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WHU, a bridge between me and the world
Author:Wei Yena  Date:2021-01-12  Clicks:

As a second-year postgraduate, it has been the sixth year for me to pursue academic progress on the scenic campus of WHU. During these years, I find WHU not only be a temple of human knowledge but also provides students with rich opportunities for social practices to go in the field, to see and touch, so that we can have a deep understanding of the society to which we will eventually contribute.

Today’s stories begin with my three experiences which are dearly valued and believed to be the most memorable and meaningful passages in my university life.

Go to Taiwan of China in search of the shared Chinese culture and mind alike

In August, 2018, the Cross-Strait Young Leaders Training Camp was held in Taiwan, China, the affluent island with astonishing natural beauty. As a representative of WHU, together with students from 30 universities in Chinese mainland including Tsinghua University and Peking University, I went to Taiwan region for a 21-day experience of cultural investigation and immersion.

Group photo of the Cross-Strait Young Leaders Training Camp

We visited Taipei Palace Museum to have a look at the treasure of the museum: Jadeite Cabbage with Insects and Meat-shaped Stone. Carved from jade and agate, the pieces are nearly 100% similar to the real ones, showing superb skill of Chinese craftsmen.


Treasure of Taipei Palace Museum: Jadeite Cabbage with Insects

We went to the Wistaria Tea House, a cultural gathering center in the 1970s and the scene of the well-known movie Eat Drink Man Woman. Through lectures, visits, discussion and other activities, a sense of understanding and pride grew out of each and every one of us.

Experiencing voluntary service

As its name implies, the training camp is designed to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between youth leaders. Jointly initiated by the Eisenhower Scholars Association of both sides of the Taiwan Strait in 2010 and approved by the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council and the Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs Office of the Ministry of Education, the project aims to enhance understanding and exchange between young students on both sides of the Strait, cultivate leaders’ quality, and promote the peaceful development of cross-strait relations through youth exchanges.

Go abroad for difference and challenge: the 2019 Duke-UNC China leadership Summit

With the promotion of WHU’s ranking in academic performance and international popularity, it has earned valuable international communication opportunities for its students.

WHU and Duke have engaged in academic partnership since 2011 and have a number of exchanges of faculty, staff and students. As part of one of these exchanges, the Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit (CLS), themed China’s New Norms in 2019, warmly invited the participation of WHU representatives. I, together with Li Yunzhen, was invited to join discussion with people from varied backgrounds but shared interests in China.

Group photo of the delegates

The CLS comprised five keynote speeches, seminars as well as networking and social events. The conference gathered an exciting caliber of speakers who talked about a wide spectrum of topics including government and journalism in China, China in Africa, China in Latin America, US foreign policies toward China, modern democracies in Asia and women right in China. Insights were encouraged and new topics were always brought up by speakers and delegates, then a heated discussion entailed.

Speech presented by Virginia A. Kamsky, founder of one of the first approved foreign advisory firms in China, who owns 40 years of extensive experience in Sino-U.S. collaboration.

During the sessions, I was constantly impressed by American students’ passion and enthusiasm for Chinese affairs. About half of the delegates are of Chinese origin or have been to China before. It provided them with a vantage point to look at the differences of development pattern and policy-making between the U.S. and China. Their interest even extends to the most cutting-edge issues. The experience shows me what an “international outlook” is like, which inspires me, as an English major and a journalist, to think and write with a global perspective.

Go to the countryside of Sichuan province to know about the real China

In the winter vocation of 2019, student delegations from 10 Double First Class universities were invited to visit Chengdu. With no doubt, WHU was on the list. Luckily, I got the chance to Pujiang, Chengdu, Sichuan to feel the development of a modern China village.

A picture of Lianghe village from the air

We went to Lianghe village, Xilai Town, enjoying the local juicy Papa Oranges and falling in crazy love with it. Grown in the northern cities my whole life, this was my first time to see the prosperous scene of the new southern countryside. Even if it was in the chilly January, the vast tea fields and bamboo groves tinged the landscape green. In the characteristic Fruit Modern Agricultural Industrial Park, we saw the efficient pipeline operations, from a combination of human and mechanical picking, to loading and transportation, through online sales to the homes of customers all around the country. A short three-day trip refreshed my impression of countryside of China and instilled in me a sense of service and pride to build my country a better place.

The special local product, Papa oranges, on the tree

Display of the tie-dyed (a local dyeing skill) clothes

As Barack Obama once stated in his speech, a responsibility to oneself to discover what he can offer, what he is good at, is the opportunity an education can provide. “And this is not just important for your own life and your own future. What you make of your education will decide nothing less than the future of this country.”

My experiences of social practice make me feel fortunate since WHU is a university that has been granted rich resources, that has prioritized the all-round development of students, and that has encouraged us to seek practice opportunities and find ourselves. Such experiences will always be a reminder of where I came from and where I am going.

Edited by Luo Yuanyuan and Hu Sijia

(a winning entry from "Impressive Luojia: the first graphic and English text collection activity of WHU")


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