Speech by Hagan Sibiri, Representative of International Students, at the Graduation Ceremony of the Class of 2021 | Make the world a better place…

Distinguished faculty members and students of the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University. It is with great joy and gratitude that I address you today as we mark an exceptional accomplishment.

Graduation ceremonies mark significant transitional moments in the lives of students. So I am delighted to be part of this special moment, particularly in this challenging time the world is facing—to celebrate all the hard work we put into our studies here in Fudan University, one of the best universities in China, and the world.

My name is Hagan Sibiri, and I am from Ghana. I enrolled in the English-taught Doctoral program in the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University in September 2017. However, my dream to study in China began in 2015 when I won a Chinese government scholarship for a master’s degree program in Beijing.

Coming to study in China was a long journey, but as the Chinese saying goes: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” The first step and the many steps after that have groomed me with academic rigor and produced excellent results for my colleagues and I. I can gladly say, taking that first step into China was one of the best decisions in the past few years.

I was always asked why China? And my answer was: Look at the Global University rankings. Indeed, since the beginning of the 21st century, China’s educational institutions have developed tremendously. The quality of Chinese universities has contributed to the country’s development and the global economy at large. This is evidenced by the huge numbers of domestic and international students who graduate from these institutions annually. I want to be part of the incredible story of China. So far, my experience in China and in this great school is full of unforgettable memories, which I hope to share wherever I find myself.

My life and experience as a doctoral student at this school have been very rewarding. However, the past few years have not been without challenges. Amid the excitement and memorable moments were some cultural shocks, uncertainties, and anxieties.

Notably, the experience after the global outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus has been a very depressing and challenging time for a doctoral student. The impact of the pandemic is still felt, and this is why my commencement speech is read and recorded from my home instead of the traditional commencement speech delivered in front of graduating students, teachers, families, and friends.

Indeed, none of us anticipated that the world would have changed so drastically that people won’t be able to attend their graduation ceremonies as they had wished.

This is why today’s ceremony should be cherished than it ever has before because, despite all these challenges, we are all here today with some accomplishments to show for.

But the great success wasn’t achieved alone. That is why I say THANK YOU to the professors, staff, the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University, and fellow students who made the years of doctoral study a productive and rewarding one.

To my fellow graduates, a big congratulations to you all. I urge you to take what you have learned here in Fudan and put it to good use wherever you find yourselves to contribute to making the world a better place.

Best of luck to each and every one of us! Thank you.  

Hagan Sibiri, 23rd June, 2021.

Link to original speech: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/ccuuLFGGKHoODomO3QI5eA

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