wisdom you have gained."

Seychelles - an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean – has had long-standing relations with China since the first arrival of Chinese immigrants to the island nation in 1863 aboard a merchant ship.

The two countries developed a strong cultural bond and established diplomatic ties in 1976.

Source: Seychelles News Agency