(About the lecturer: QI, Ruying, a senior lecturer of University of Western Sydney，also a short-term foreign expert in Jinan University during the November of 2013 and the teacher-in-charge of the Australian team in the winter camp.)
From December 1st to 13th, 2013, campers from University of Western Sydney enjoyed their stay in China and they will cherish this memory forever. Fortunate enough to be the teacher-in-charge of the University of Western Sydney Team, I find these days really invaluable.
University of Western Sydney and Jinan University are far apart, however, it is fate that makes us meet. I feel honored to witness the friendly exchange between the two universities. In June, 2011, invited by Professor GUO, Xi, Dean of College of Chinese Language and Culture, Jinan University (CCLC), Professor Peter HUTCHINGS, Dean of School of Humanities and Communication Arts in University of Western Sydney came to visit CCLC, which left a deep impression on him. The next year, in June, LIN, Rupeng, the Vice President of Jinan University, together with Jinan University delegation was invited by the president of University of Western Sydney to visit the University and negotiate a partnership. The same year, in October, a cooperation agreement on teaching and research was signed between the two universities when Peter HUTCHINGS, Dean of University of Western Sydney, together with the delegation, paid a return visit to Jinan University entrusted by their president.
The December of 2013 is deemed to be memorized. Campers from School of Humanities and Communication Arts in University of Western Sydney came to the classrooms of CCLC. All these campers cherished this opportunity a lot to learn Chinese culture. And they felt indebted to the organizers and Volunteers.
WEN, Yongfeng, a representative of the campers, spoke out what all the campers want to say from the bottom of their hearts: They felt sincerely grateful for the consecutive support from the Chinese Language and Culture Education Foundation of China (CLCEF), the hard and outstanding work of CCLC, and the sponsorship of the Agile Property Holdings Limited. They also felt grateful for the opportunity provided by School of Humanities and Communication Arts in University of Western Sydney and CCLC and their support work for the completion of this camp. University of Western Sydney attached great importance to this winter camp and it is quite difficult to accomplish all the formalities in less than a month. Dean Peter HUTCHINGS spared no effort to help in person and provided every camper the round trip air ticket using reasonably the Mr. William CHIU Fund. The International office endeavored to assist the students with their visas, Jerry WATKINS, Chong HAN, Amanda MCNAMARA, Linda GU, Lijiang ZHAO, faculties of the school, also provided great help. ZHANG, Li, WEN, Mingliang, teachers from CCLC provided petition package tirelessly to cooperate with. Through the joint hard work of the two universities, the campers from School of Humanities and Communication Arts in University of Western Sydney finally embarked on their journey. Thus, this camp is also called HCA-CCLC Winter Camp (Humanities and Communication Arts-College of Chinese Language and Culture Winter Camp). Right from the very beginning, the winter camp has built the bridge of friendship between the two universities. I do believe that the winter camp will be where campers began to love and popularize Chinese culture.
The first day: the first gift
On December 1, tired and excited, campers from Australia flew for 9 hours from Sydney to Canton，the south gate of China. As long as they got off the plane, they were warmly welcomed by the waiting drivers of two cars, volunteers and Mr Wen from CCLC.
At that moment, campers came to realize the hospitality of Chinese people and their uneasiness and anxiety completely vanished in no time. Then, they arrived at the hotel arranged by CCLC, where they felt comfortable about the spacious room and neat and cozy beds.
In the evening, they enjoyed a feast and the meals during the next days are nutritious and of a great variety, which indeed let the campers experience the charm of Cantonese cuisine. The host college was so considerate that our campers could be totally carefree, and they are quite grateful about that. For some campers, it is the first time for them to be abroad. And they felt pretty fortunate to be treated with meticulous care. They have referred it again and again that they would take full advantage of this opportunity to learn Chinese well, understand Chinese culture and would return here to further their study.
The second day and the following study
December 2 was a nice day. After the opening ceremony, the campers toured the campus of CCLC. As long as they stepped on this campus, they almost fell in love with it immediately. With well-placed trees and flowers, the campus is blessed with beautiful landscapes. Students from different countries, of different races gather in the same campus to learn Chinese language and Chinese culture. Because of the tolerance of different cultures, the college is endowed with thick culture atmosphere.
In the following Chinese Lessons, Chinese Folk Singing and Dancing, Martial Arts Class, Calligraphy and Handicrafts Class and so forth have widen the campers’ horizon. The different courses bring both challenges and sense of achievement to the campers.
A camper once said: “The two-week long learning not only improve my Chinese, but also deepen my understanding of Chinese culture. When back home, I will share what I have learned here in this camp with my relatives and friends.” Another camper said: “The tour has woken my interest in learning Chinese which I developed when I was a child.” Another camper said this was his first time to visit China, and he was deeply impressed by the atmosphere of this camp and he would like to further his study in CCLC.
Between their coursework in the winter camp, the campers also participated in the Canton one-day tour, Pearl River Night Cruise, Sense Guangdong activities and the impressing Shenzhen one-day tour and so forth. I can imagine that the campers are so attracted by the beautiful scenes that they even forget to go back home.
Just before the end of the winter camp, some students began to ask me about the coming summer camp hosted by Jinan University. We believe that, we will meet again in the coming summer.
Dr. QI, Ruying
The teacher-in-charge of the Australian team in the winter camp
Composed In the evening of December 10, 2013