Thirty-five excellent foreign students visited Pingli, a remote and once poverty-stricken county in Shaanxi province in Northwest China, from May 28 to 30. They went there to experience China's basic education, ecological agriculture, customs and social conditions, and to “perceive China” and exchange learning in the local middle school and research practice education base.
The students, from 11 countries and regions that include Pakistan, Bangladesh and Togo, are studying in the School of International Education of Xi'an Jiaotong University which is headquartered in Xi’an, the province capital city.
The foreign students pose for a group photo in Pingli County Middle School.
The social practice and cultural experience activities of "perceiving China" were initiated by the National Scholarship Management Committee in order to further help the Chinese government scholarship students in China understand the current situation of China's economic and social development and cultivate the feelings of knowing China and its friendship.
Pingli county, belonging to Ankang city, Shaanxi province, is located at the junction of Shaanxi, Hubei and Chongqing in the Qinling geographic area. It is known as "the most beautiful village in China" for its mountains and rivers.
At Pingli County Middle School the foreign students communicated with middle school students face to face and talked about everything under the sun, from the meaning of names to the beautiful scenery of their hometown, from favorite sports to classic movies, from learning experiences to the education system and from impressions of China to life ideals, and were deeply impressed by the mental outlook and English level of the Chinese teenagers.
"They are so cute. It was like seeing my own youth when I saw them. I hope we can keep in touch and have a chance to let them come to my hometown," said an Ethiopian student whose Chinese name is Gao Han.
The foreign students communicate with middle school students face to face in Pingli County Middle School.
And in the Tianzhen Tea Industry Research and Practice Education Base in Pingli county, the foreign students carried tea baskets and went to the fields to experience the fun and hardship of tea picking, went into the tea making room to understand the tea making process, kneaded and stir-fried tea personally, and experienced the tradition of manual tea making. They also learned tea etiquette and of course tasted the fragrant Pingli tea!
The foreign students experience the fun and hardship of tea picking and making.
”Pingli's trip allowed us to see a real, three-dimensional and comprehensive China from the perspectives of education, economy and culture. I like the name Pingli very much, as it symbolizes peace and prosperity. This trip to China is worth it," said Amm, a student from Eritrean.
According to Xi’an Jiaotong University, it will continue to organize its students to perceive today's China, experience Chinese culture, understand the ideological and spiritual strength behind Chinese stories, cultivate outstanding graduates with feelings, ability and responsibility, build bridges between China and foreign countries, create outstanding achievements, and contribute to the construction of a community of shared destiny for mankind.
Lu Hongyan contributed to the story