Foreign students attend the recruitment fair held in Beijing on March 23, 2017. (Photo: China Daily/Zhu Xingxin)
Chinese-language teacher Xie Fang is excited that one of her former students from Indonesia has been admitted to Beijing Language and Culture University.
The 19-year-old student, Alvin Rizqi Adrian, fulfilled his dream of studying in China with a scholarship provided by the Chinese government, Xie said at a primary school in Shunde, Guangdong province.
Xie met the boy five years ago when she was selected to teach Chinese at Budi Utama Three Languages National School in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
The school, founded in 2006 by local Chinese, teaches in three languages-Indonesian, English and Chinese. The school has more than 970 primary, middle and high students, half of whom have Chinese ancestry.
Xie taught students to speak and comprehend Chinese during her year at the school.
"Most Indonesian children start to learn Chinese after they enter primary school," Xie said. "But the textbooks from Singapore seemed relatively difficult for them at that stage."
Xie modified the content of the textbooks to make it easier and more interesting for the Indonesian children to learn Chinese.
She also educated her students on the origins, traditions and foods of traditional Chinese festivals. The students gradually became more comfortable with their Chinese teacher.
"More and more students began to communicate with me in Chinese, including those who were too shy to speak Chinese at the very beginning," Xie recalled.
One student in particular, Alvin Rizqi Adrian, impressed Xie a great deal. "At that time, he was a middle school student. He was so interested in Chinese that he worked very hard to learn and practice," she said.
Bapak Djawadi, founder of the Budi Utama Three Languages National School, told her that the reason he started the school was to help local children with Chinese heritage to understand Chinese customs and values.
Since 2004, Guangdong has sent 1,000 Chinese teachers to more than 30 Chinese schools in 10 countries and regions, including Indonesia, Thailand, Madagascar, Jamaica, Mexico and Venezuela.
Indonesia has the largest number of Chinese teachers dispatched from Guangdong, who mainly work in kindergartens, schools and universities founded by overseas Chinese. They usually spend one to two years on the foreign assignment.
"Those days in Indonesia made me feel very appreciated. The local people have respect for Chinese teachers," Xie said.
She keeps in touch with her Indonesian students via the internet.
"If I had the opportunity to go to Indonesia to teach again, I would be very happy to see the children improve their Chinese proficiency," Xie said.