To the rescue

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/11/26 18:13:39

Chinese students and their parents take part in open school day at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, on August 3, 2014. Photo: IC

Liang Huiqiong had been worried about her son's education, until she met the officials from the Chinese Embassy in Australia, who came to Darwin to help people like her.

Liang has been living in Australia for many years. Her son grew up in the country and is now preparing to enter university. Both she and her son want him to study in China, but were not sure if he would be used to the education system there or if he could get scholarship.

Five officials from the Chinese Embassy to Australia traveled 4,000 kilometers from Canberra to the port city of Darwin in the Northern Territory to meet with Chinese students and immigrants on issues including education and consular protection.

Zong Wa, education counselor of the Chinese Embassy to Australia, told her that many Chinese universities had partnerships with foreign universities and provided courses in English. Some universities and provinces in China also offer scholarships to international students.

"We have been living overseas for too long, and there are many things that we do not know," said Liang.

"The embassy has made me feel reassured."

Liang is not the only person to benefit from the embassy trip. Yu Aihong is a Chinese language teacher who asked on behalf of her students about visa applications for short-term study in China.

"They [the officials] were like parents on a regular visit to their children," she said.

Regarding previous requests by overseas Chinese to simplify visa application procedures, the officials also briefed them on the latest progress at the embassy.

"The embassy has always attached great importance to our compatriots overseas," Zong said.

"Each year we visit Darwin since there is no consulate."

After the meeting, which took one and a half hours, Pan Weihua, third secretary at the embassy, gave a lecture on consular protection.

He told the Xinhua News Agency that they receive as many as 50 to 60 phone calls a day asking for help.

"Some were reporting that their passports had been stolen or misused. Some were involved in telecom fraud. It is important to raise their awareness about self-protection."

He also talked about other issues like transportation, medical care and travel.

Meng Fanyu, 24, is a student at Charles Darwin University, who has been in Australia for three years.

"There are more than 300 Chinese students in the Northern Territory," he said.

"The tips for travel safety and anti-sexual harassment measures are helpful."

On Saturday, two officials from the Chinese embassy went to the Alatai Hotel to help local Chinese people renew their passports. They took the fingerprints and photos, before helping the applicants mail the documents to the Chinese embassy.

"Were they not here to help, we would have to go to Canberra for the passport renewal," said a woman surnamed Huang, who learned about the service on WeChat.

"The Chinese immigrants and students in Australia play an important role in the relationship between the two countries," Zong Wa said.

"Hopefully what we do can help make their lives here easier." 


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