Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics: Cultural Integration, People’s Hearts Connected, Co-narrating the Chinese Story

“After graduating from Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics in 2020, I chose to further my studies here. Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics offers international students the opportunity to learn about Chinese culture and language. We can exchange ideas, learn from each other, and feel a sense of warmth and fulfillment,” said Zhang Na (张娜), a master’s student majoring in International Business at the International School of Economics and Trade, Class of 2023, from the Republic of Kazakhstan, during the 2023 freshman opening ceremony.

Over the years, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics has attracted a significant number of outstanding overseas students for academic exchange in China. The university continuously innovates its educational approach for international students, exploring new teaching methods and leveraging the unique advantage of international students in bridging Chinese and foreign cultures. By harnessing the collective strength of international students, the university serves the greater cause of promoting exchanges and cooperation between China and the world, collectively narrating China’s stories.

Facilitating education through exchange, cultivating internationally minded students

In early September, 46 new postgraduate and doctoral students from Russia, Morocco, Guinea, and other countries completed enrollment procedures at Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics. They went through document verification, insurance purchase, academic registration, and dormitory allocation. Guided by student volunteers, the newcomers toured the campus to understand the layout of the university’s infrastructure, allowing them to experience the century-old cultural ambiance of Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics while learning about its history.

Previously, during international summer camps, 126 overseas participants gathered with faculty members to discuss topics such as China’s digital economy development, its open strategy, and appreciation of ceramic art. “Under the influence of the Belt and Road Initiative, communication and exchanges between countries along the Silk Road and among young people are particularly crucial… This activity not only deepened the overseas students’ understanding of China’s digital economy and traditional culture but also fostered friendships among them,” Vice President Liu Xiaoli said during the camp’s opening ceremony.

Furthermore, the university organized a meeting with the presidents of international students to understand their difficulties, concerns in academic life, and gather feedback on student management. “Students come from different countries, bringing with them diverse cultural backgrounds and habits,” Liu Xiaoli emphasized. “Enhancing communication between teachers and students, among peers, and with administrative staff is essential to elevate the management of international education for better educational outcomes and higher student satisfaction.” The successful organization of these events heightened the cultural awareness of international students in their exchanges at Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, opening new chapters in their pursuit of knowledge and exploration.

Practical experiences to foster international ambassadors of friendship

Visiting Jingdezhen to craft porcelain, tasting Chinese tea brewed in Jingdezhen-made tea sets — these experiences vividly showcase China’s rich historical and cultural heritage. In Fuzhou, known as the ‘hometown of talented individuals,’ students learned about the life story of Tang Xianzu, a master of Chinese opera, and experienced the charm of traditional Chinese opera through a live performance of “The Peony Pavilion.” To deepen international students’ understanding of Chinese culture, the university leverages its regional and cultural advantages by organizing various “Sino-foreign University Social Practice Weeks.” These events enable students to explore Chinese culture within the campus and in the context of history and reality.

International students, along with local students, visited historical sites like the site of the Third Party Congress of Yifeng County, gaining insights into the indomitable spirit of the Chinese nation during revolutionary times. They also witnessed the government’s effective poverty alleviation measures by visiting local households, schools, and factories. Engaging in activities such as making Huangyuan rice cake allowed them to experience the simple and authentic rural life in China.

Moreover, international students actively participate in campus activities. During Teachers’ Day, they created greeting posters and messages, presenting flowers to educators working on the frontlines of education. During the National Day celebrations, students spontaneously gathered at the Cultural Square in North Campus, expressing their joy through poetry recitals and flash mob activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Through internal and external practical experiences, students continuously enrich their understanding of China. Many express their determination to share what they’ve seen and learned, using written and video forms to convey a comprehensive, genuine depiction of China to their fellow international classmates and their families and friends back home.

Leading by example to cultivate new international enthusiasts

Recently, three Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics students officially became the first batch of overseas volunteers at the Nanchang Charity Federation. Together with members of the volunteer association, they conducted teaching activities at Lingbei Primary School in Nanchang. Through interactive teaching methods such as games, the international students shared joy and knowledge, igniting the children’s enthusiasm for learning. This cross-cultural exchange transcended language and skin color, allowing the students to experience the warmth of the children’s hearts and sowing seeds of kindness in more young minds.

In 2021, the university established the Lei Feng International Volunteer Association, attracting an increasing number of international students to join. They embody the noble pursuit and mission of contemporary youth in learning and embodying the spirit of Lei Feng. In March of this year, members of the Lei Feng International Volunteer Association visited Hu Family Elementary School for volunteer service and cultural exchange. “Lei Feng is my idol and represents the values I’ve always pursued,” said Wu Di, the initiator of the volunteer association from Bangladesh, as he shared the association’s history and Lei Feng’s story with the children. Together, they learned about the spirit of Lei Feng, experiencing its essence and strength.

Since 1995, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics has been admitting international students, and by 2023, it has nurtured 2,639 students from 151 countries. Currently offering 17 English-taught programs, the university has developed a multi-level education system encompassing bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, alongside non-degree education. The university emphasizes instilling in international students a sense of affection and understanding toward China, building awareness of a shared human destiny. It not only fosters a correct understanding of China’s society and historical development but also continuously enhances international students’ cross-cultural identification and global perspectives, contributing to telling the story of China.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *