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Zhejiang in hearts of foreign students

Updated: December 15, 2020 L M S

Themed on "Exploring Zhejiang for a Shared Future", the 14th "Dreams Coming True in Zhejiang" cultural gala was recently held in Hangzhou for international students studying in Zhejiang province.

The annual cultural gala is to let international students enjoy traditional Chinese culture and Zhejiang's folk customs and economic achievements. And international students can express their feelings through their performances and videos inspired by their life in the province.

Joseph Marnick, a student from England studying at Zhejiang Gongshang University who has lived in Hangzhou for six years, shared his story of love for Hangzhou through a video.

"My video is about my feelings of Hangzhou, how I met my wife in Hangzhou and why Hangzhou is such a romantic and beautiful city," Marnick told China Daily. "When I first met my wife in Hangzhou, we had a date and walked across the Broken Bridge. It was very romantic."

Hangzhou, which has been hailed as "an enterprise and innovation hub, home to many of Asia's tech giants and dozens of unicorns, and the driving force behind huge ecommerce markets" by The Times of England, seemed to Marnick to have a really impressive kind of smart life.

"I also think Hangzhou is a very modern city. It develops so quickly, and life here is very comfortable and convenient. We have Alipay, many amazing things, subway lines, and many companies such as Alibaba and NeteEase," said Marnick.

Marnick entered his video in the "Beautiful Zhejiang" Overseas Students Short Videos Contest and collected the first prize.

It was the third time for Ngambou Lontsi Gervais, a Cameroonian student who has been studying engineering at Zhejiang Sci-Tech University since 2015, to participate in the "Dreams Come True in Zhejiang" event. This year, he was appointed as one of the foreign hosts of the event. 

"It's a challenge to speak Chinese in correct pronunciation and proper intonation, but I'm greatly honored to be one of the hosts," he said.

"I decided to come to China," Gervais said, "My father is a farmer, and the level of agricultural mechanization in my hometown is still very backward, I hope to learn more about agricultural machinery in China, and then go back to my hometown to benefit its development," said Gervais.

Now, Gervais said he feels quite accustomed to life in Zhejiang, and appreciates the hospitality of the Chinese people and government.

Akutteh David Papa Percy, a Ghananian student in Wenzhou Medical University, made a splash during the event by speaking fluent Wenzhou dialect. As one of the Wenzhou overseas cultural promotion ambassadors, Percy hopes all international students can feel quite accustomed to life in Zhejiang and he feels responsible for improving Wenzhou's global reputation.

"As one of the Wenzhou overseas cultural promotion ambassadors, our key task is to promote Wenzhou abroad to let the entire world know more about Wenzhou, Zhejiang, and most importantly, China," said Percy.

Statistics show that more than 41,000 international students were pursuing higher education in the province in 2019.

Zhejiang is always trying to share Chinese culture with international students in an effort to strengthen China's connections with the outside world.