In June 2017, 7 young kiwis were selected to travel with their peers from China and the UK, in search of Rewi Alley and George Hogg. This was an NZCFS initiative supported by the Deng Fund and Lanzhou City University. Exhausting travel for 12 days took them to important Rewi Alley sites in Shanghai, Xian, Baoji, Lanzhou, Shandan and Beijing.
When in Lanzhou, visiting Lanzhou City University (LCU), a generous offer was made for one year’s tuition in Chinese language free of charge. Two of our young kiwi delegates have taken up this offer and are now in their second semester of study. The classes are divided into three levels, and our representatives have entered at the beginner level.
I visited LCU on March 12-13 and was joined by them at lunch time. Caleb Monk and Tuene Henderson are thoroughly enjoying their time and challenges, and are considering applying for a second year. They have retained a number of friends from their 2017 Rewi Alley commemoration trip, and are in contact with some from NZ as well as China and the UK. They have travelled as much as their time off allows while in China. They dodged the harshest winter period of down to minus 20C by going home over January and February, but still have to face the high 30s in mid – July when they finish the year’s courses! When they return to NZ they intend to study international business.
There are international students from eight countries here studying Chinese under this scheme. LCU International Officer Zhang Leitao says he would like to extend the international student intake to more countries.