Zhejiang International Studies University

Practical Education: World Internet Conference as a Classroom


In Wu Zhen, an ancient and elegant town, there was a group of young people, telling a story of their growth, who wore uniforms and spoke a variety of foreign languages fluently, who wore the warmest and sweetest smile, who stuck to their post enthusiastically and collaboratively in every corner of this town, ready to provide 24-hour service, who grew in practice in a down-to-earth and endeavoring spirit, and who impressed and moved every visiting international friend with their erudition and elegance. They were the 111 volunteers from ZISU providing their hospitable service during the World Internet Conference. In the course of the three-day conference, they warmly welcome, served and bid farewell to thousands of guests from nearly 100 countries and regions all around the world, giving each of them a memorable impression on this heart-warming and pleasant trip to China.


Volunteers: grew maturer through shouldering responsibility and advocating integrity and etiquette in practice

On the morning of November, well prepared volunteers, with great expectation and excitement, were ready to depart for the World Internet Conference at the gates of Wensan Campus and Xiaoheshan Campus, ZISU. They were about to set out for Wu Zhen to attend an internship class at the conference, where they could learn to grow into talents through their dedication and devotion.


“I will try my best to pretend to be as calm as a cucumber even though I would feel turbulent and excited at the bottom of my heart when meet many big potatoes tomorrow.” So a message goes on the micro-blog, written by avolunteer named Xu Tiankun. A group of ZISU students harboring great dreams and aspirations took the opportunities to get access to celebrities in the IT industry during the World Internet Conference. But they disciplined themselves and showed their reverence and admiration to the celebrities by devoting to the detail services for them. Showing the way, guide path, standing on guard, welcoming and greeting, providing counseling, coordinating, as well as offering a helping hand, such chores are far from diversified and colorful as expected, for they were standing there all day long in most cases, repeating such simple and monotonous words as “Welcome” and “Enjoy yourself”. In spite of the monotony, they did not make any complaint at all no matter how long the service was. Instead, they dedicated to their work heart and soul, always actively greeting foreign guests with heart-warming smile. “It is tiring but very fulfilling. Serving others also reflects the value of our own.” Xia Li, the hotel group leader, said, “We helped each other, honed ourselves together, and overcome all the difficulties. In this way we built sincere friendship among teammates and got a keen sense of the ZISU spirit of unity, collaboration and endeavor.”


“Getting ready all the time” is another label for any volunteers. They kept their mobiles switched on 24 hours a day, ready on standby, and they never failed to acquire knowledge by reviewing the conference materials and resolvingp roblems encountered in the work through discussion even when they worked till two or three o’clock in the following morning. A good case in point is Fan Xinyin, a freshman, who read through the manual for volunteers over and over again carefully, memorizing earnestly every process and precaution and underlying and marking the important information, the moment she got it, in order to provide quality service. She can communicate fluently with foreigners in English, leading reporters from Russian Tass News Agency to take tour buses, informing the Japanese guests of the schedule, and reminding the foreigners not to forget to use the access card when going in and out. She said, “I cherish every exchange with foreign guests, which is the best practice for me to learn English. And this experience gives volunteers an opportunity to be exposed to and learn English and to broaden our international horizon.”


The rewards obtained through delicate service stemmed from the careful preparation before the conference and the students’ enthusiasm for volunteer work. In order to get familiar with the venue as soon as possible, the leaders of ZISU voluntary party, Wu Zongsun and Chen Chao, trained the volunteers on the spot, by going over and over again on the quartzite of Wu Zhen to familiarize them with local customs and get acquainted with the relevant information on the World Internet Conference. Every volunteer cherished this hard-won privilege: in order to secure the opportunity, Yin Bowen from School of English Language and Culture, who provedto be an excellent volunteer, acquired a lot more related knowledge after the failure in the first round of selection and succeeded in persuading the panel of judges to give him an opportunity with his sincerity and capability after a two-hour wait outside the interview classroom; Yi Xue, another volunteer, ill as she was, insisted to provide service by standing for sixty to seven hours a day, maintaining a sound and positive image for all the volunteers in the presence of foreigners; some seniors, the would-be graduates, gave up an interview in order to make joint efforts with students of lower grades to devote quality service in the venue.


The volunteers were under physical exertion, but at the same time they acquired joy and knowledge all the more, during the three days’ service. Yang Anqiang, a student from School of Eurasian Languages and Cultures, wrote in the blog, “Volunteering enabled to grow considerably: I obtained some knowledge related to hotel service and etiquette through the training before the conference; I saw in reality the soaring development of the Internet economy of China and even the world during the conference; communication in a foreign language consolidated the expertise and improved my speaking ability in practice; what was more memorable and moving was the close friendship we established in service.”


Social Impression: hardworking and sociable ZISU talents with high foreign language proficiency, high overall quality, and good communicative skills


The three days witnessed the ZISU motto of Virtue, Perseverance, Elegance and Erudition, exhibited to the world on the World Internet Conference through the positive profile and solid professional knowledge of ZISU volunteers, who are tenacious, persevering, enthusiastic, and down-to-earth and who got high praise from the delegates and the social media.


Ma Kai, member of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council, gave guidance in person on the spot; Xia Baolong, provincial party secretary, and Li Qiang, governor, talked to the volunteers cordially; Leaders from the Provincial Propaganda Department and the Provincial Youth League Committee also visited the venue repeatedly to provide guidance for ZISU volunteering work. Various such media as “Zhejiang Daily”, “Hangzhou Daily”, “City Express”, and “Zhejiang Economic Perspective”, Xinhua Net, to name just a few, reported the volunteer service provided by ZISU, giving publicity to the the image of quality service providers of our students who are hard-working and down-to-earth in volunteer activities, who have solid language skills, and who can speak foreign languages fluently.


Most appreciation for volunteer services came from those foreign guests who enjoyed the service. Xia Li, a volunteer, experienced a story with a Danish grandfather: She patiently made coordination with the hotel to change rooms for the white-haired Danish guests, and secured WiFi connection, which moved the Danish guests greatly. This elderly guest thumbed up repeatedly to show his gratitude while saying that her help convinced him that China is a civilized, humane and and open nation. A Bangladeshi guest treated Zhu Jing as a close friend owing to her accessibility to communicate in English. This guest could not help showing his appreciationf or Zhu Jing and added that they should have got to know each other earlier when he learned that Zhu was a student of ZISU. Yang Yu, a volunteer from School of Eurasian languages and Cultures, made feel at home with his heart-warming smile the foreign guests, one of whom shook hands with him to express his gratitude and respect. Wang Yiming, another volunteer, communicated boldly with foreign guests in Spanish which is similar to Italian and provided service for them, thus winning the considerable appreciation from the foreign guests ......


Chu Junjie, Deputy Director of Propaganda Department, Provincial Youth League Committee, said, “the foreign guests think highly ofthe ZISU volunteers in their feedback, to the effect that ZISU students stuck to their posts, worked hard, and showed strong communication skills in foreign languages in service.”


ZISU: Providing platforms for practical education to cultivate ZISU talents with national complex and global vision


The volunteer work for World Internet Conference was highly stressed by the school leadership and considerably supported by various departments and schools. Yao Chengrong, ZISU Party Secretary of ZISU, repeatedly listened to work reports and made instructions; Zhao Fa, deputy Party Secretary of ZISU, made requests for volunteer work and attended the setting-off ceremony; Cao Renqing, vice president, also showed great concern over the implementation of the volunteer work.


Media Center, ZISU Party Committee, negotiated with the related office of Propaganda Department, Provincial Party Committee, seeking cooperation, immediately after learning that Wu Zhen was chosen as the venue for the World Internet Conference, in the hope of building the platforms for practical education and publicizing ZISU image. ZISU Youth League Committee played a crucial role in organizing and coordinating selectionof volunteers, training, on-spot rehearsal and service, choosing candidates to take charge, and providing overall guidance, ensuring the successful completion of the volunteer work. Each secondary school played a coordinating part invarious aspects of volunteer service, such as organization, publicity and motivation, as well as recommendation of talents. In October, the school initiated the formation of a volunteer team. Tested through such strict selection processes as the initial selection in various school, the interview in ZISU, the retesting by the the Provincial Youth League Committee, and the political censorship, 111 volunteers were recruited from ZISU, who were to provide volunteer service throughout the conference, such as simultaneous translation, VIP reception, Registration guide, news translation, etc. The team includes students majoring in such world official languages as English, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic and so on.


ZISU is committed to cultivating talents with an international perspective, national complex, and a strong sense of responsibility, integrity and etiquette. In recent years, the school has been paying close attention to the critical aspect of practical education and integrating the teaching of theories and the teaching of practice, providing students with a lot of opportunities and platforms to gain keen insight intosociety and reflect seriously on the reality. Constructing practice bases, building the brand of international volunteer service, reforming the practical teaching of political theories, establishing English Language Services Alliance......all these modes serve to cultivate ZISU talents with solid expertise and excellent overall quality, who are hardworking, sociable, highly proficient in spoken languages, and greatly capable. This is the key reason why ZISU volunteers accounted for over a third of a total of more than 300 college student volunteers.


ZISU will carry on their persevering and endeavoring spirit of advancing forward although the volunteer service for the World Internet Conference has finished. Though hardworking, they acquired knowledge and established friendship; through their down-to-earth spirit, they gave the finest interpretation and expression to integrity, responsibility, and ZISU talents with graceful etiquette.