by Marcela Ganea
BUCHAREST, July 12 (Xinhua) -- "Everything is spectacular in China, it's a huge civilization and every step you make, you get impressed," said Romanian teen Andreea Coscai, with a beaming smile on her face.
The 17-year-old has just returned from China after participating in the United World College's International Baccalaureate (IB) program in Changshu, in China's eastern province of Jiangsu.
She applied for a scholarship to study abroad and won the only place in China. She joked that "China chose me!" and believed what gave her an edge over the competition was her extra-curricular activities, which included volunteering for community activities and writing a book about Romanian teenagers' dreams and ideas.
Her stay in China has completely changed her impression of the Chinese people. They are inquisitive and friendly and always eager to learn new things, said Coscai, noting that unlike the stereotype, "they are so much internationalized and advanced, especially in industrialized areas and big cities!"
Coscai, who recently co-authored a book with her IB program peers, has accumulated many precious memories of her time in China.
She enjoys the Chinese opera performances a lot because of the painted faces, the music, the variations in the voices of the actors, the way they use their bodies, and the novel techniques used to generate emotions in the audience, she said.
As part of her IB program, Coscai taught English for one week together with two Chinese at a primary school in Hubei Province, which has become a part of her unforgettable experiences in China.
Through her contact with the Chinese pupils, she noticed the differences between the Western educational system and the Chinese one.
"I believe the Chinese children are more coordinated and more disciplined, for instance, they do warm-up exercises in the morning," she said, comparing the many children doing the exercises to a "sea" and calling the spectacle "awesome."
"The number of children in the classrooms is large, teachers have a microphone and sound systems in place to be heard well by the children, the schools are well-equipped and children are not allowed to bring mobile phones to school ... or at least, they shouldn't be seen with any," she said while recounting her experience.
She also remembers the thrilling experience of walking on a transparent glass bridge in open nature in Hubei when she went sightseeing.
"The area was a tourist attraction and the feeling was breathtaking because the landscape was incredibly beautiful and you could see below through the glass! I realized China must have excellent technology to be able to build this, you don't see this very often!"
Fascinated by China, Coscai intends to pursue her undergraduate studies at Britain's Oxford University and to study Chinese there. "My teacher in Changshu is currently helping me prepare for the entrance exam," she said.