SYSU International Student Profile - Tham Chee Joe from Malaysia Campus News

Last updated :2015-06-15

On May 22, Tham Chee Joe, a Malaysian PhD candidate from the School of Engineering at Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU), participated in a reception for a delegation from Perak Yuk Choy High School in Malaysia. During a tour of the campus, Chee Joe introduced SYSU to all guests, further expanding cooperation between Yuk Choy High School and our University.


Tham Chee Joe (fourth from right) participating in the reception of a delegation from Yuk Choy High School, Malaysia

From September 2004 to June 2012, Chee Joe successively obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in medicine from SYSU. During that time, he was assigned to the Department of Otolaryngology at SYSU’s First Affiliated Hospital and became a student of Professor Zhang Xiangmin, the deputy director of the department. In April 2013, Chee Joe got to know Professor Jiang Qing, the dean of School of Engineering, and was invited to pursue his doctor degree in engineering under the guidance of Prof. Jiang.

Chee Joe is an example of an SYSU student who embodies both academic excellence and community spirit. Today we would like to share his story with you.

The Teen Years

In his early years, Chee Joe was a mischievous student and liked to hang around with the so-called “bad kids”, because he felt comfortable and happy with them. However, there were certain differences between Chee Joe and those kids. As Chee Joe said, “They had no plan for the future, but I at least made an effort in my studies, and would try hard to get good grades in the subjects that I was keen on and good at. Chee Joe’s dedication paid off; he won first place in his school’s college entrance exams.


Tham Chee Joe

Dream: Being a Doctor

Chee Joe has dreamed of being a doctor since his childhood. He has always been entranced by the idea of healing the wounded and rescuing the dying. He still holds this dream now. He once considered majoring in computer science or design, but finally he determined to study medicine, because it could bring him a greater sense of accomplishment by allowing him to help others through his work.

When talking about the strained doctor-patient relationship, Chee Joe said: “Kindness is the basic quality of a doctor. We need to acquire not only enough knowledge of medicine, but also skills in communicating and getting along with patients. A good relationship between doctors and patients is extremely important.”


As an intern in The Sixth Affiliated Hospital, SYSU


Feelings for China and SYSU

Chee Joe has special feelings for China. He can trace his ancestral lineage to Guangdong province, and he is eager to explore the place where his ancestors used to live. He considers China to be his second motherland. He has witnessed the rapid development of Guangzhou in the past ten years and has never regretted coming to China. Chee Joe and his family are fully confident about the future of China and Chee Joe would like to work here. He has fully devoted himself to the prosperity of China.

During our conversation, I could feel the strong love he felt toward SYSU. Attracted by the University’s good reputation, Chee Joe enrolled at SYSU in 2003. He was amazed at the enormous scale and grandeur of SYSU’s campus and facilities. After touring around all campuses, he fell in love with the unique cultural and historical atmosphere of our university and immersed himself in it. He is very proud of being an integral part of the SYSU community.


Graduation photo in Zhongshan School of Medicine, SYSU

Suggestions for the Foreign Students in China

As a foreign student, Chee Joe’s life is varied and rewarding. He has solved the problems of communication and cultural shock. He also offers valuable suggestions to all foreign students in China. “I know many foreign students who cannot adjust to life in China although they have been in China for a long time. Actually the biggest problems come from students themselves. Environment can change a person quite quickly, but one has to immerse him or herself in the environment. Many foreign students prefer to stay with people from their own countries; then how can they be influenced by the new environment and adjust themselves to the new life? The best way is to go out, to communicate and get along with Chinese, and to learn the culture. By doing so, they can make rapid progress in learning Chinese.”

Source:, Sun Yat-sen University

Written by: Liang Qiumin & Li Yixia, Edited by: Ian J. Heuer & Wang Dongmei 

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