Born on the Java island of Indonesia, Hendy Yuniarto used to be surrounded by seas and mountains, even active volcanoes. He never imagined that one day he would live in a dry and cold place such as Beijing.
However, this became a reality after he graduated from Indonesia's Gadjah Mada University with a master's degree in linguistics and cultural science.
NEW OPPORTUNITY, NEW LIFE
After working as a lecturer and a journalist for a local newspaper for a couple of years, Yuniarto joined an education exchange program between China and Indonesia, and got a job opportunity to move to China to teach Indonesian culture and language at the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) in 2015.
"I want to make my students and Chinese people know my country more, not just Bali island," Yuniarto said, laughing.
"I also want to learn Chinese," he said. "China has such a rich culture as well as a long history."
Meanwhile, Myat Thiri, a young biotechnology scientist from Myanmar's former Science and Technology Ministry, got the chance to come to China under the Talented Young Scientist Program (TYSP) of China's Science and Technology Ministry.
Thiri joined the bioremediation research team of Professor Yang Yunan from China's Beihang University from October 2015 to April 2017, and conducted many ecological inspections, pollution source investigations, and microorganism experiments.
"My specific scientific job was to find the relationship between the outbreak of isopods and mangroves dying-off. I enjoyed my job and have learned a lot from my Chinese colleagues," Thiri said.
"After working and studying together for 18 months, we have a lot of happy memories," said Yang, Thiri's mentor, adding "We also found that Thiri has many good qualities for us to learn from."
"For example, from July 2016 to February 2017, we conducted ecological investigation and sampling at the mangrove natural reserve area at Hainan's Dongzhai Port three times. Under harsh conditions such as heat, sunburn and muddiness, Thiri always worked hard and with pleasure. She was also very helpful to others and willing to share her expertise and experiences with others," Yang said.
Yuniarto's life as a teacher in Beijing also suits him well. While he is teaching, Yuniarto likes to combine Indonesian culture with language. He wants his students to learn his mother tongue in the context of Indonesian culture and history.
"I enjoy what I am doing very much because I feel proud to introduce my country to my students," the young man said.
GETTING TO KNOW CHINA
Yuniarto also very much enjoys his leisure time in Beijing. He loves visiting Beijing's historical places, such as the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Temple of Heaven, the hutongs and the Forbidden City.