Alienor Laumont, a 22-year-old from France, represented Nanjing Normal University and the Confucius Institute in Alsace to take part in the 4th Session of the Sino-French High-Level Dialogue on Human Exchanges.
On 24th November in Beijing, the 4th Session of the Sino-French High-Level Dialogue on Human Exchanges was held. Alienor Laumont got the chance to meet Yandong Liu, the Vice Premier of China’s State Council, and Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Foreign Minister of France. Nanjing Normal University was chosen by the Foreign Affairs Office of Jiangsu Province to represent all colleges and universities in China, because the University helped establish the Confucius Institute in Alsace and has played an active role in Sino-French exchanges. After the event, Alienor Laumont posted a picture on Wechat of her delightedly talking with the Vice Premier and the Foreign Minister expressing her joy and excitement about her experience living in China and studying Chinese.
Alienor Laumont is from Strasbourg, France. Up until now, she has lived in China for almost three years and after taking up a systematic study of the Chinese language in Nanjing Normal University, her Chinese has improved from the level of not being able to be understood by Chinese locals to one that gave her recognition and praise from China’s Vice Premier.
When Alienor Laumont was only 9 years old, visiting the Chinese district in Paris stoked her interest in Chinese culture and language. After getting permission and support from her parents, she started her journey of studying the Chinese language. Later, her family moved to Croatia where she had to shift her focus towards learning English and catching up with all the courses taught in English. However, she never lost her enthusiasm for the Chinese language. After moving back to France, she found out there were Chinese courses in her high school in Strasbourg and she didn’t hesitate to take them.
When applying for university, Alienor Laumont continued her pursuit of mastering the Chinese Language and chose a Chinese Language bachelor degree program in Strasbourg University. Not very satisfied with the program there, she turned to the Confucius Institute in Alsace which is jointly sponsored by Nanjing Normal University, Suzhou University and local French institutes. “It’s a great place. All the teachers were my friends. They had good teaching methods,” she said, “and we also learned about Chinese culture.” Based on her study in the Confucius Institute and score on the HSK level 3 Chinese Language Proficiency Test, she won a governmental scholarship to Nanjing Normal University for one year, from 2015 to 2016. After that ended, she decided to stay here in Nanjing even though she has to pay for her own studies, “because I think it’s the best way for me to learn Chinese,” Alienor Laumont said.
For the 4th Session of the Sino-French High-Level Dialogue on Human Exchanges, the University needed to find a student who would be able to introduce the efforts we have made in teaching Chinese and promoting Sino-French culture exchange and explain all these in fluent Chinese. Alienor Laumont was the perfect match. She said, “It’s really a great opportunity and I am proud to represent Nanjing Normal University and the Confucius Institute in Alsace.” Though she was extremely stressed in anticipation of talking to the Vice Premier, the conversation went well based on her accumulated knowledge from assiduously studying Chinese.
Talking about future plans, Alienor Laumont said she wants to enter into further education in business or international trading and she believes her Masters of Chinese will give her an edge when looking for a good and suitable job.