Home / Opinion / My Encounter with Belt and Road

Lorella Brienza | Updated: 2017-06-12 16:20

Lorella Brienza

Born to an Italian father and a Romanian mother, I spent my childhood in Romania and attended primary school in the city of Brasov. Growing up as a bilingual (Italian and Romanian) child has eerily prompted me to learn more about other cultures and languages. At the age of 4 I started studying English, at 11, I ventured into French, at 16 Spanish and at 23 Chinese. Having people with different nationalities in my family, I consider myself as a lucky child who had the chance to grow up in a multi-cultural environment which made me appreciate and embrace the beauty and challenges of cultural diversity. At the age of 11 my parents and I moved to Italy. I enrolled in the educational system in Pisa from middle school until I graduated from its university. During those years I was involved in numerous school activities, to mention a few: cultural-exchange with French students in Lyon during high school, Bachelor Degree research program in Native American Literature at Northern Arizona University, Italian Finals of the Chinese Bridge Competition for University students. Starting from the age of 18I started to work as full a translator, interpreter and language advisor for the Court of Pisa and other Courts. Having studied English since the age of 4, I was able to pass with merit the TRINITY Level 12 English Examination (C2 Level) by the age of 17 which allowed me to apply for the legal-translation entrance examination and get admitted to work as the youngest translator to date in the Court of Pisa.

In 2014 I was granted the Confucius Institute Scholarship for an intensive Chinese language and culture program in Chongqing University. Traveling to different countries and getting in touch with other cultures and traditions is one of things which I like most, but I got blindsided by the vast opportunities knowing another language could do, especially connecting China to my mother continent, Europe. Hence, upon returning to Italy, I had the chance to work with one of the biggest Chinese production companies – Huayi Brothers - operating in worldwide which was personally recommended by the Confucius institute in Pisa. In 2015, I was granted the Chinese Government Scholarship to pursue my post graduate studies in China. Currently I am enrolled in a Master’s Degree program in International Trade (taught in Chinese) at Chongqing University. This master’s program has been an exhilarating path of experiences that introduced me to a whole new side of the cross-cultural discourses, business environments. Throughout the course of the master’s, I have also been doing my internship at the United Nations Maritime-Continental Silk Road Cities Alliance Smart City and New Industry Committee (UNMCSR-SNC), a challenging role in which my learning curve exponentially goes upward daily. However, with every task I successfully complete for work, I realize that there are still numerous academic and professional concepts to learn in the world of international business.

The “Belt and Road Insightful Minds Contest” is an extraordinary opportunity to express opinions, exchange ideas and enwiden one’s views about OBOR on an international platform such as China Daily. Participating in this contest was both interesting and challenging; with such a concentration of brilliant participants addressing the OBOR Initiative from different aspects one cannot help but feel humbled.

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