Baiyun Mountain campus, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, February 19th, 2023: Never say that the splendour of Spring is hard to embrace. Brightness always comes after cloudy days. A new semester approached accompanied by the warm sun shining and spring wind breezing in February. All the students and faculty arrived on Feb 17th and 18th. They started their new journey full of enthusiasm with brand-new looks.
Students back to school
To ensure a safe and orderly return for students and faculty, the school's departments have established guidelines, including a clear entry process, complete route guidance, and thoughtful and attentive tips. "Guideposts can be seen almost all the way back to school, which is really necessary and convenient," said parents sending their student to the university.
Students walking on the school avenue
For returning teachers and students and their relatives, the campus has simplified its entry procedures. To ensure a smooth flow of traffic as teachers and students returned to school, the Department of Security and the Department of General Affairs and Logistics planned entry routes in advance and made arrangements for staff on the day of entry. Several entrances and exits were opened. Hundreds of parking spaces were set up in the teaching and residential areas.
Department of Security offering help
To resume offline teaching, departments such as the Logistics Department have disinfected all the buildings in teaching and living areas, and checked and repaired the lighting system. Led by the Bidding and Procurement Center, school's sports facilities have been refurbished and 300 smart classrooms have been upgraded, which will provide a more vibrant reaching experience and more efficient learning environment for all teachers and students. This work was co-completed by the Finance and Asset Management Department, the General Affairs and Logistics Department, the Modern Education Technology Center and other departments.
In order to establish a good connection between home and school, departments like the School of Interpreting and Translation Studies as well as the School of Information Science and Technology held parent-teacher meetings on the first day of students returning. Teachers discussed and answered questions in real time on issues of common concern to parents such as the student’s cultivation, further education and employment, curriculum, etc. This communication between parents and teachers built a bridge between home and school, constructing an “a community with a shared future for education”. Other academies such as the School of English Education carried out visits to student dormitories. Relevant staff in charge and student mentors communicated with students and parents, offering them warmth and care.
“Welcome home, students!”
Volunteers added a bright touch to the campus
Early in the morning, volunteers from all faculty put on their volunteer vest, waiting along the route to welcome students going back to school full of enthusiasm. They also helped students to carry their luggage and answered parents’ questions. Liu Qianjun, a sophomore from the School of Economies and trade, is one of these volunteers. Ten days before school opens, she had already started planning and preparing for the back-to-school voluntary work. “I hoped that I can always keep going with voluntary spirit and add a bright touch to my university,” she said.
It’s time to start school!
The breeze swayed, and a beam of warm light poured down and fell on people. A Lidan and Yuan Ziyi carried new textbooks to the dorm. They handed new books to their classmates, passing on the first warmth of the new semester to others. Li from the Faculty of Chinese Language and Culture also volunteered for this activity organized by the faculty, and he was responsible for helping returning students to register for the semester and recharge their discounted train tickets.
Volunteers offering help for students
Banners and volunteer service points from all departments were everywhere on the campus and under the dormitory buildings. Volunteers from the School of International Relations, the School of Arts, and the School of Journalism and Communication were waiting for the returning students, and they had prepared games and gifts in their hands, such as "You gesture, I guess" and "Word Solitaire". Students could take photos, get bookmarks and leave messages on a message wall. In addition to the games, many colleges also prepared epidemic prevention and control supplies for students, all of which reflected the university's enthusiasm and care for students.
Parents experiencing the intelligent classroom
The timely updated policies provided many facilities to parents. Mr. Huang, a parent from the School of Mathematics and Statistics, arrived early to accompany his child back to school. This semester he could finally enjoy the beautiful scenery of the campus, making up for regrets due to the pandemic. He shared the same impression with parents from the School of Accounting and the Faculty of English Language and Culture, commenting, “The living environment here is really good. The school also provides students with great study conditions and various facilities.”
Youth is the time to create the future together
Parents and students representatives also visited the simultaneous interpretation room and intelligent classrooms in Baiyun Mountain campus. They talked and shared, experienced and used equipment. The parent representative of the Class of 2022 English students was delighted to learn that the exchange rate abroad is as high as 20%, and she expressed her expectation that her child would be able to take advantage of the exchange opportunities offered by Guangwai to seize the opportunities of the times. After seeing the beautiful environment of the school, a parent representative whose child is learning the Thai language felt relived and hoped that their student could cherish the teaching conditions, improve their overall quality, make progress and expand their horizons. Employment is the focus of parents and the university. Parents representatives from the Class of 2019 Japanese students were confident about students’ prospect, as GDUFS is ranked among the best in job quality and top in salary. Besides, she was very grateful for platforms the university provided.
Parents visiting the simultaneous interpretation room
Parents visiting the intellectual classroom
Work Together for Common Goals
What do students expect after saying goodbye to offline teaching and embrace an online one? Cai from the School of Accounting said she has full plans in new semester. “GDUFS has a lot of exchange projects. I wanna learn the language well and go out to see the world.” Aside from for professional study, she also wanted to teach herself more knowledge of new media and become a content creator in her field of interest. Wang from the School of Business hoped that she can balance studying and exercising. On one hand, she wanted to work harder on her studies and improve her English skills. On the other hand, she expected to step out her comfort zone and do more outdoor activities to enjoy sweating to get ready to enlist in response to the call for military service. Wang from the School of Law said that she will do everything with a more determined and positive attitude and that she hopes to be happier and make more progress. In the new semester, students will chase their dreams and work together for their common goals.
All seats are occupied in the Library
Hustle-and-bustle returns to the canteen
“Today we welcome a new semester of renewal. Facing a new journey filled with hope, we are full of anticipation and will catch the momentum of high-quality development, striving to do our best, living up to the potential of Spring (considered the finest season in Chinese culture), and deliver a good report to our new life,” said Chen Yu, the student mentor of the School of Law, who also had full expectations this brand-new semester. Teacher Mo from the School of Public Administration hoped that students can motivate themselves, realize their potential, make the most of their strengths, and harvest and grow in the new term.
The pandemic has scattered, and Spring has come. It's time for us to come back now, but without haste. Flowers bloom in the warm Spring as students gather on the Guangwai campus. Let’s look forward to embarking on a new journey in GDUFS!