The “Year Abroad” program introduced for Ghanaian students learning Chinese over the years has made them popular in job market after spending time in China and learning more about the Chinese culture, a senior official at the University of Ghana said on Friday.
Dr. Winnand Kofi Azanku, Coordinator of the University’s Chinese Department, said students who embarked on the year-long program in China imbibed the Chinese language and culture better as everything and everyone they came across were all in the Chinese language.
He said the program had positive impacts on the students who had benefited from it over the years.
“Those who have already benefited from this program, most of them are already back in Ghana. Some of them are still itching to go. Those who have graduated, they got the opportunity to develop some kind of love for the Chinese people,” he told Xinhua in an interview after he addressed members of the Chinese Students Association (CHISAG) at a seminar in Accra.
He advised students already learning Chinese and those who are yet to come to the university to choose the Chinese language.
“As I speak, there are some Chinese companies in Ghana who always call on me to look for Chinese scholars for them. Jobs are on offer for the taking. So I will advise students to study Chinese. For now the market is not choked yet, so those studying Chinese can easily get jobs,” he said.
After reaching an intermediate-high level of language proficiency, typically after three years of study, students are eligible to attend the Chinese study abroad course in China.
Currently, about 49 students are in different provinces of China going through the exchange program. Some of the students who will be travelling for the one-year abroad program in various Chinese universities in August this year, are already psyched up for the course.
“We will be going to China in August and I intend to speak more fluently and bring more business opportunities to this country and also have links with the Chinese people,” a student Kumah Michael told Xinhua.
Another student, Keith Cleland, said everybody who went and came back from the program, came out with a totally different experience.
“Opportunities are endless for you because once you have the grasp of the language and a good in-depth knowledge of their culture, you are hot cake on the market of the Chinese people. So I am excited and I am looking forward to a different experience, a different culture and a different language altogether, over the next year,” he said.
For Shevonna Sophie Ansah, a linguist student, the year abroad program looks very interesting and she hopes to learn a lot, develop her intonation more, and speak fluently like a native speaker.
“But Inasmuch as I am going to study Chinese more, I want to associate and know more about their culture because we don’t have much exposure here,” she said.
The president of CHISAG, Joseph Koba, appealed to the Chinese embassy, the Confucius Institute and other institutions to increase the number of scholarship opportunities available for Chinese students at the university.