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US student awed by China's nature, culture

By Linda Deng | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-15 10:01

Andrew Fowler (second from left) enjoys an activity showcasing Zhuang traditions in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in September. CHINA DAILY

Finalist in global language competition eager to spread positive message. Linda Deng reports in Seattle.

Andrew Fowler, a fourth-year student from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, described his recent experience in China as an unexpected and incredible surprise.

His participation in the 22nd "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students brought him to China, where he joined over 150 young people from 124 countries who competed for the global championship on Sept 2 in Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Initially unsure of the scale of the competition, Fowler never imagined he would make it to the finals and have the opportunity to explore China. The event marked the first offline gathering of the competition in China since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the competition began, contestants enjoyed a three-week summer camp in Beijing, and the cities of Baise and Guilin in Guangxi. Fowler said he cherished the time he spent in the picturesque countryside of Guangxi, where he had the chance to immerse himself in the local culture, interact with ethnic minorities, and sample various delicacies.

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