Hebei Normal University and the Confucius Institute organized Chinese Bridge Online in its first virtual edition. In previous years, the event was held through face-to-face competitions in China, when participants from several countries gathered for challenges against each other.
However, the 2021 edition was changed to an online and intensive course about Chinese language and culture. Thus, between January 13 and 21, participants from Brazil were able to access recorded classes and virtual meetings with professors and representatives from the Chinese university. Altogether, the group consisted of approximately 160 people, chosen from different Brazilian universities, of which 39 were from UFOP, among undergraduate and graduate students, professors and administrative staff.
A different theme guided the activities in each class. Local cuisine, writing of Chinese characters, celebrations, festivals, aspects of health and Traditional Chinese Medicine, tourism and everyday situations in China (such as shopping, for example) were topics covered during the seven live meetings of the course. Through Hebei Normal University's own online platform, called Chinese Plus, representatives of the institution presented oral and writing activities, besides interactive videos regarding what it is like to live in Hebei.
The class also had the support of the monitor Júlio Cézar Kattah, a former student of the Geological Engineering program at UFOP. Júlio got to know the Hebei Normal University during an event organized by CAINT in 2018, and he is now a Master's student of “World Economics” at the Chinese institution. His participation in the course was fundamental, acting as an interlocutor between Chinese professors and Brazilian students, in addition to acting in the videos produced for the course.
At the closing ceremony, held on January 21, Jaqueline Pinheiro Schultz, current International Affairs Coordinator at CAINT, congratulated the Normal University of Hebei for the excellence in the organization of Chinese Bridge Online, apart from thanking the participants from UFOP who had the opportunity to be part of such an important event as important. Jaqueline also recognized the commitment of Professor Ana Qiao, Chinese Director of the Confucius Classroom of Fluminense Federal University and Hebei Normal University, in the development of the relationship between Brazil and China.
Despite some difficulties faced by students and teachers during classes, caused by the instability of internet connection and the adaptation to a newly opened teaching platform, the experience of the course was very positive.
The International Affairs Office (CAINT) would like to thank the Normal University of Hebei and the Confucius Institute for the opportunity and inclusion of UFOP in Chinese Bridge Online. A special thanks to Júlio Kattah for his role as a course monitor. UFOP is very proud of his achievements!