Bridging the Gap: One Student’s Journey Through the Xining English Training Program

Growing up in a small rural Qinghai village, Tsewang Dorje never imagined that he would receive three different degrees in three different countries. Thanks to both his hard work and the opportunities afforded him by the Xining English Training Program, this talented young man will soon attend Assumption University in Bangkok, Thailand to pursue a doctorate in Educational Leadership. The Bridge Fund is one of the lead funders of the English Training Program in Xining, Qinghai Province for Tibetan students. To date TBF has supported 632 students from the most financially disadvantaged families at English Training programs at Chinese government institutions and centers of learning.

Tsewang, also known by his English name Justin, began his informal education at the age of six, attending a dusty preschool with other children from his rural farming community. In the years that followed, he was schooled in basic subjects in the manner that characterizes the Chinese education system. Although Justin found the rote method of learning uninspiring, he excelled in all subjects and based on high test scores was accepted at Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Normal School in 1997.

As he prepared for a career as a teacher, an important event changed the course of Justin’s future. Teachers from the provincial capital Xining came to select students for admission to an English Training Program at Qinghai Minorities Teachers College. Based on his interview, test scores, and supporting votes from his classmates, Justin was one of 20 students from the school to be selected and offered admission to this competitive program.

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