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Impression on Europe--Tong Changheng
Source: Release:2019-11-01 08:46:36 Writer: Hits:

It was at the end of November of 2018 during the ICARE International Winter Camp that I got my first chance to go to France for overseas study. Under the leadership of Teacher Liang, a counselor of ICARE, and Teacher Kou, I'm honored to visit a number of international organizations and institutions of higher learning together with other 11 partners of mine from ICARE. I was deeply impressed by Paris, a famous cultural, historical and educational city of Europe. In March 2019, I luckily gained the second chance to come to Paris, France, for a five-month internship in Chimie ParisTech after the selection of ICARE.


The internship system of France which encourages students at school to gain more social experience and apply their knowledge to practice is long-established. My internship unit at this time is a research institute and my internship life there is quite different from my campus life in China. I had thought that Chinese students were hard-working enough before I came here. After arriving, I found that our counterparts from France, Japan, Algeria and other countries were just as earnest and meticulous as us. They act as a mirror for me, which always reminds me that as Chinese interns, we shouldn't lag behind in our study and disgrace Chinese students.

Under the instruction of Professor Thierry PAUPORTE, head of my lab, I not only finished my experiment plan in my limited internship period but also benefited from the even more rigorous science research training system of France. For example, I once reported to Professor Thierry PAUPORTE about my recent experiment results. Out of habit, I reported my experiment results by using the experiment data and sheets stored in my computer. Professor Thierry, however, interrupted me, requiring me to provide my experiment record book. I had never expected that he would criticize me harshly after reading the few lines of experiment result records in the book, for I thought it was just fine to display the experiment results. It was under his instruction that I learnt that it was necessary to record experiment details for scientific research training conducted in France, as when we look back at them, such records show many interesting phenomena which can't be otherwise reflected by experiment results. This is what Chinese postgraduates often neglect and fail to attach importance to. Except for expertise, scientific research training, I have learnt advanced study approaches, which benefit me a lot.


It is indeed a shortcut of improving one's independent living ability to go on a foreign study trip. We, who had never entered the kitchen, bargained over prices and done chores before, can now making a lot of signature dishes, take an one-hour public transport vehicle in order to save money to buy more affordable daily necessities and make our tiny room clean and tidy. Thanks for the life in Paris, I not only turn from a dependent person into an independent one, but also manage to understand what plain everyday life is.

Living at abroad, we most frequently talk about our hometown every time we meet our classmates and friends. Even though we are in the remote Europe, we are deeply concerned about our hometown. The riot and demonstration taking place in Hongkong this summer was worried by overseas students tens of thousands away. On August 17, 2018, radical groups gathered in the Fontaine Saint-Michel Square of Paris for demonstration. Overseas Chinese students at Paris voluntarily hold rallies, to strongly condemn riot behaviors in Hongkong and external interference. It was a great honor for me to participate in the "patriotic Hongkong-protecting" movement, to shout the slogan of safeguarding the integrity of China and fighting against riot with overseas Chinese and overseas Chinese students in France and sing such patriotic Hongkong-protecting songs as March of the Volunteers, Ode to the Motherland and The Eastern Pearl, to express our hope for the restoration of order in Hongkong as early as possible.

The rally was shot by a reporter from CCTV News who just came over and I also presented in the scene which exerted valuable influence. In addition, I called upon three other "comrades-in-arms" to pick up rubbish on the road after the rally, the scene of which was shot by some passer-by and covered by the Economic Daily and other news agencies on microblog, Douyin and other Internet platforms, making a sharp contrast with the messy scenes created by demonstrators from Hongkong. What we have done demonstrates the quality and traits of Chinese youth, leaving no place for malevolent foreign medium to defame us.


From 1919 to 1920, thousands of Chinese youth went to France for work-study programs, constituting an overseas study movement with important and profound influence in Chinese modern history and an important initiative in the modernization process of ancient China. Our forefathers have achieved the goals of education popularization, society transformation and industry revitalization through "saving China by developing industry, education and science".

A hundred years later, ICARE shoulders the responsibility of training internationalized and specialized talents by inheriting the will of our forefathers with its original intention and missions keeping in mind. With advanced education concept and international communication platforms, ICARE not only broadens students' vision and develops their skills, but also encourage them set ambitious goals, in order to pay tribute to the dream "transform China and the world" of our ancestors. Short as the internship is, it acts as a seed taking root in us, for us to embrace an internationalized future. The seed will take root and sprout in every region and corner of the world in future, leaving a deep imprint of ICARE students.