Last week, Briony, the Founder and Director of ThinkChinnese Limited, was invited to attend the “Dialogue with the Ambassador” held in London. The dinner gathered dozens of representatives from the Chinese society in the UK, as well as British entrepreneurs who have business connections with China or hope to establish future ties. The Chinese Ambassador to the UK, Zheng Zeguang, attended the event with his wife and brought a thought-provoking dialogue to the audience.
The host, Engage With China (EwC), is a Chinese education charity based in the UK. The two founders of EwC once went to China as exchange students in the 1980s. That experience ignited their love for China and changed their life trajectory. Through this event EwC plans to benefit another 2,000 students from UK schools by 2024, allowing them to see China’s influence, innovation and opportunities.
The event guests included not only education professionals, but also business and political elites. Inspired by the harmonious atmosphere, they exchanged ideas over how to better bridge the communication and achieve win-win cooperation on all fronts.
Similar to ThinkChinese, EwC enables British students and business people to learn more about China by teaching Chinese and promoting Chinese culture. Ms. Tong Haizhen (H-J Colston), one of the founders, said at the opening speech: “Learning Chinese and understanding China in today’s society is not a “nice to have”, but a necessity to seek harmonious coexistence. Young people can not only become more competitive in the current environment, and their lives will also become more colourful because of it”
The ambassador dialogue was hosted by Ms. Teresa, another founder of EwC. In just 20 minutes, Ambassador Zheng answered questions about China’s relations with the US and the UK, and China’s recent education reform. When asked “What do you most want to tell young people in the UK about China?“, the ambassador replied “The best way to deal with China is to understand China. The more you know about China, the more you will like it.” This incisive answer won continuous applause from the audience.
Since its establishment in 2017, ThinkChinese has been promoting understanding of China in Jersey through Chinese language and culture education – unlike most Chinese schools in the UK, almost all of the students we teach come from non-Chinese-speaking families. This sets higher requirements for our teachers’ knowledge, understanding of Chinese and Western cultures, teaching skills, communication with parents and many other aspects. The continuous efforts of the ThinkChinese team over the past few years has paid off – the business keeps growing and has made several outstanding achievements.
Currently, our exam-based and culture immersion courses can cater the needs of students of all ages and levels; we introduced the HSK and YCT global certificate courses to Jersey in 2017, and have since become Jersey’s the first test centre. Each year, several of our students go to the UK universities to study Chinese and related subjects. One student won a full scholarship from Nanjing University with a nearly full score of HSK5 (at advanced level).
If you are interested in our courses and would like to join our big family as a student or a culture ambassador, please contact our team. We look forward to meeting more like-minded people.