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University students play survivors
Updated: 2004-03-25 09:49

The Students' Union at East China University of Science and Technology is organizing a survival contest, preparing to send students to neighboring cities for two days without any possessions.

Nearly 300 students, most of whom are female first-year students, signed up for the contest to be held next weekend, university officials said yesterday.

The contest will send 18 applicants, three in each group, to Nanjing, Suzhou and Hangzhou in neighboring Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces for two days.

They won't be allowed to bring along any money or cell phones. Nor will the contestants be informed of their destination until they board the train. Teachers will only provide a map and set aside 50 yuan (US$6) for emergency use.

Students are expected to find a way to make a living for two days, university officials said.

"It is precious opportunity to train university students survival skills, how to communicate with strangers and develop a team spirit," said Ji Tong, a students union official and one of the initiators.

Preliminary candidate selection will be held next Wednesday to test applicants' will and find out why they want to take part.

Contestants will be filmed as they search for work and find a place to live so judges can choose a winning team.

"I'm very excited and eager to challenge myself in strange cities. I've never tried that before," said Chang Jiajia, 20, an applicant.

As the only child in their family, most university students have hardly gone through any hardship and tend to take for granted a comfortable life created by their parents. The contest is a good opportunity for students to learn to depend on themselves, according to Chang.

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