TWELVE Bahamians are heading to China this summer to study at the Nanjing University after receiving scholarships from the Chinese Embassy. The delegates, who are learning Mandarin at the Confucius Institute, will attend a 19-day Chinese language and cultural programme.
The aim of the institute - which has 140 branches worldwide - is to promote the Chinese language and culture, support local Chinese teaching internationally and to facilitate cultural exchanges.
During a recent ceremony at the College of The Bahamas (COB) Harry C Moore Library, officials from the institute and the Chinese Embassy touted the benefits of studying in China. They also premiered a documentary – produced by The Counsellors Ltd – which focuses on the importance of exposing students to different languages and cultures around the world.
“This is truly wonderful work and we are so grateful to our Chinese partners for making the trip of the Bahamian delegation possible. This opportunity removes cultural and communication barriers that once separated us,” said Chairman of COB’s Council, Alfred Sears.
The summer programme will consist of complete immersion in the language as well as cultural education via classes and tours of three provinces in east China.
Chinese Embassy Counsellor, Lin Xianjiang, congratulated each of the delegates, noting that the Confucius Institute has played a “very important role” in the cultural and language exchange between The Bahamas and China.
Teshar Johnson, a COB student majoring in Mandarin and Finance, was the top winner of the Chinese Embassy scholarship.
Ms Johnson said she hopes to one day become an ambassador for The Bahamas and assist with foreign language translation. She said she felt “honoured and privileged” to receive a scholarship to study in China.
“A lot of people put forth the effort, but when you’re able to see and realise [it] in the form of a scholarship it validates what you want to do with your life. I pushed to go to China since high school. I had to stop my schooling for financial and personal reasons and this scholarship came in the form of a blessing. I am thankful to the Confucius Institute and the Chinese Government for giving me the opportunity,” she said.