Viet­namese stu­dents broaden hori­zons

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - PAGE TWO -

HANOI — Ly­ing on her bed, Hoang Cam Tu, a 21-year-old Viet­namese stu­dent slowly turned the pages of a photo al­bum, rem­i­nisc­ing about each mo­ment of the re­cent three-week camp she ex­pe­ri­enced in China.

As one of the 40 Viet­namese stu­dents sent to the Yun­nan Univer­sity of Eco­nom­ics and Fi­nance in Yun­nan prov­ince for aca­demic and cul­tural ex­changes last month, Tu, to­gether with her com­pan­ions, took home touch­ing sto­ries about the host na­tion.

With spe­cial sup­port from the Chi­nese em­bassy in Viet­nam and Yun­nan’s trade pro­mo­tion agency, the sum­mer camp aimed to boost cul­tural ex­changes be­tween young peo­ple of the two coun­tries.

Dur­ing the three-week trip, Tu and her friends had classes in the morn­ing, dur­ing which Chi­nese lec­tur­ers in­tro­duced them to the prov­ince’s cul­ture, his­tory, so­cioe­co­nomic de­vel­op­ment and re­la­tions with Viet­nam.

“The classes were in­ter­est- ing,” she said, “and it was even more en­joy­able in the af­ter­noon, when we had out­door ac­tiv­i­ties like vis­it­ing fa­mous places or at­tend­ing cul­tural events.”

They vis­ited the Eth­nic Vil­lage in Yun­nan’s cap­i­tal city Kun­ming, the flower and bird mar­ket, and Snail Bay. They also joined a tea cer­e­mony and sam­pled a lo­cal, well­known dish: rice noo­dle soup.

Tu and her friends, how­ever, were par­tic­u­larly im­pressed by the Chi­nese peo­ple who wel­comed the for­eign stu­dents warmly.

“There is a fe­male cook in the univer­sity’s can­teen. She not only sold us food at half price but also gave us more food than nor­mal. She couldn’t stand look­ing at our skinny fore­arms,” Tu re­called with a warm smile.

Like Tu, 20-year-old Nguyen Bich Phuong said that the peo­ple’s friend­li­ness was the most valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence she gained.

“There are hardly any dif­fer­ences be­tween Viet­namese and Chi­nese peo­ple. We quickly be­came close to our Chi­nese room­mates with­out hes­i­ta­tion or dif­fi­cul­ties, like we had been friends for years,” Phuong said.

At the same time, Phuong ad­mit­ted that her im­pres­sion of Yun­nan in par­tic­u­lar, and China in gen­eral, did change some­what af­ter the camp.

She had an im­age of China as be­ing a pol­luted, crowded coun­try, but she was to­tally sur­prised with the airy at­mos­phere and green space of Kun­ming, known as “Spring City” in China where flow­ers blos­som all the year round.

More­over, vis­its to the head­quar­ters of large com­pa­nies in Yun­nan helped her bet­ter un­der­stand China’s path to suc­cess, the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy.

Even the road sys­tems in Yun­nan are so well-or­ga­nized, she said, adding that shared bikes are avail­able through­out the city.

Choos­ing the Chi­nese lan­guage as their ma­jor to study at univer­sity, the Viet­namese stu­dents all em­brace a pas­sion­ate love for China’s cul­tural val­ues. They, whose child­hoods were nur­tured by nov­els and TV dra­mas like TheJour­ney­totheWest or PrincessPearl, now find Chi­nese cin­ema, lit­er­a­ture and mu­sic as a nat­u­ral part of their en­ter­tain­ment

Af­ter re­turn­ing home from the sum­mer camp, the stu­dents re­al­ized that their pas­sion not only brought them closer the coun­try they love, but also prom­ises them a rosy fu­ture if they can grab the op­por­tu­nity.

“As long as I have a good com­mand of Chi­nese and eco­nom­ics, I can work for one of China’s world-class com­pa­nies as they come to Viet­nam,” said third-year stu­dent Thai Thi Khanh Ly.

Mean­while, Tu and Phuong have made up their minds that join­ing a post­grad­u­ate course in China is what they will strive to achieve from now on.

“Liv­ing and study­ing in China will be as fa­mil­iar as at home, since Viet­nam and China share so many sim­i­lar­i­ties,” Phuong told Xin­hua.

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