A total of 20 students from Tsinghua University, China, joined the UGM-Tsinghua University Collaborative Summer Program from 29th August to 8th September. The program, which is a cooperation between UGM and Tsinghua University, aims to provide an understanding of cultural diversity to the students of both universities.
Globalization and technological advances allow the establishment of interaction between different people with diverse cultural backgrounds, races, groups, and languages. Thus, an understanding of differences is crucial.
"Today the world is changing rapidly, and cross-cultural understanding has become very important. Therefore, students should not only learn academically, but also need to have international exposure," said Deputy Director of Partnership, Alumni and International Affairs UGM, Dr. Danang Sri Hadmoko, S.Si., M.Sc., when opening the UGM-Tsinghua University Collaborative Summer Program on Monday (29/8) in the Multimedia Room of UGM.
Danang said that this program will be the beginning of a collaboration between the two universities in the future. The program also plays an important part in the relationship between Indonesia and China in terms of political, economic, social and cultural aspects.
"This is a valuable opportunity for students from Indonesia and China to increase international exposure, as well as to strengthen the relations between the two countries," he explained.
The Vice-President of Tsinghua University, Prof. Yang Bin, took the opportunity to attend the opening ceremony. He stated that this collaborative program is an excellent opportunity for students of Tsinghua to build a global network and learn from the culture and experience of the people of Indonesia.
"When it comes to globalization, the real challenge is how to shape the mindset of the students, so that they can have a global perspective and find solutions to world problems," said Yang.
On this occasion, he explained that developing countries, especially Indonesia, are now a major focus for the Chinese government. Therefore, he encourages his students to not only visit countries in Europe or America, but developing countries too. He also specifically expressed his admiration for the city of Yogyakarta and UGM which both have an interesting history.
"We feel honored to be at UGM which gave birth to great leaders, including the President of Indonesia today. Our alumni also include the president of China, so we have this thing in common," said Yang.
He also advised the students to become cultural ambassadors who introduce the language and culture of China to UGM students and at the same time study the cultural diversity of Indonesia. He also advised the students to enjoy their stay in Yogyakarta.
"Make friends with many people, and do not forget to take a lot of pictures. When you return to Tsinghua, you can introduce Indonesia to your friends there," he concluded.