Students heading to UK learn British etiquette

By Xu Lin ( ) Updated: 2014-08-19 16:42:18

Dozens of Chinese high school and university students and their parents gathered recently at Beijing Junwangfu Hotel for course in British etiquette.

BeGo Ltd, a global company that offers services to prepare international students to study in the United Kingdom held the event. The company invited current members and their parents to share their experiences with students who are going to the UK to study this year.

Students heading to UK learn British etiquette

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Students heading to UK learn British etiquette

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The students were divided into groups and sat at tables set with a traditional British afternoon tea. Etiquette coach James Hebbert demonstrated the etiquette to enjoy such a tea and gave them guidance one table at a time.

“Trap assessments” were set up over teatime to record reactions from the students. For example, a man wearing nothing but British flag printed underwear suddenly ran through the hall. Many students were shocked and even took photos, but only a few remained calm. "It’s to test their reactions. In the UK, you may bump into someone who is drunk on the street. You should calm down, or you will attract attention," says Gaston Chee, co-founder and CEO of the company.

Chee said the company offers a series of holistic courses for international students, ranging from integration courses to personality and career development sessions. British etiquette is only one part of the service. "I’ve made a lot of friends via the program," said Lu Yu’ang, 19, from Shanghai. "It also teaches you to discover yourself and improve your interpersonal communication skills. I learned more about British culture and integrated into the local life quickly."

He joined BeGo’s program in the UK last year and will be a freshman at the University of Lincoln in September. He enjoyed the horse-riding and wine-tasting sessions, but his favorite was outdoor survival training. He camped, learned to make fire by rubbing sticks together and hunted for rabbit with his companions.

Wang Dongwang, whose daughter obtained an internship with the United Nation after attending a BeGo career training event in 2014, shared his daughter’s experience with the attending students and their parents. “The courses helped us understand the difference between a degree and an education,” Wang said. “I’m glad to see my daughter adapt well to her student life in the UK, making many new friends and achieving her career goals.”

"During my studies at the University of Warwick, I found many Chinese students don’t integrate to local communities due to the language barrier," Chee said. "They are wasting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by not networking with locals."

Chee said Chinese students who want to really understand the UK and think independently are interested in BeGo’s program. The program attracts about 150 Chinese students every year, and also targets countries including Malaysia, Vietnam and Russia.

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