IFTM Around the World

Tianjin Exchange Programme helps IFTM students to strengthen ties with the Mainland

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

A total of 16 students from IFTM took part in July in the 2021 Tianjin Exchange Programme for Macao University Students. It was the sixth edition in the series, this year coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China.

The annual Tianjin Exchange Programme series was initiated by Mr. Edmund Ho Hau Wah, Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. The exchange programme is jointly organised by the Committee for Liaison with Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Overseas Chinese of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, and the Tianjin Municipal Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, as well as Macao Foundation. It is co-organised by IFTM and the College of Tourism and Service Management at Nankai University in Tianjin.

This year’s programme lasted for 17 days, ending on 22 July. A total of 29 Macao students in tertiary education took part in the scheme. They came either from IFTM, the University of Macau, the Macao Polytechnic Institute or the Macau University of Science and Technology.

During this year’s exchange, the group visited a series of thematic exhibitions and venues for patriotic education, to learn about the history and development of the Communist Party of China in the context of its 100th anniversary. Through these visits, the students were able to have a deeper understanding of the party’s role in shaping China’s economic, cultural and political development. This helped to reinforce the students’ sense of national identity, thus encouraging them to be active in promoting Macao’s advancement.

In addition, the Tianjin Exchange Programme featured a wide range of lectures, site visits, hands-on learning experiences, group discussions and internship opportunities. The activities aimed to allow participants to take in the East-meets-West culture of Tianjin.

The lectures featured in the exchange programme covered topics linked to urban planning, tourism planning, heritage conservation, creative studies and industrialisation. They worked as an introduction on the history of, and the context for, some contemporary issues related to Tianjin.

The city tours included visits to landmarks located either in the historic centre or in Tianjin’s Binhai New Area. They provided participants with insights on the importance of heritage conservation, and the progress made by Tianjin in terms of urban planning and city development, namely in the fields of culture, tourism and economic affairs. Tourism attractions visited by the Macao students included the Dagukou Fort Ruins, the Five Great Avenues, the Tianjin Exhibition Centre and some industrial heritage sites.

As part of the Tianjin Exchange Programme, the group had the chance to enjoy local traditional performing arts and view different types of handicrafts. These included “crosstalk” (a popular folk-art form), Peking Opera, Yangliuqing New Year Painting, pyrography – a way to decorate wood – and leather making. The interactive learning experiences meant that while in Tianjin, the students had an opportunity to explore the city’s tangible and intangible cultural assets.

The exchange programme also included a short internship at either the Jingyuan Garden – a former residence of the last emperor of China, Puyi – or at Qingwangfu, the former residence of Prince Zaizhen, a prominent figure from the Qing Dynasty. At the end of their respective internships, students put forward creative ideas for new souvenirs for each of the historic buildings, making use of what they had learned and experienced during the exchange in Tianjin.

Students that took part in the 2021 Tianjin Exchange Programme stated it was a meaningful and beneficial experience in enhancing their understanding of Chinese culture and history. The scheme helped them to enjoy various features of Tianjin, as well as to grasp information about the prosperous development of China. Overall, the exchange allowed participants to deepen their links with the motherland, it was stated.