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Chinese students arrive in Colombia to teach Mandarin

The Colombian government has welcomed a group of Chinese students to the country who will teach Mandarin at top universities for the next year through an academic mobility programme with China.

Since 2006, 141 Chinese students have participated in the programme

In its seventh year, the Programa de Movilidad Académica, led by the The Colombian Institute of Educational Credit and Technical Studies Abroad (ICETEX), has strengthened ties between China and Colombia as well as contributed to the internationalisation of participating universities.

In a statement, ICETX said the government was prioritising bilingualism as a strategy for the internationalisation of higher education.

The government is prioritising bilingualism as a strategy for the internationalisation of higher education

“Academic mobility programmes like the one with the People’s Republic of China, bring benefits to the country by increasing investor confidence in the international community in Colombia as it becomes a destination not only for tourism but also education,” it said.

ICETEX says it is working to “close the gaps” on the road to being competitive in international education.

Since 2006, 141 Chinese students have participated in the programme teaching in language departments at “high quality, accredited” universities in Colombia while also improving their Spanish. Last week, the latest group arrived which included 20 Chinese students who will teach at 19 universities around the country.

Colombian students are also provided scholarships by the Chinese government to study in China.

“Through the Mandarin course, I could share information about Chinese culture so that students know more about this country that is so remote and different,” said Shougang Di, a student who took part in the programme at the Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar in 2011.

“In addition Spanish courses helped greatly to improve my Spanish and knowledge of Colombian culture.”

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