University of Leicester students see in the Year of the Snake with local primary schools

Posted by de57 at Feb 27, 2013 11:30 AM |
Chinese students from the University of Leicester volunteer at primary schools as part of the Chinese Cultural Exchange Programme

On the 6th and 8th February 2013, 780 pupils at Linden and Meadowdale Primary Schools, in Leicestershire, were treated to a fun-filled day with interactive workshops by University of Leicester students, in celebration of Chinese New Year. 

The Chinese Cultural Exchange Programme is an annual event during the Chinese New Year to enable university students from China to showcase the Chinese culture to local school pupils. 

It first took place four years ago when the University of Leicester’s Career Development Service identified a large interest in international students wanting to volunteer in a school.  This year, the Chinese Cultural Exchange Day involved over 80 students who spent over 4 weeks planning and preparing.  The students were supported by the University of Leicester’s Career Development Service who organised contact with the local schools.  

Workshops at both schools included Chinese writing, Martial Arts and the history behind the Chinese Zodiac. In particular the lantern making workshop proved very popular, and the children were taught how the lanterns are hung outside houses to scare away monsters during the New Year celebrations. The students also gave away small prizes from China to some of the children in a fandancing competition, to see who the best dancer was.  The winner was given a red envelope containing lucky money, a traditional New Year gift. To thank the volunteers and wrap up the day, the school children performed an assembly based on the Chinese New Year.  

"The Chinese Cultural Exchange was a fantastic event, which opened the pupils’ eyes to various Chinese traditions, in an enjoyable and interactive setting. The University of Leicester volunteers were able to gain valuable experience of working in a school, as well as a number of transferable skills, such as leadership and lesson planning.  Everyone involved had a lot of fun."
Sarah Dutton, Project Co-ordinator

If you are a student at the University of Leicester and wish to find out more about the volunteering opportunities available to you, please visit the Career Development Service's website or e-mail   


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