Home Away from Home
Woman Teaches Chinese, Spreads Chinese Culture in Brazil
Liu Xiaojuan, a native of Tangshan, in North China's Hebei Province, has been living in Brazil since 1997. She established a Chinese-language school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2006. By the end of 2016, she had taught more than 4,000 Brazilian students. Some of those students have become diplomats in China or experts on China-related issues.
Liu visited Brazil for the first time in 1994, as a member of a delegation of entrepreneurs from Hebei Province. She was impressed by the hospitality of Brazilians. Three years later, she moved to Brazil.
"When I first arrived in Brazil, I was not sure what kind of work I could do. I had experience in foreign business, from when I worked in China. So, I established a China-brazil International Communication Center, with the purpose of promoting cultural exchanges and business trade between the two countries. But I eventually realized language was the biggest barrier in terms of communications between Chinese and Brazilians. So, I decided to establish a Chinese-language school," Liu says.
In the beginning, Liu rented a house near Copacabana Beach, in Rio de Janeiro, to house the school. Her friends recommended people who were interested in Chinese to sign up for classes. In the classroom, a Chinese proverb, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step," was