by Sebastian Fix
It is almost halfway through our Insight China trip, and today our delegation had the great opportunity to catch up with students from the Lanzhou Petrochemical College of Vocational Technology of China. The entire focus of this intercultural exchange was the exchange of knowledge and the building of relationships between students from the FHNW and the Lanzhou Petrochemical College.
Lanzhou is the capital and largest city of Gansu Province in Northwest China. It is a key regional transportation hub, allowing areas further West to stay connected to the Eastern half of the country via the railroad system. Lanzhou is home to approximately 3.6 million inhabitants.
Lanzhou’s Petrochemical College currently employs about 600 teachers, and they are shared among 13,000 students. On its two campuses, students have the chance to extend their knowledge in technical professions and to prepare for future jobs or for the university.
Upon our arrival at the college, we were warmly welcomed, and one of the highlights was to see our names displayed on several big information screens, one located just at the campus entrance. Right at the beginning, we were allocated Chinese buddies, who stayed by our side the whole time. We had the privilege of taking part in the opening ceremony, where several officials from the Gansu government and the Petrochemical College gave speeches, mentioning the importance of this event for the region and the school. The ceremony was officially closed with a flag exchange between the two schools.
After the opening event, we had the unique chance to visit the two different campuses, and we were able to get an inside view of their everyday workings. It was interesting to see that most places were extremely practice-oriented, offering students a wide range of direct engagement with machines, pipe systems or technical instruments.
This morning was rounded off with a delicious lunch offered by the school, where we got our first taste of local food from the Lanzhou area.
by Yasinthan Easwarapalan
After lunch we were invited by the Chinese students to play table tennis with them. Unfortunately, we had only 30 minutes to play but it was fun and we had the opportunity to get to know our buddies better.
After that, we moved to a library to see the Chinese calligraphy. We also had the chance to write our name in Chinese. It was very challenging but our buddies helped us. Afterwards we moved to see some amazing Chinese paper cutting’s. There were also some Chinese students who showed us how they do such a paper cutting. Before we left, they gave each of us one paper cutting to take home. After that we moved to see students at their practical training. We could see students working on a lathe and others who were assembling a centrifugal pump. It was impressive to see, that they almost have the same infrastructure and tools like the Swiss vocational training centers. Although it seems like they do not have a strict safety instruction like vocational centers in Switzerland. Because we saw students working on lathe without wearing safety classes. Afterwards we could enjoy some amazing Chinese performances and games. Two of our delegation members also performed the Disco fox for the Chinese students and officials. Furthermore, the Swiss delegation sang two songs. Finally, we had a delicious dinner together.
We had a great day at this college. It was a good experience to meet some Chinese students and to talk with them. They were all very friendly and open minded. We learned also many interesting things about the Chinese culture during this day.
Welcome speech from Lanzhou’s Petrochemical College of Vocational Technology, where the speakers referred to the strong connection between the province Gansu and the Canton of Solothurn.
Students writing their names in Chinese Calligraphy
The Project and PR Team together with Chinese artists
Selfies of the Swiss students together with their Chinese buddy at the Campus in Lanzhou.
Sowjanya Alluri with her buddy
Evelyne Rüegg with her buddy
Amanda Bögli with her buddy
Lukas Schmid with his buddy
Valentina Heiz with her buddy
Professor Léa Hug with her buddy