On March 7th 2015, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel ( VUB) organized a meeting for all its Chinese alumni at the antique Prince Jun Hotel, Beijing. People had thus the chance to meet old friends and to remember the past times they spent at VUB, as well as to get to know new people.
Thanks to the assistance of Tong Xiaohong, the director of the VUB China Network, who made this event possible, the VUB alumni had also the honour to welcome high ranking guests and to dinner at the Belgian Embassy in Beijin.
Wifried Pfeffer, the Economy and Education Counselor of the Belgian Embassy in Beijing, China, already confirmed his presents at the event to the VUB Alumni Association several months before and also Xu Jing, an associate professor of the School of Journalism & Communication of the Peking University and member of the VUB Alumni Association, graced the event with his presence.
At 3pm, VUB alumni gathered solemnly and had tea together. To get to know each other and to come in contact with alumni form different years and faculties, Dr. Xu organized a game that required everyone to give a brief introduction of him or herself. This slightly intense game created a pleasant atmosphere and led to interesting topics during the tea party. At the end, Tong Xiaohong, the director of the VUB China Network, up-dated the alumni address book to facilitate future communication.
Later in the afternoon, the alumni were invited to a Belgian dinner in the salon of the Belgian Embassy in Beijing, China. The participants were served authentic dishes, various beverages. The delicious feast served our guests not only joy but also contentment.
Michel Malherbe, the Ambassador of Belgium in China, and his wife graced the dinner with their presence. Furthermore, Mr. Malherbe gave a speech about the high importance of Sino-Belgian relations, and emphasized the irreplaceable role education plays in maintaining and developing this relationship.
Our guests mentioned that the event reminded them of their time at VUB. Moreover, they felt very grateful that there is an organization to keep them connected with VUB after graduation.
Though the first VUB Chinese Alumni Event ended, we all knew that this was just the starting point of a long story. There will be continuously events in near future, new friends are joining and the Sino-Belgian friendship will be enhanced.