Recenrly, a group of nine students from Fudan University, one of China’s most prestigious universities, visited the Norwegian Consulate General in Shanghai. Though they study different subjects, these students are united by one shared love: An appreciation for the culture, society and values of Nordic countries.
Nordic Society is a student community at Fudan University which collaborates closely with the Nordic Centre. The roughly 300 members participate in exchange programs with universities from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark, and cooperate with the Nordic Centre to help organize events like concerts and seminars. Through their buddy program, the Nordic Society also assists Scandinavian students in finding friends and partners for language exchange.
Another important activity for the Nordic Society is to visit the foreign missions of Nordic countries in Shanghai. Recently, a group of ten students visited the Norwegian Consulate General, where they were greeted by Consul General Bjørn Blokhus. Mr. Blokhus then gave an introduction to the daily work and areas of importance to the Consulate General, followed by an informal Q&A session.
When asked to describe what they found appealing about Nordic countries, the students’ answers were as different as their backgrounds and university subjects. For some, like 22-year-old Vance Zhang, music is the biggest draw. A chance encounter with band Kings of Convenience awoke a strong interest for Norwegian music, an interest which eventually led him to Bergen for an exchange semester. Li Zhixiang, who studies Classical Chinese at Fudan, said he liked the tolerance and openness of Scandinavian countries.
The visit was concluded by a gift of CDs and books by Public Diplomacy Advisor Flora Lu after a short presentation by Consul Per Bardalen Wiggen.