Louisians kick off cultural exchange with Chinese students

In light of the memorandum of agreement on cultural exchange which the University of Saint Louis (USL) signed with China Jiliang University (CJLU) last Dec. 2013, USL welcomed five students who joined the returning visiting professor of Mandarin Chinese to the University, Dr. Peng Fei, for a seven-day immersion visit last Jan.17-23, 2017.

The said students were Chen Chen “David” (third year), Chen Dongli “Grace” (second year), Jiang Jiani “Vicky” (third year), Zhao Fei “Vivian” (second year), and Zhu Leyan “Julie” (third year), who are all pursuing Bachelor of Arts Major in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages at CJLU.

The itinerary of the five students included classroom visits from kinder to college and sharing of Chinese culture to high school and college classes.

A cultural program was held in their honor with performances of the Center for Culture and the Arts (CCA) talents and Louisian students enrolled in Mandarin Chinese Foreign Language class, topped with an array of Filipino food tendered to the visitors.

The Chinese students were also toured to different places in the province like the Callao Caves, Calvary Hills, Potteries in Iguig, St. Clare Monastery, Saints Peter and Paul Metropolitan Cathedral, and the Cagayan Museum. During the send-off program, the students commended USL for the warm hospitality.\

Meanwhile, Dr. Peng Fei, now on his fifth USL school visit, will stay until Feb. 19, 2017 for the Mandarin Chinese Program for Engineering, Legal Management and some Business students.

When asked of their stay in the Philippines and USL, Chen Chen (David) revealed, “If I have the chance, I will come back to see my friends here and the beautiful school of USL.”

Chen Dongli (Grace), on the other hand, said, “It’s a great honor for me to come to the Philippines and stay in USL. I learned a lot here.”

“With your help, my English had greatly improved, and I have learned more about the Filipino culture. Salamat!” Zhu Leyan (Julie) told the author.

Meanwhile, Zhao Fei (Vivian) expressed appreciation of Filipino cuisine and hospitality. “We like the delicious food, the good accommodation and the friendly [Louisian] students.”

“The students and teachers here are very enthusiastic. I hope we can meet again in the near future. Mahal namin kayo! Salamat!” said Jiang Jiani (Vicky).

The CJLU students and Dr. Peng Fei dancing “Tinikling,” one of the Philippines’ popular folk dances.

USL President Delailah Valencia and VP for Academics Emmanuel James Pattaguan at the President’s Office

The visitors and a USL instructor at the Callao Caves in Peñablanca, Cagayan