MVSO recently hosted a group of twenty students and their teachers from the Guangzhou College of South China University of Technology (GCU) for two weeks, who attended a number of academic workshops and also enjoyed a whole row of cultural and social activities.
Our Chinese visitors thus became the first to participate in a pilot version of the new concept represented by the called ACT Bridge project which will, in the future as well, familiarize international students with the instructional methods and tools used in the central European region. At the same time, they will become familiar with other aspects of our central European culture, too. Last, but not lease, they will have, as these students did, the opportunity to travel and experience Europe.
The academic workshops prepared for these guests from abroad were conceptualized with a view to the areas of excellence specific to our school. That is why there was a focus on the fields of economics and management. During their stay, these Chinese students were introduced to, among other subjects, the principles of geoinformatics, the methodology of data acquisition as well as with different ways to visualize information useful for the systematic and detailed exploration of research questions for which solutions are being sought in various areas.
The knowledge they gained at these workshops was further expanded by going to see selected local as well as supraregional companies, where they were able to look into how the topics mentioned in the classroom look in practice.
Czech students were also present at these academic workshops. The emphasis was placed, above all,on the development of teamwork and the exchange of know-how. The friendly atmosphere of this classroom cooperation was then successfully transferred to happenings held outside the school grounds. This was especially clear during their participation in the accompanying program focused on their getting to know, in particular, Czech and Moravian culture, but also central European culture in general.
Within the framework of this cultural part of the program, the students had a chance to get an idea of European history. They became acquainted with the greatest pillars of our civilization. The definition of the fundamental principles of Christian culture was stressed. The foreign students, together with their mentors, under the auspices of MVSO, toured some of the sacred and secular historical monuments of Olomouc .In this way, they were able to comprehend something of what European history is all about.
We cannot fail to mention that these visitors from abroad also went to Prague. They spent there three whole days of the overall time available to them in the Czech Republic.
Both the academic and cultural parts of the program were multifarious. In addition to the activities organized by MVSO, instruction was also offered by the two Chinese academics accompanying the students. Both teachers and students were very active. They presented a special performance, in which Czech people were able to try out some typical Chinese games besides enjoying the show.
Everyone involved in this event judged it to be beneficial. Within the framework of the official evaluation process, the interaction between Czech and Chinese students came to the forefront. We were surprised to find out, however, that our Czech food was too salty for our Chinese guests. They did not complain, though, about the traditional Czech sausages they roasted over an open fire outdoors in a nearby lakeside nature reservation. This was judged by the students to be an extraordinarily interesting culinary experience.