Top prize winners of 102 foreign college students
attending a Chinese language contest in northeast China will win full
scholarships to study in China and all of them have the opportunity to be a
volunteer for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, according to organizers.
The 102 students, from 52 countries worldwide, began on Saturday the 6th
Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students", held in
Changchun, capital of Jilin Province.
"I am looking forward to becoming a volunteer for Beijing Olympics, so as to
help our Polish athletes," said Jolanta Gomolka, a student from Poland at the
Gomolka, a student from Pozana University of Poland, speaks Chinese fluently
when talking with Chinese organizers of the three-day event.
She said her father, who also likes Chinese culture very much, gave her a
poetical Chinese name, "Yuan Yueying". The name originates from a famous Chinese
poem which says the moon has its wax and wane.
"I will improve my Chinese as soon as possible. Next year in Beijing
Olympics, I will witness Australian swimmers winning gold medals," said
21-year-old Thomas Shugg, a junior from Monash University, Australia.
Thomas has been learning Chinese for one year and a half.
"It's far from enough if you merely know the Chinese characters. In order to
understand China, you have to understand its culture," said Anna Khmelenko from
the United States.
To better know about the preparation work for the Olympics, Khmelenko even
worked in a residential community committee of
Beijing for two days.
"When I saw those elder workers in the committee volunteered to promote
civilized deeds and behavior among residents for the Olympics, I strongly sensed
the Olympic atmosphere in China," said the American girl.
"Young students from various countries are interested in sports and culture,
the 2008 Beijing Olympics will definitely prompt them to learn Chinese hard,"
said Xu Lin, director of the Office of Chinese Language Council International, a
Chinese language promotion agency.
According to statistics from the China National Office for Teaching Chinese
as a Foreign Language, currently there are about 30 million people overseas
"Beijing Olympics is serving as a booster for foreign students to learn
Chinese language and culture," said Xu.
"Just imagine, in 2008, when people of different races and colors gather
together in Beijing and they all speak in Chinese, how interesting it will be!
At that time, even a simple 'Nihao' (Hello) will make China affable," said
contestant Abir Saguer from Tunisia.