Oxford Brookes Publishing Students Visit to Beijing Book Fair 2018
On 15 August, Beverley Tarquini, Senior Publishing lecturer, Byron Russell, Head of Ingenta Connect and Xiaochen Zhang, Deputy Director of the Confucius Institute at Oxford Brookes University chaperoned 17 publishing students for a two week summer camp and visit to Beijing International Book Fair. Our partners at Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press (FLTRP) welcomed the group of undergraduate and post-graduate students and arranged a variety of cultural and industry visits.
Their first day began with an early arrival to Beijing at 6am, and after a good rest they started their second day bright and early with visits to China Intercontinental Press and Palm Reader.
The following days included visits to The Great Wall, the Ming Tombs and Changling Museum, a do-it-yourself Chinese fan painting and a free visit to Wangfujing. While some students shopped sensibly and enjoyed the atmosphere, others purchased souvenirs and gifts without stopping to consider their luggage allowance! One student said she would have brought so many more things home if someone hadn’t reminded her she had no space.
The group later went on to visit The Summer Palace, Qinglongxia, Wali Country Park and watch an excerpt from Sanchakou, where they were able to see the actors prepare for their roles before the performance began.
After days travelling with the staff of FLTRP, the students were looking forward to their tour and visit of the company. During this visit, the students were offered an exciting and unique opportunity to record poems for FLTRP’s upcoming books for English language learners. For their participation, it was agreed the students would not only have their names printed in the book’s acknowledgements but would be sent a copy when completed.
Finally, the Beijing International Book Fair arrived. Beverley had arranged meetings with both Chinese and European publishers for the students to attend over their two day visit. The students attended a book launch of Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture and signing ceremony of FLTRP’s editing centre in Naples. The group was otherwise free to attend talks, visit stands or take part in the activities on offer at the Book Fair, including one student taking part in woodworking and creating her own chopsticks.
The departure day, 28 August arrived quickly and by then no one wanted to go home. In the following days students said they missed China, wanted to go back and their hearts were still there. They remarked how they met interesting, welcoming, friendly and nice people on each visit and how happy they were to make so many new friends, as well as see a side of Beijing that not all tourists get to enjoy. After returning home, the students felt their perceptions of China had changed; they had a new interest and appreciation for Chinese culture and felt they benefited greatly from being offered this opportunity.
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