Strangers quickly be­come friends

I was in­spired by their en­thu­si­asm and thirst to learn more about China ... I felt I had a re­spon­si­bil­ity to pass on more about Chi­nese cul­ture.”

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Holiday - By XIN WEN

Yuan Yiyu had planned to stay at school in July last year for po­ten­tial in­tern op­por­tu­ni­ties. But in­for­ma­tion posted on the univer­sity’s on­line bul­letin board piqued her in­ter­est. The no­tice gave de­tails about two-week sum­mer so­cial prac­tice stint in Georgia.

The 20-year-old sopho­more at the Univer­sity of In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness and Eco­nomics ap­plied with­out hes­i­ta­tion and be­came team leader of an eight-mem­ber sum­mer so­cial prac­tice group. As a mem­ber of the group, Yuan stayed in Tbil­isi, the cap­i­tal of Georgia.

Yuan was amazed at what she saw, es­pe­cially the stun­ning ar­chi­tec­ture. Born in Guangzhou, Guang­dong prov­ince, Yuan had pre­vi­ously given lit­tle thought to the world out­side her home­town.

“But when I ar­rived in Georgia, I was im­mersed in a new en­vi­ron­ment,” she said.

Peo­ple were in­cred­i­bly friendly and “they showed huge in­ter­est in our chop­sticks and of­ten asked me where they could buy them”, she re­called.

“I was in­spired by their en­thu­si­asm and thirst to learn more about China,” she said.

“At that mo­ment, I felt I had a re­spon­si­bil­ity to pass on more about Chi­nese cul­ture.”

Ma­jor­ing in ac­count­ing, Yuan said Georgia gave her a new con­fi­dence to travel to other coun­tries and ex­pe­ri­ence the lo­cal cul­ture.

“Like the wine, what I knew about it was the taste and the grapes that it was made from, but when vis­it­ing the wine cel­lar in Georgia, I got to know the wine much bet­ter and learn about Geor­gian bar­rels and how they ac­tu­ally made the wine and how it was stored to ma­ture.”

Yuan also hoped that more coun­tries will get to know more about China.

“When I went abroad, I found that few peo­ple knew about the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive and I hope I can help my own coun­try de­velop in the fu­ture,” she said.

Yuan came back to Beijing in Au­gust 2017, but oc­ca­sion­ally she re­calls the two-week stay in Georgia. “If there are any sum­mer so­cial prac­tice pro­grams in the fu­ture, I will def­i­nitely ap­ply again,” she said.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Duan Yichen plays with a Sri Lankan girl in a kinder­garten in Galle, Sri Lanka dur­ing her two-week stint.

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