Life on Science Island: It has been a Transformative Experience for Me

Sep 15, 2023 | By Ahmed Mohammed Ali Obaid

Originally hailing from Sudan, where my family holds education in high regard, I made the challenging journey to Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in China, fueled by my relentless passion for science.

Here in science island we have such an amazing science labs and facilities like the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST), Steady High Magnet Field Facility (SHMFF), and Comprehensive Research Facility for Fusion Technology (CRAFT), where we all deeply involved in pioneering research on Nuclear Energy Science and Engineering and other specialties. While I'm engaged in groundbreaking work alongside my global colleagues, the guidance from my mentors here has been invaluable, making me feel supported in every aspect of life.

But it's not all work here; Science Island offers a balanced lifestyle with an incredible range of facilities.

After lab hours, my friends and I head to the island's activity center for a spirited game of badminton or to the Science Island playground for some exhilarating football matches. The campus is a self-contained universe, complete with canteens offering a variety of cuisines, a fully-equipped gym, banks, a police station, and even medical care facilities. The landscape is equally breathtaking, making even a simple walk feel refreshing.

In this picture, I was wearing traditional Chinese clothes and a matching hat while holding an ancient Chinese book. This ensemble reflects my deep love for Chinese history and my affinity for traditional costumes, as a meaningful celebration of your cultural heritage and an homage to the wisdom passed down through generations. (image by Ahmed Mohammed)

Culturally, I am fully immersed; I cheer for my colleagues during the Mid-Autumn Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, learn to make Chinese Doufu on special occasions, and let loose during the Music Festival and more and more of an amazing activities that connects us with the Chinese culture.

While I bring my own slice of Sudanese culture to this melting pot through workshops and inter-cultural events, I never feel far from home, thanks to regular connections with my family back in Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Qatar. Who are my unwavering pillars of support.

Certainly, another crucial aspect of my life here on Science Island has been the invaluable support from professors, supervisors, teachers, and friends who go beyond their academic roles to become our second family.

They are ever-present, not only guiding us through intricate research problems but also helping us navigate the complexities of life. Their mentorship is holistic, covering not just academics but also social integration, health guidance, life management, and participation in social activities. They are not only interested in our intellectual growth but genuinely care for our well-being. When life throws curveballs "be it emotional turbulence, personal setbacks, or health issues".

I have always found an open door and a listening ear among them. They offer counsel and emotional support that's equally as impactful as their academic guidance. I've been uplifted by spontaneous check-ins from my professors and teachers and enlightened by extracurricular discussions that have broadened my social and cultural understanding. Their impact is felt in every aspect of my life, reinforcing the sense of community and support that makes Science Island a truly special place to live, learn, and grow. Their commitment to student welfare stands as yet another compelling reason why I consider this island not just a hub of knowledge but a home away from home.

As I near the completion of my MSc, my dissertation stands as a testament not just to my academic pursuits but to my entire journey on this island "a place where life and science meld into a rich tapestry of experiences".

Science Island has not just enriched my intellect but has also given me a second family and a truly global perspective. Looking ahead, I'm excited for the new challenges that await, armed with the invaluable lessons I've gleaned here.

Science Island is more than an educational hub; it's a sanctuary of knowledge, culture, and eternal friendships, and no matter where I go "be it Sudan, China, or anywhere else" I will always carry a piece of it with me.

I am thrilled to share the motivators that have shaped my journey to Science Island. Resilience, a thirst for knowledge, unwavering support from loved friends and family, and the pursuit of ambitious goals have been my driving forces. These motivators have not only transformed my life but also underscore the belief that anyone can overcome challenges and achieve their dreams. I am excited to inspire others with my story and contribute to Science Island's mission of promoting knowledge and discovery. (Image by Ahmed Mohammed Ali Obaid)




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