Alumni of Chinese study programs called ‘Goodwill ambassadors’ by consul
“Although the high technology of communication has developed so fast, still there are communication barriers existing between our countries. By comparison, the people-topeople exchange seems much more effective for understanding and communication,” said Mark Rowswell, member of the Board of Governors of the University of Toronto, at the residence of Chinese Consul General in Toronto.
Being a Canadian comedian while seldom unknown in his own country, Mark has an enormous following on the China mainland, where he is known as Dashan. As one of only a handful of Canadian students who ever studied at Peking University in China, Mark’s feelings and comments evoked the sympathies of many others.
The occasion was a reunion hosted by the Chinese Consul General in Toronto Xue Bing and Mrs Xue on Sept 12. Dozens of Canadian alumni from Chinese studies and students of the Jiangsu-Ontario Student Mobility Program joined the party with guests from Canadian academies.
Christine Keene, president of Keene Innovations Consulting, took part in the OJS program from OCAD University. She applied her thesis research in partnership with Jiangsu University, at CECEP Solar Energy Technology Company in Zhenjiang; and participated in the Jiangnan University summer design program in Wuxi. She and students from China, Belgium and Canada were brought together to apply design processes and techniques to a local challenge. In addition, she explored China with her family.
“I was thrilled to have the opportunity to explore innovation within a cutting-edge organization in China,” said Keene. “Some of the best parts of the whole experience was the immersion into the Chinese culture, experiencing the diversity the country has to offer and developing wonderful new friendships.”
Another OJS student, Esther Elivert from University of Ottawa said, “Although it was short, my trip to China had a great impact on me. I miss the walks, the food and people. The China I saw surpassed my expectations. It was warm, humble, lively yet peaceful. I can honestly say that I spent the month with kind, passionate, smart and generous people I will miss.”
“I am struck by their feelings for a relationship that has so mirrored mine in speaking with the Canadian students over the years, and reading the reports of their experiences in China,” said David Wood, OJS academic director and winner of a Jiangsu Friendship Award in recognition of his contributions.
Chinese Consul General in Toronto Xue Bing (centre in red tie) is joined by representatives of the Canadian alumni of studies in China to gather at his residence in Toronto on Sept 12.