Students from countries which are part of the "One Belt One Road" initiative will have an exclusive new program at the Shanghai Summer School that gives overseas students the chance to learn Chinese culture and language, education authorities said yesterday.
The new class was set up after China decided to put forward its "One Belt and One Road" development strategy to further integrate itself into the world economy through trade, investment, infrastructure, connectivity, and other development projects. The strategy encompasses building of the New Silk Road Economic Belt, which will link China with Europe through Central and Western Asia, and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which will connect China with Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
"The class with 20 students will enhance educational and cultural exchanges between China and the countries on the Belt and the Road, and attract more overseas students from the regions to study in Shanghai," said Yang Weiren, director of the international exchanges and cooperation department of Shanghai Education Commission. All students will take courses about economy, politics and culture of China in English, learn Mandarin and visit historic and scenic sites in July, according to Shanghai International Studies School.
Another class will feature the game of Go and Chinese chess, an experience that is being offered for the first time by Shanghai University of Sport. That takes the total number of classes involved in the Shanghai Summer School to 21.
The SSS program, launched by the Shanghai Education Commission, began in 2008 with 25 students from Japan and South Korea studying at Shanghai Normal School. But it has since then evolved into 19 classes with as many as 11 local colleges involved.
Last year, over 500 foreign students visited Shanghai under the program, while over 2,000 students have benefited from it in the past seven years.
Most of them were visiting the country for the first time and the program had changed their concepts and thoughts about the country and the city.
"Before coming to China, I had no clue about the Chinese way of life, culture and society. My stay in China has made me more flexible and cosmopolitan. I discovered Chinese language, values and manners enabled me to treat eastern culture with respect," said Theresia Weber from Germany. Sylvia Quint O Leite of Brazil said the program should interest those who study international relations.
"The SSS program has become one of the most important approaches to increase Shanghai's impact overseas and attract foreign students to study in the city," Yang said.