My YCA Story | Luo Hanyi: Passion for Life

The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games are set to begin on February 4, 2022. Volunteer representatives from 66 colleges and universities in Beijing gathered at the kickoff meeting at the 100-day countdown to the Beijing 2022 Winter Games.

Luo Hanyi from the 2020 Cohort of Yenching Academy is a volunteer for the Games. A graduate from the department of French Language and Literature in Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Hanyi specializes in Law and Society at the Yenching Academy.

Looking for a True Self in Reading and Learning

On the eve of her graduation, Luo Hanyi got to know the Yenching Academy from a classmate and was fascinated by the Academy’s diverse interdisciplinary and cross-cultural curriculum. Hanyi took no delay to apply for admission to this “ideal school” and was enrolled.

She found her YCA life “much better than expected”, even though she seldom held expectations for anything, “Some may regret being unable to meet fellow students as usual due to the pandemic. But I’m an optimistic person and happy to learn much through what the Academy has provided for us. I’m satisfied with what I’ve achieved here.”

Hanyi is a literature lover. She read extensively English literary works in her junior middle school days and saw a wider world when she studied French language and literature at university. She’s gained more at the Yenching Academy.

In the course “Contemporary Chinese and American Fiction in Comparative Perspective” by Lin Qingxin, Associate Professor from the PKU School of Foreign Languages, Hanyi read extensively and held in-depth discussion with her teacher and fellow students about life and death, trauma writing and identity. She’s been thus better trained in critical thinking.

On “Qualitative Research Method” by Zhang Ran, Associate Professor from the PKU Graduate School of Education, Hanyi received a systematic training in research method for social sciences. The course helped a lot in Hanyi’s future research and academic writing, because majoring in literature, Hanyi had had no background of social sciences at all.

The Academy encouraged our Scholars to attend courses in other colleges and departments of PKU. Hanyi took elective courses and sat in others offered by the School of Foreign Languages, including “Eighteenth-Century English Literature”, “Reading and Analysis of Famous Literary Works in French” and “Shakespeare Studies”. On the report-back event, Hanyi and students from other departments gave a brilliant performance in which Hanyi played flute. Teachers of the School of Foreign Languages thought highly of Hanyi’s performance.

Hanyi remarked that the Academy has reignited her passion for language learning and theatrical performance. She saw PKU a new stage for her.

Forging Friendship on the Campus

Luo Hanyi was active in on-campus extracurricular activities of the symphony orchestra, ice hockey team, figure skating team and the YCA Graduate Student Union (GSU).

At the GSU Executive Committee, Hanyi played a key role in organizing online and onsite events, such as celebrations for foreign and Chinese festivals, Vlog contest and academic year’s celebration.

She observed difficulties in encouraging more students to participate and in effective communication. Hanyi once took good communication for granted, because all our Scholars had proficiency in English. Nonetheless, she noticed how different the ideas may be resulted from cultural differences and different ways of thinking.

Hanyi never stopped communicating with her fellow students. Finally, she was able to deal with disagreement and misunderstanding, “Mutual understanding seems impossible, in some cases. I can only try to see things from others’ point of view. And I try to be open-minded and to get along with and accept differences. We must seek common ground before reaching a consensus.”

At the Yenching Academy, Hanyi has forged strong friendship with her fellow students. Sharing a love of language and literature with Yuan Zeng Ashley Tan from Singapore, she has grown firmer on her academic interest. Also, Hanyi, her roommate Xu Xinyi and Sophia Dooly from the United States enjoyed together every week a cartoon film with Chinese elements and explored both Chinese and American cultures, “We meet only online, but we are bosom friends.”

From Educational Camps to Camp Education

Hanyi is a master of communication and impressive team leader. She has forged such capabilities in educational camps.

She was once a shy girl. At the age of 15, Hanyi went to an international summer camp, where she had entirely different educational experience and was warmly encouraged and recognized. In the summer camp, she enjoyed specially designed game and training sessions and began to think things anew.

Hanyi has since then been passionate about educational camps and engaged in camp education. She volunteered as camp counselor, program coordinator and camp head during summer and winter vacations in her university years. Her love of camp education has grown day by day, “I was benefited from my camp experience and decided to volunteer as camp counselor, because I wanted more children to get benefit from camp education. When I worked for camp management, I helped new counselors with program design and told about the significance of camp education, because I wanted to attract more to this field and set good examples for children.”

Luo Hanyi and her friends, devoted to camp education, played as members of the project team 2017–19 of Youthquke, a non-profit educational camp for teenagers from No.7 Middle School of Changshan County, Hunan province. The camp was a success of educational reform launched in the school, “The participants from that school were in a disadvantaged position in the college-enrolment exam system, due to unsatisfactory educational resources. But we saw substantial changes in the participants thanks to the project of camp education.”

Luo Hanyi’s dissertation focuses on the educational reform in No.7 Middle School of Changshan County. She highlighted that camp education could bring new experience to teenagers and should be applied in daily life as a philosophy of education. Hanyi cherished what camp education could do for teenagers: It helps teenagers grow into better men and women and thus builds educational equity in China.

A Fairy on Ice and Volunteer with Beijing 2022

Busy with her courses, extracurricular activities and dissertation, Luo Hanyi has been prepared to work as a volunteer with Beijing 2022. At the YCA, she was recruited as a volunteer for ice hockey teams, as expected.

Hanyi can’t control her excitement whenever she talks about winter sports, “I love skating so much.” When she was a small girl, she fancied what it’d feel to skate every week on an exclusive ice rink of the school, if there was any. Her dream came true at the Academy. She joined the University’s ice hockey team and figure skating team. Twice a week she had ice hockey training. And once a week she went to PKU’s Winter Sports Camp or skated with her friends. The ice hockey team received instructions on skills and tactics professional coaches and enjoyed the trainings on a free-of-charge ice rink.

Passionate about winter sports and volunteer work, Hanyi joined the volunteers’ team with Beijing 2022 and has completed training sessions. Being a volunteer with Beijing 2022 means both honor and hard work, “Volunteers’ work is not an easy one. But for me, it’s okay, because I once worked as 24-hour camp counselor.” She is going to the closed training and work which lasts to the end of March.

The epidemic prevention and control measures must be strict at Beijing 2022 due to the pandemic. Hanyi is ready for and feels excited at the coming tight schedule, even though she must spend the Spring Festival away from home. Hanyi anticipates vis-à-vis communication with athletes from around the globe, “I was too young when Beijing hosted the 2008 Olympic Games. I’m proud to be a volunteer with Beijing 2022. I hope to show the world what Chinese youths are and make our Chinese culture known to more, as the vision we shared in training sessions.”

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