Hearts reunited under full moon: SISU holds 2020 welcome reception for int'l faculty

Over 30 international faculty members at Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) gathered together at SISU's newly renovated bookstore on Monday to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival and their hard-won reunion.

The 2020 welcome reception, which summarized work of last semester and recalled future contribution based on intercultural understanding, is a memorable event amid global pandemic.

Li Yansong, SISU's president, started the reception by extending his warm regards and sincere thanks to all the international faculty members, whether they were present, in quarantine or still in their own countries, for their hard work and selfless contribution to SISU during the pandemic. 

He said, the wide spread of COVID-19 has brought global challenges and made us realize the importance of international cooperation. 

He hoped that the international faculty, as an essential part SISU community, can use their professional knowledge to promote mutual understanding between China and the rest of the world.

On behalf of the newly recruited faculty members, Benjamin Hisung Nam, from the United States, shared his feelings of his first arrival at SISU. Claudio Senni, an Italian scholar, shared his experience of overcoming time difference and completing teaching tasks remotely last semester. With the help of other teachers, he soon mastered online teaching platforms including ClassIn and Blackboard, which enabled him to interact smoothly with the students online.

Ouraia Katavouta, a Greek expert who has stayed in China since the outbreak of the pandemic, shared her anti-pandemic stories. She said it is the decisive, elaborate protection and control measures of the Chinese government and SISU's humanistic care that strengthened her faith of fighting against the pandemic. 

She said, in the face of such massive pandemic, every individual is vulnerable, but the strength of a community is infinite.

Their speeches sparked widespread resonance in the audience.

Enjoying the moon cakes and traditional Chinese cuisines, the international faculty shared the joy of reunion after a long time of parting and their expectations for the new semester.