20 July 2008

S'pore youth in China

SINGAPORE youth on work attachments in China now have a new way to share their thoughts and experiences - via a blogging site launched yesterday.

The name of the site, Go East, is a reference to a Chinese literary classic depicting the adventures of a monk and his entourage traversing across China.

The modern-day twist on the tale is the result of a tie-up between Business China - a network for Singaporeans interested in doing business in China - and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

The new platform to let Singapore youth communicate and network with each other about their China work attachments will start with NTU's student batch from the Global Immersion Programme.

The scheme provides students with opportunities to study at top universities in China, as well as 22-week internships at local Chinese firms to complement their academic knowledge.

Ms Grace Fu, Senior Minister of State (National Development and Education), highlighted the significance of the project: 'The majority of our country's Chinese students are familiar with both Mandarin and English. But few of them can fully grasp the nuances of both cultures.'

Being immersed in China's culture for an extended period and using the Chinese language to communicate mean that these students will get a more accurate idea of what the Chinese business environment and society are like.

Ms Fu emphasised that blogging is a unique platform that transcends physical boundaries to allow a quick exchange of ideas. This ensures that in the long term, it is easier to educate and groom 30,000 bilingual and bicultural Singaporeans who can successfully work in China.

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