International youth camp gets underway in Shanghai

Ninety-one students and faculty members from 16 foreign cities are participating in the 2019 Shanghai International Sister Cities Youth Camp which kicked off on Thursday.

The two-week camp, which aims to help foreigners better understand the city, also involves 57 volunteers from local high schools and teenagers from countries such as Australia, France, Belgium, Russia and Switzerland.

"I have never been to a camp like this before. I hope to be exposed to the Chinese culture, make new friends and learn something new here," said Matej Medveczky, a 17-year-old student from Slovakia.

Medveczky’s teammate Martin Simo echoed the same statement, adding that the camp is a chance for him to learn about the culture, language and habits of people in China.

According to organizers, foreign students will learn about traditional Chinese culture through lessons with local volunteers, a series of outdoor activities and tours at several famous tourist sites in Shanghai.

Youth forums, sports activities and costume parties will also be held in the following weeks to enhance the understanding and relationship between Chinese and foreign participants.

Yuan Sihui, a volunteer from Shanghai Nanyang Model School, said that the program offers them a chance to communicate with foreign students and improve their English.

"We will also be translators for our overseas counterparts during classes. They are friendly and enthusiastic and I’m looking forward to making friends with them," Yuan added.

Launched in 2009 as part of Shanghai’s efforts to promote greater exchange among international youth, the program has attracted 1,015 overseas teachers and students from 38 sister cities of 35 countries over the past 10 years.

Tang Xiaofan contributed to this story.

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