ZJU-UWA Confucius Institute Study-in-China Program Successfully Dropping the Curtain

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The closing ceremony of the ZJU-UWA Confucius Institute Study-in-China program was held on December 18th, 2008 in the 4th floor banquet hall of Lingfen Hotel, which marks the successful conclusion of this 4-week long program, beginning from November 21st, consisting of classroom language learning and a series of social and cultural activities.

Prof. Ding Jianmin, the Director of the International College of ZJU, delivered the closing speech and awarded program certificates to all the students. Dr. Gary Sigley, the Director of the Confucius Institute at UWA and Mr. Douglas, leader of the group both made high comments of the efforts made by the all the students and expressed their gratitude to all the support from Zhejiang University.

Thomas Williams, a law school student from the UWA, one of the participants of the program and Miss. Daisy Bowen, an exchange student from UWA were the MCs of the ceremony.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Western Australia, with Zhejiang University as its Chinese partner, is the first one in Australia.

Study-in-China program is a short-term project organized by CI at UWA combining both all-round intensive Chinese language training and cultural, sightseeing tours and company visits. The program, usually with a length of 10 weeks, is divided into two segments, one in Hangzhou and the other in Beijing and open to both college students and the off-campus public.

It has been the third consecutive year for CI in UWA to organize the study-in-China program. 43 students, from 7 countries and regions, mainly from UWA and Griffith University with different education backgrounds joined the program. They arrived on Zhejiang University campus on November 21st with great enthusiasm for learning the language, experiencing the country and its rapid changes.

Careful and considerate preparations were made on the end of the International College to give the newcomers a comfortable start. Checking in, registration, placement test and orientation were all done within one day to make sure the students were able to begin their classes on the second day of their arrival. To help the students get over the culture shock, Chinese student volunteers were recruited to meet them so friends were quickly made on the very first day.

Prof. Ding Jianmin, the Director of the International College delivered a welcome speech at the welcome buffet held in the international student cafeteria to welcome the new members to join the international student community.

In addition to the in-class language instruction, the International College has also invited teachers to offer the students lecture of calligraphy and Tai-ji course. The former gave the students ABC of this traditional art and the latter has stirred a lot of interests among the students towards the time-honored Chinese internal martial art.

The culture tour to Hefang Street, the Song Dynasty style street, is a must for all the short-term programs and this years Confucius Institute program is no exception. Students strolled along the well-designed pedestrian street lined with shops selling art crafts, souvenirs, silk, teahouses, and restaurants and the famous Hu-qing-yu-tang Chinese medicine store and its TCM museum, making close contacts with the local customs

For group members, spare time is never spared. Some found simple happiness by going to the fruit and vegetable market and comparing the differences of the agriculture produces on the market and the prices. Some had a good shopping experience in the cyber markets while others made excursions to Tianmu Mountain or Nanjing. 4 weeks is short, nevertheless, the students have managed to see China from various perspectives and recorded many unforgettable moments.

In the knowledge that 4 participants of the program happened to observe their birthdays during their stay in Zhejiang University, the teachers from the International College sent them birthday greetings with cards and small gifts with the university logo, which made the students feel a home away from home.

A special award was set up for this years program to give special thanks to program participants who play an active and positive role by helping fellow students. And this years award has gone to Ms. Francis Fiona from Griffith University who was always ready to give a hand to her group mates when they fell ill and needed care. Miss. Sun Lin, one of the Chinese coordinators of the program, gave out the award to Ms. Francis at the ceremony which turned out a happy surprise to her.

A mini-sized stage performance was arranged for the students to express their love for Chinese culture and share their experiences in the past 4 weeks. With the help from their teachers, each class came up with a program during the closing ceremony. On the Golden Hill in Beijing and Tian-Mi-Mi, two classic Chinese songs brought by students of Elementary Class One made it hard for audience to believe they were just beginners of the language since their enunciation was so clear. Elementary Class Two reminded everyone of the approaching of Christmas with their bilingual Jingle Bells. Thomas or Ka Fei as his Chinese name, the MC of the ceremony, together with his classmates from the Intermediate Class surprised the audience with their singing Shanghai Bund, a theme song from a hit Hong Kong TV drama of the same name in the 1980s. Its not usual for foreign students to go that deep into the Chinese pop culture,


Two special programs were invited to the performance to add more fun, one is Horse Race, an Erhu solo by Christina, a long term exchange student from the UWA and the other was Mandarin, a pop song by Christina, Asako Saito and Georgina Haines, the latter two are from Youth Development Association, also an Australian exchange program.

The host and the hostess, on behalf of all the program members, extend their gratitude to all the course teachers in the end of the performance. Prof. Ding sent holiday greetings and gave New Year gifts to Dr. Gary and Mr. Douglas. Teachers and program coordinators from the International College also received interesting presents with strong Australian characteristics.

Written by CHENYaqiu; Translated by XU Xiaohang