In recent years an increasing number of Chinese students are choosing to study abroad, while a lack of understanding of their own nation's history and culture, particularly among very young students, has become a major concern of both their parents and society.
"When asked questions about ancient Chinese literature and concepts by teachers abroad, most Chinese students cannot answer accurately or in detail because they only have a smattering of knowledge," said Le Kai (pseudonym), who studied abroad for seven years.
Le started to learn piano at the age of four. He then went on to be admitted by the Royal College of Music in London for advanced study. Luckily, influenced by his family environment, Le has studied Chinese history and literature since childhood and has a strong interest in Chinese culture.
The popularity of studying abroad has not subsided over the past decade. Statistics from the Ministry of Education show that the number of Chinese students studying abroad exceeded 600,000 in 2017, with China the largest source of students in the world for many years.
Moreover, a report by the Globally Mobile Youth showed that, 33,275 of the international students studying in the middle schools of the United States came from China in 2016, accounting for 41 percent of the total in that academic year, and with a clear trend of younger and younger students.
The Convoy Plan, launched in July 2017 by the China Children and Teenagers Foundation together with relevant government departments and agencies, aims to provide public welfare services for young students studying abroad, such as services related to psychological counseling, SOS emergency rescue, finance and international flights.
In cooperation with the Capital Museum, the Convoy Plan launched a program specially designed for the summer vacation in Beijing in July. Educationists, experts and scholars are invited to give lectures to the students studying or planning to study abroad so as to help them learn more about Beijing's history and the essence of traditional Chinese culture and build up their confidence in Chinese culture.
Wang Xinying, an expert of Beijing's history and culture who is in charge of the Convoy Plan's summer vacation program, said: "Today's children are bound to be an internationalized generation. As a Chinese, wherever we go, we should keep our culture in mind."
"I hope the plan will help the students have a better understanding of the history and culture of Beijing and our nation. By observing a city from different angles, they will learn more about the world and contribute to mutual learning among world civilizations," said Wang.
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