It was a big surprise for Hannah James Jupinon when she was told that she had been nominated to represent KLCII in the 2016 China-ASEAN Youth Leadership Summit in China from 22 to 25 June.

The 26 year old WSQ Professional Diploma in ECCE studentis the onlyparticipant  representing Singapore at the educational exchange held in Guangxi Normal University (GXNU) in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

This all-expense paid event gave Hannah an excellent opportunity to befriend students from other countries and learn about their culture. Some 70 students and youth leaders of 44 colleges and universities from 11 countries participated in the summit  hosted by the ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) and the Guangxi Education Department (GXED).

Hannah’s first impression of Guilin reminded her of home in Sabah where there is a lot of nature. She loved the natural beauty, although the weather was slightly cold and dry.

“I am very grateful for this opportunity provided by KLCII. It was a mind-opening experience for me. I enjoyed tremendously the fellowship with other student delegates from various ASEAN countries. I learned a lot from them and it helped me to improve my social interaction skills,” said Hannah.

I am also shocked to learn that KLCII was the only Singapore Institute invited for the national event. I did not know that KLCII had such a great network and respect in China. She added. Hannah was among 11 students selected to give a speech on the opening day. She spoke about her impressions of the city and how the exchange could help to further promote better goodwill and understanding between the ASEAN countries and China.

It was her first visit to China and Hannah savoured every minute of it. After the opening ceremony and forum at the International Education Exchange Centre on the first day, she joined the students on a visit to Yanshan Campus in Guangxi where they planted trees of Friendship to mark the exchange event.

The second day was time for relaxing when they visited the Wang Cheng Campus and Elephant Trunk Hill in Downtown Guilin, following by a trip to the Guangxi Achievement Exhibition of International Cooperation at the Yucai Campus.

China had not been on Hannah’s travel wish list before, but the trip has changed her mind. She would like to revisit the country again whenever she has the opportunity. And, of course, she welcomes more of such exchange programme invitations.