On September 1, 2019, Nanjing Normal University welcomed more than 8,000 new students. A series of services directed at the freshman was carefully designed and carried out, aiming at enhancing students’ sense of belonging and creating an exciting and welcoming atmosphere. Some of them are NNU’s long-established traditions. For example, this has been the 15th consecutive year when our presidents welcomed freshmen at train stations and bus stations and students can always expect to have coach buses specially allocated to take them to the campuses from these stations.
In spite of the drizzle, the aim was to help every newcomer find his or her first day on to campus going smoothly. A number of consulting desks were set up in different areas of the campus to service the freshmen. There were also students from various departments waiting for their new classmates. Once they arrived on campus, volunteers who had been specially recruited and trained, helped them with things like check-in and locating services. Umbrellas were available at every stand to borrow at no cost and this year, an elaborate and detailed special guidebook was supplied to introduce almost everything about our university, including scholarships, traffic, libraries, FAQs, etc.
There were also some activities undertaken by different schools that were the highlight of the day. Volunteers from the School of Marxism prepared some special hand cards and took photos of the students holding them. A creative exhibition board, which looked like a deposit receipt from the School of Public Administration, also caught the eye of passers-by. It illustrated that if students deposited four years of their life in the university they would receive interest income in the form of knowledge and new abilities. Xiaoyue Jin, a freshman from the School of Foreign Language and Cultures, said it felt like home after a walk around the campus. “Everything is so fresh and interesting. I am quite satisfied with our canteens particularly. The food was so tasty, and I am looking forward to spending five meaningful years here,” she said.
Among all the students who embarked on a new academic journey, hundreds of them are from abroad. On the morning of September 1, an orientation was arranged for the international students to help them acclimate well to the school. Lixin Tian, the vice president of NNU, came and addressed approximately 30 students. “NNU has a long history of more than one hundred years, consisting of numerous excellent teachers and students. We sincerely expect all of you can achieve good academic results and become those needed for the society.” He also warmly talked with three representatives of the international students, inquiring about their majors that they will be studying and their future plans.
Alberto Cherubini, who comes from Italy and is now pursuing a bachelor degree, shared his most impressive thing after coming to NNU. “Chatting with Chinese friends makes me feel well immersed in the culture.” He also expected to dip into other languages such as German and French in addition to his present major——translation from Italian to Chinese. After a one-year study of Chinese on the Suiyuan campus, Kitania Nichole Christina Blackman from Grenada, who is now in the School of Law, decided to further her academic exploration at NNU. When asked about her future plans, she had a pretty high hopes about her studies. “The main plan is to study very hard and be successful. I am aiming to be the top student in my class so I have to work very hard for that.” Also, with the guidance of Xiaorong Luan, she had familiarized herself with different areas of our campus.