China Trip for Future Leaders

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Local News

A GROUP of Glasgow youngsters visited China in November as part of a cultural exchange programme.

Organised by the British Council, the UK- China 400:An Exchange of Future Leaders, will initially enable 100 UK young people to visit the Far East. The primary aim is to strengthen the understanding between youngsters in both countries.  Over the next 12 months another 300 young people will visit different parts of the China. Organisers also hope to arrange a reciprocal visit to the UK, including Glasgow, for Chinese young people.

The Youth Counselling Services Agency (YCSA) is leading the 10 member Scottish delegation. Anita Yu of the YCSA said: ‘I am delighted to be part of this exchange programme as it is an excellent opportunity for me and the other participants to experience a new culture and learn from other young people from areas around UK as well as China.

‘It is a fantastic opportunity for me as China is the root of my heritage, but I have not visited it before. Although I am born into a Chinese family, my upbringing has been a Chinese culture within a Western society.  What I can experience during the exchange is a Chinese culture within a traditional Chinese society.’   

The China 400 programme was officially launched at the British Council HQ in London and has the support of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao. 

The Glasgow group will travel to London, where they will join the 90 other youngsters before flying to Beijing.  Apart from the Chinese capital, they will visit Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang province. The visiting schedule will include youth organisations and educational establishments in villages and towns. The British Embassy in Beijing will host a reception in their honour.

Liam McEmerson, 21, from Clydebank says the trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Currently working for the Prince’s Trust, he said:  ‘This visit will broaden my mind and give me invaluable knowledge of how things are done in a different country.  Hopefully, some of the things I pick up, can be transferred to my current job here.  I am also secretly looking forward to eating some authentic Chinese food.’

Samira Adris, 22, is from Pollokshields. She said: ‘It will be the furthest I will ever have travelled.  I never imagined that working as a volunteer youth worker I would get to China.  I have been learning a few Chinese phrases and can’t wait to share my experiences with other youth workers in China.’

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