Editor's Notes: The winners of the Dunedin Mayoral Scholarship Programme from Shanghai colleges started their two-week internship in Dunedin, New Zealand from July 5, 2015. And now they have returned and share the experiences here.
By Sherry Tang
a junior student major in English from University of Shanghai for Science and Technology
I cannot remember since when my life has become making a life instead of living one. Years have I been seeking, yet I stopped, and there it is, a wonderful place full of little surprises that I feel the gentle love of the world.
It took me a while to greet like a kiwi. The
old-school English greeting language taught in China never tells you how to
briefly describe a day in a few sentences, or make a joke on some
unsatisfactory experience after “I am fine, thank you.”
People asked me ‘how are you’ every time we met. At first, it felt so strange to answer. However, few days later I found it sweet to hear, and somehow through the interaction I felt closer to them within only two weeks.
I realized that showing your interests in others’
feelings and well-being is such a simple magic trick that brings friendship and
a delightful time.
Not only did I impressed by the kiwi interpersonal interaction, also I found their public services truly attentive. The internship that the government arranged for me is assisting one of the team leaders in the Dunedin library.
What inspired me most is the Home Services, which provides free library services for the citizens who find it difficult to leave their home for reasons of illness or disability. After people join the Home Services, librarians will visit them at home to discuss their reading likes and dislikes, in order to select appropriate materials.
One way to know whether the public service system is mature or not is how much they care about the minorities. Home Service is a really good example and definitely considerate and loving. It touched me so much that I made my first interview that was with the Home Services staff and the people who are having benefit from it, and I am going to introduce it to the libraries in China, hoping our people can feel the same love from our social service system.
Although it was a short period living in New Zealand, I have been lucky to be encouraged by the people and the lifestyle in Dunedin, that I will care about my friends with every inch of me, and live to make every second counts.