African Students See China as a Path to a Prosperous Future

Many Africans Look to China for a Prosperous Future 1

Ricky Wong for The Chronicle

Gontse Nosi, of South Africa, walking with fellow students at the Beijing U. of Technology, is earning a master's degree in renewable energy on a scholarship from the Chinese government.

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close Many Africans Look to China for a Prosperous Future 1

Ricky Wong for The Chronicle

Gontse Nosi, of South Africa, walking with fellow students at the Beijing U. of Technology, is earning a master's degree in renewable energy on a scholarship from the Chinese government.

In 2011, Gontse Nosi, a South African, was working for an electricity company here when he heard about an unusual opportunity—to earn a master's degree in China, paid for by the Chinese government. He applied and was accepted to a program at the Beijing University of Technology to study renewable energy. There was just one problem. The program was taught entirely in Mandarin, and Mr. Nosi didn't speak a word of it.

So for the first year of his studies, the Chinese government