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Reality Check: International Students Stuck Abroad Desperate to Finish Studies in China

Pandemic devastation leaves #TakeUsBackToChina trending among students abroad.
Reality Check: International Students Stuck Abroad Desperate to Finish Studies in China

Too busy to check in on the RADII website every day? We got you every Monday with a summary of all the freshest takes on China’s youth culture in the last week:

Intrigued? Keep scrolling, my friend.

Students Around the World Desperate to Finish Studies in China

When Amma, an East African PhD student in the biological sciences at a university in Guangdong province, left for the holidays at the end of 2019, she planned to be gone three weeks. She put her experiment samples in the lab freezer, left her window open to let in some air, and decided to deal with her messy room when she got back.

Amma had no way of knowing that her departure would coincide with the outbreak of what is now known as Covid-19, a global pandemic that over a year and a half later has left her — and tens of thousands of other international students enrolled at Chinese universities — stuck indefinitely outside China amid its zero-tolerance approach to coronavirus prevention and control.

When news of Covid-19 began to break during the Lunar New Year travel rush in mid-January 2020, many international students had already gone home. Those who hadn’t were either told by their universities to leave or were forced, like Sunil, a fourth-year medical student in Shaanxi province from North India, to make the sudden decision of whether to leave or stay.

How has China’s zero-tolerance policy impacted the lives of international students?

Ever wondered what your ancestors had for breakfast? Probably not an oat milk latte.

Welcome to What Did the Ancients Eat by Amanda Li, where she moves from ancient sculleries to modern kitchens to recreate ancient Chinese dishes. Backed by recipe research and inspired by hit television shows, her channel has over 2 million followers on Bilibili.

She takes us back in time with this braised chicken recipe:

More on the food vloggers who are resurrecting long-forgotten Chinese dishes here.

  • This is it. Kids under the age of 14 will only be allowed to use TikTok for a maximum of 40 minutes per day.
  • It’s an Emmy! Chinese-American director Hao Wu has won the Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking at the 73rd Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards with his documentary 76 Days. Here’s what the film meant for him.
  • The latest piece of pop culture to disappear from Chinese streaming sites has been the Japanese superhero show Ultraman Tiga. Sob.
  • Did Nike just drop one of its most highly-anticipated sneaker collaborations in China?
  • The Oscar-winning The Last Emperor might be a film from 1987, yet it bears a strikingly relevant meaning for the COVID era. Here’s why you should rewatch The Last Emperor two decades later.
  • If you haven’t heard of Xiran Jay Zhao (who prefers the they/them/their pronouns), you’re in for a treat. In addition to having more than 300,000 subscribers on YouTube, the 23-year-old Chinese-Canadian sci-fi author has just published their fourth book.

You’ve heard of a cat cafe, but have you been to a husky cafe?

Welcome to Shanghai’s husky cafe - where you can pet, feed, and play with twenty-two beautiful huskies. ⁠

The cafe was founded by a husky lover who couldn't raise one at home, so he opened up this space for dog lovers.⁠ Under the supervision of a professional dog trainer, the huskies are trained to perform numerous tricks and take top-notch group photos:

Are you a gifted meme maker? Or a storyteller crazy about Chinese youth culture? Take a look below, because we’re currently hiring for the following positions:

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