University volunteers share experiences serving CIIE

By Chen Shasha Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/6 16:58:40

Volunteerism today, a career tomorrow

While audiences feast their eyes on the fancy technologies, products and ideas from all over the world at the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) being held in Shanghai from Tuesday to Sunday, an enthusiastic group of volunteers works to ensure the conference proceeds smoothly.

According to People's Daily, out of over 6,000 volunteers, most of them are from 38 Shanghai colleges and universities. The Global Times spoke with five volunteers about their experience and feeling serving CIIE.

Wang Chenchen

Wang Chenchen, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Wang Chenchen, a 19-year-old sophomore majoring in business English, is helping local liaison officers arrange the foreign delegations' daily schedules during the event. 

She started her job officially on Monday at noon when she was asked to pick up a foreign delegation with the reception team at Pudong International Airport. Arriving back at the campus at 10 pm, Wang felt relaxed and happy about her first day of volunteering.

"I was so nervous and stressful at the beginning, but the liaison officer helped me a lot," Wang told the Global Times. She was impressed by a girl from a government office. "She can speak several languages and she is very capable at work, she seems shining when working, which makes me feel that it's so important to learn languages well."

"I feel proud to be part of such a national event," she said. "Although what I did is only a tiny part of the event, I know that my work will make the other parts function well and efficiently," she said.

Wu Haodi

Wu Haodi, Shanghai International Studies University

Wu Haodi, 20, is a veteran volunteer for the CIIE. During the first CIIE, she served as an English volunteer and helped a US visitor with his daily activities throughout the event. For this year's expo, she can practice her Spanish when receiving visitors from the Dominican Republic.

To get familiar with the routes, Wu walked through the exhibition hall before the event. She also learned local culture and customs of the Dominican Republic. 

"I hope that I can let the visitors from Spanish-speaking countries have a good experience about CIIE in Shanghai. I also hope that they can understand more about our culture," Wu said.

Wu believes the experience improves her Spanish and ability to immediately respond to emergency situations, which will help her future career development.


Gu Hang

Gu Hang, Shanghai International Studies University

A junior student majoring in Arabic, 24-year-old Gu Hang is serving national pavilion of Saudi Arabia as a volunteer during the CIIE from Wednesday to Sunday. During the first CIIE, Gu helped receive foreign delegations and guide visitors.

Gu still remembers an elder Chinese couple he guided during the first CIIE. "When I was guiding them through the exhibition, I found that they know the exhibits much further than me."

"As I volunteer, it should have been me to introduce them about the exhibits, but they taught me a lot about the history behind the products in turn," Gu said. "For me, being a volunteer was also a learning process."

Gu has a chance to speak Arabic language during this year's event. "It is challenging, but I believe my language will improve," Gu told the Global Times. 

Gu served two years in the military after finishing his first year in the university. He plans to work in the diplomatic field after graduation. He believes being a CIIE volunteer is a precious experience for his future career.

Zhao Meiqi

Zhao Meiqi, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Zhao Meiqi, 19, arrived at the venue early Tuesday morning. She serves at a forum with the theme of e-commerce. She learned the background of the guests to prepare for the event.

"I am looking forward to seeing the influential figures who are invited as guests at the forum," Zhao told the Global Times on Monday. "I used to be volunteers for many events. CIIE is a high level one," she said.

Zhao said she received some training before the event, which included intercultural communication, first aid skills, communication skills, etiquette and manners, as well as waste management.

Zhao thinks the volunteer experience will broaden her horizon and enhance her ability to handle emergencies.


Li Zihan

Li Zihan, Tongji University

A sophomore majoring in software engineering, Li Zihan started her volunteer work before the National Day and finished it about two weeks ago. 

Li said she helped test the indoor navigation system which is used to position each stand precisely in the exhibition hall during the event. "It was very busy," Li told the Global Times. "I walked around 30,000 steps a day during that time." 

"I feel a sense of accomplishment, although I just run errands for our team. I have seen personally that, the individual efforts, which might be a small part for the huge exhibition, are indispensable," Li said.

"If possible, I would like to be a volunteer for the next CIIE and serve foreign visitors and audience, so as to have a close experience with the CIIE."

Volunteers guide guests at the event. Photo: Yang Hui/GT



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