The Volunteer Group of International Students at SCUT was founded in 2010, with over 200 members from all over the world. Coming from 61 different countries, they share the same purpose—to work as a volunteer, to offer community services to those who in need, and to embrace China with love.
Their services cover a wide range of charity activities such as scheduling blood donation among international students, visiting children at welfare homes by bringing gifts and telling stories to them, helping people in remote areas by donating clothes, working as volunteers in railway stations during the Spring Festival travel rush, giving used textbooks to new students for free and help them accommodate.
Recently, journalists of the News Center interviewed six members of this group. Now let us listen to what they have to say about their stories in China.
Asel from Kyrgyzstan, major in law
Every month, Asel goes to a language training center, where she spends hours playing and chatting with hearing-impaired children. She loves working as a volunteer at all occasions: sports meetings, expos, or railway stations.
Doing community services is a way for her to understand China and the lifestyle here. She has changed a lot in ways of dressing, talking, and even eating habit since she came here. She can now try some spicy foods, which she did not eat before. Even her mother says she is more like a Chinese now, and at the same time, she also thinks a lot about her motherland.
“My major is law,” she said. “I can help the Chinese people in Kyrgyzstan and the Kyrgyzstan people in China solve law issues, and help them better understand the culture of each other. China has grown very fast after reform and opening up, and I wish to show a better side of this country to my people.”
Anthony from Germany, major in computer science and technology
Before coming to Guangzhou, Anthony was a primary school teacher at a small village in Jiangxi province. He taught English to the children of farmers, and helped local teachers improve their spoken English.
After joining SCUT, he became a member of the Volunteer Service Section at the Student Union. These days, he keeps good company with the children at a school of deaf-mutes.
“I believe my stay in China brings two cultures closer,” he said. “Here I talk to people about my country. Even small details of everyday life would give them an image of Germany, and when I go back, I will share my stories in China with my family and friends.”
Zakria from Kuwait, major in international economics and trade
Zakria’s friends in his hometown know little about China except for Kung Fu, but Zakria knows interesting things in China are far more than that. For example, hot pot is his favorite Chinese food. He is having it almost every week. He would like to invite his friends to come to China and see how big this country is.
What he thinks amazing is when international students are getting together, the language that an Arab and a Russian can use to talk is Chinese. He believes knowing China and the Chinese language will give him advantages in the job market, because Chinese is becoming a common language among people from different countries and ethnic groups.
Elena from Russia, major in international economics and trade
Elena is still trying to improve her knowledge in Chinese culture and language, even though she is already good at them. She is a star on the stage, the one who organized two cultural festivals for international students, served the hostess at the Spring Festival Gala held by the School of International Education, and played a part in Beauty of China, a dance production presented by teachers and students of SCUT.
“The China I see is so different from what I thought. It is very trendsetting and prosperous,” she said when she was talking about the reason of choosing China and Guangzhou. “China is a big economy, growing fast, and so is its education. I enjoy trying new things, and Guangzhou is quite different from my hometown. I love the sunshine and flowers in this city, and the hospitality of its people.”
Irene from Indonesia, major in biotechnology
Irene has been deeply attracted by the Chinese culture since she was a student at primary school, where she learned things about China from a Chinese teacher. Now she chooses to follow the steps of her elder sister, who came to China for further studies after two years of college life in Indonesia.
Irene can speak Indonesian, English, South Fujian dialect, and Mandarin. She is planning to stay in China after graduation, and use her language talent to help foreigners understand China.
Evon from Jamaica, major in international economics and trade
When Evon decided to be a volunteer at the railway station during the Spring Festival travel rush, he was expecting many things. He wished to improve his Chinese and make some friends. He felt particularly happy when he was helping travelers, even though he could be very tired after a whole day of working.
He likes features of the traditional Chinese culture, with Cantonese Opera and Peking Opera as his favorites. What attracts him is the way of telling stories by singing and performing, as well as the gorgeous costumes and exquisite facial makeup.
“China is not just a nation of its own. It is Asia’s China, and the world’s China. This country, in the coming future, will embrace the world with arms that are more open, and contribute to the world with a civilization that is more energetic than ever.”
Source from the School of International Education
Translated by Xu Peimu
Edited by Qu Wei and Xu Peimu
From the SCUT News Network