Foreign freshmen smile and wave after Thursday's opening ceremony for the new academic year at Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School.
STUDENTS must have a global outlook and understand different cultures and ways of thinking to become internationalized, Mark Feldman, an American law professor with Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, told Shenzhen Daily on Thursday.
Thursday marked the opening of the graduate school's new academic year, with 929 freshmen including 33 foreign students from 25 countries. Most of the foreign students are studying business.
The school has been touting its unique ability to cultivate internationalized students.
"Students should travel more and be active in taking part in international exchange programs," said Feldman, who along with South Korean business teacher Young Joon Park, who teaches at the university's HSBC Business School, was honored by the school at Thursday's English-language opening ceremony. The two instructors received recognition for their work in the previous academic year.
Feldman's views about internationalization were echoed by Park, who stressed the importance of "exposure to other countries" that can be achieved by traveling or getting involved in exchange programs.
"Students need to have a view of what they can do in the world," Park said.
When listing Shenzhen's advantages in cultivating internationalized students, both Feldman and Park gave the city's proximity to Hong Kong as their first answer, without hesitation.
"Students can have access to experiencing new things in Hong Kong, which is more international and globalized," said Park, who has been staying in Shenzhen for three years.
Park added that Shenzhen is a global manufacturing hub and home to many international companies, from which students can learn the ins and outs of international business.
Feldman said that "Shenzhen's youth, openness and enterprising spirit give (the city) a real sense of opportunity."
Contrasting his positive remarks, Park also suggested ways that Shenzhen could improve its "foreigner-friendly environment."
"Although Shenzhen is more foreigner-friendly than most Chinese cities, compared with Beijing and Shanghai, it is less," Park said.
Park cited the city's international airport as an example of potential improvement, saying it offers "few international flights, a small size and (few) services matching an international title."
"In Beijing and Shanghai, it is easy for foreigners to acquire information guides about restaurants and other leisure things," Park said. "But in Shenzhen, there is less such information available for foreigners, which could be provided through the Internet or brochures handed out at the airport."
Feldman seems to be more satisfied with the city's services for foreigners, praising, as examples, the city's bilingual road signs and service announcements on Metro trains.
"The city's younger generation knows English well," Feldman said.
Feldman said it will take time for Shenzhen to improve its name recognition and attract more foreign professionals. The opening of Shenzhen University Town, where the PKU graduate school is located, could help those efforts, he added.