Thanks to our partners at Qufu Normal University in the province of Shandong as well as Shirley Zhu from Vanier’s Modern Languages (Mandarin), Sandra Sandoval, Morgane Gouilloud, Roxane Richer-Lussier and Katrine Bergeron were awarded a full scholarship to study Mandarin at Qufu for the 2013-2014 academic year.
“This project allows Vanier students to learn Mandarin and Chinese culture at a very low financial cost, and to share their experience with other Vanier students who do not have a chance to go,” says Shirley Zhu who teaches Mandarin at Vanier College. The experience has been very highly rated by all the students who have spent a year of study in China. “In the past two years, a discussion between students in China or back from China and Vanier Mandarin II students was held each year,” says Shirley. “By sharing their experience, other Vanier students improved their understanding of different cultures in the world and their appreciation of Canadian values.”
Of her experience, Sandra Sandoval, who was in China last year, had this to say, “It’s been an extraordinary experience. I studied Chinese every day and I taught English part-time to Middle School students. I’ve made friends from all over China and from other countries like Korea. I’m surprised at how independent I’ve become. Rizhao, the city where Qufu University is located, is a very large city and I’m amazed at how easily I get around and don’t get lost.”
Sandra has been so successful in her Chinese studies that she has obtained a second scholarship and is returning next year to study at a more advanced level. Joining her this year will be Modern Languages students, Rachel Lebrun and Aleksandra Vutova, who have each been awarded a scholarship for the 2014-2015 academic year.