Consulate reaches out to students

By HONG XIAO in New York | | Updated: 2017-05-20 02:01
Consulate reaches out to students

Overseas Chinese scholars get a lesson in how diplomacy works

The Chinese consulate is looking to improve its services.

The Chinese Consulate General in New York wrapped up two months of overseas study service events with a press briefing on Friday.

From March 5 to April 27, the consulate assigned 24 staff members to visit colleges in its consular district, offering face-to-face sessions with Chinese students and scholars.

The tour covered 34 colleges across 25 cities in 10 states, including Harvard, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and State University of New York.

More than 1,100 Chinese students and scholars attended the well-received events.

Students got a chance to learn the details of projects like the national scholarship for outstanding self-funded Chinese students studying overseas — known as the Chunhui Cup Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition — and get tips on personal safety and learn about how the consulate protects them.

The consulate staff also visited Chinese scholars, encouraging them to promote communication and exchange in education, science and technology between China and the US.

"Through attending the event, we received not only information and resources, but also confidence and warmth, which are what we want most," said Cai Yiwen, a graduate student in communications at Columbia University.

"The domestic start up market is under a rapid development, and as students studying overseas, we were not forgotten by the motherland," Cai said, adding that she had learned about the Chunhui Cup start up contest founded in 2006 by China's ministries of education and science and technology, with the aim of encouraging Chinese overseas students and scholars to return to China to start their own businesses.

"I am really grateful that the consulate could organize such events for us, which really helps us broaden our horizons," she added.

Since the locations were limited for many events, some Chinese students drove from other cities to attend.

"It shows a great demand for this kind of information among Chinese students in the US," said Consul Wang Xiaoyu, who said she hopes next year's events can be expanded to reach as many colleagues as possible.

According to Cheng Lei, acting consulate general of China in New York, this year's events — which have been dubbed "The Month of Overseas Study Service" — were collaborations between the consulate and US colleges, Chinese students and college associations.

Cheng said the events were held to improve the consulate's services and do a better job for Chinese students and scholars studying in the US.

"Face-to-face communication events at colleges help connect students studying overseas with the consulate and the motherland. It shows the high value that our country places on this group, and how the implementation of ‘putting people first' works," said Cheng.

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