Hailing from the Beijing Foreign Studies University, 23 students are the first ever group of Chinese students to attend the Athens university, to learn the Greek language, history and culture, according to a China.org report.
The students are studying at the National University of Athens, as part of cooperative efforts between Greece and China to build closer cultural relations.
The degree of dedication of the Chinese students is impressive, as they all speak Greek. “It’s a difficult language, but we are doing well,” said Song Xunghui, 22, who has studied Greek at the University of Ioannina in western Greece and in Athens.
Besides ancient Greek history, philosophy and art, the Chinese students also find Greece an attractive country.
“We came to find the truth…. Now we can have the correct opinion about Greek people,” Wang Jinyao told China.org, referring to the negative stereotypes blaming Greeks for the debt crisis.
“I feel it’s a great honour to be here in Greece to live and study. I will tell my parents and friends that Greek people are good and hospitable. It is important to strengthen student and program exchanges,” Wang said.
The Chinese students said that the faculty staff and students of the School of Philosophy of the Athens university welcomed them with warmth when they arrived at the university, with scholarships that were awarded under a cooperation agreement reached with the Beijing university.
The 23 Chinese students are among the 700, or so, who will receive certification in Modern Greek Studies next summer.
Following a successful cooperation with the Beijing Foreign Studies University, the Greek university is exploring more opportunities to expand and deepen ties with other Chinese universities, the China.org report concludes.