'Our Water, Our Future.'

'Our Water, Our Future.'

12 Oct 2009

‘Our Water, Our Future’: A unique cultural exchange unfolds between Australia and China

La Trobe University has welcomed 15 Chinese students from China who have arrived in Melbourne as part of ‘Our Water, Our Future,’ a collaboration between La Trobe University and the Peking University.

Hands in waterThe trip, a joint initiative between the two universities, is aimed at promoting dialogue about environmental and ecological issues and is facilitated by La Trobe’s Centre for China Studies which is providing generous support scholarships for the 15 La Trobe students on the program.

The Chinese students were welcomed by Professor John Rosenberg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor International and Future Students who hosted a lunch for them at the La Trobe Bundoora campus today.

‘These trips not only showcase the partnership between La Trobe University and Peking University, but also the important aspect of partnerships focused on gathering mutual knowledge that is beneficial to both Universities, the students and most importantly the wider community,’ said Professor Rosenberg.    

The four week reciprocal tour sees the Chinese students in Bundoora for two weeks to learn Australian ideas of water conservation, ecological strategies and the impact of human activities on the environment.  Fifteen La Trobe students will then travel to Peking University to research ecological issues from a Chinese perspective.

The tour will see the Chinese students participate in cultural activities and regional visits to places of ecological importance throughout their trip, including the Frank Thomson reserve in King Lake, an area recovering from the bushfires in the region earlier this year.

The scholarships, jointly supported by the La Trobe Centre for China Studies and La Trobe’s Division of Residential Services, cover the student’s local expenses including seminars, site visits, accommodation, local transportation and sightseeing. The La Trobe Centre for China Studies is also providing a $500 subsidy to each student to help cover the cost of airfares, the only student related expense.  

Professor Likun Pei, Executive Director of the Centre for China Studies said, ‘by providing the scholarships we are encouraging students to participate in this program and believe that it is a great opportunity for them to learn a different language, gain greater inter-cultural understanding and an international education experience, all of which would benefit their future development while further strengthening the link between La Trobe and Peking University.’

Group Leader and Bachelor of Arts student Clara New remains excited by the notion of heading to China.

‘It’s a great opportunity, I can’t wait to see the Great Wall of China and being of Chinese descent it gives me the chance to learn more about my culture which is something I’m really looking forward to,’ she said.


ENDS
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
James Ayers,
Media Officer
Ph (03) 9479 1187 E: J.Ayers@latrobe.edu.au 

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