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Dream of youth sets sail in China

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By Bastien Benoît S. Dumont | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: Jan 18, 2022

[Belgium] Bastien Benoît S. Dumont, Donghua University

Bastien Benoît S. Dumont [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

When I was 18, I travelled to Beijing for the first time. I knew little about China at that time. I fell in love with China after the first trip to Beijing and I got deeply attracted by its rapid development and booming vitality. To me, China was a rising star with infinite possibilities and opportunities. Chinese characters, Chinese people, Chinese culture and its economic development all became infinite attraction to me. “Why can’t I go to China and start pursuing my dreams?” I asked myself. Therefore, I came to China for study when I was 20.

In 2011, I was enrolled in Donghua University and majored in International Trade. My teachers and classmates came from all over the world. I greatly improved my cross-cultural communication capabilities and built extensive social networking, which laid a solid foundation for my later work.

I gained a lot especially in two courses, Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Commercial Cases Integration. Teachers of the two courses inspired my entrepreneur dream. They encouraged me to bring my business plans for the courses into real practice. I found partners and started my own business very soon after graduation. I founded my own company, ICL (Integrate Chinese Life). The professional expertise from professors at Donghua University had equipped me with professional international trade knowledge and inspired my entrepreneurship to successfully start my own company and manage it successfully until now.

Many foreigners do not know much about China before they come. Challenges of unknown future stop their feet onto the land of China. I want to help those young and ambitious foreigners who love China to overcome their challenges in China. Therefore, I started ICL with my friend Nick to provide support for educational cooperation between governments, business organizations and universities in the two countries.

I frequently travel between Switzerland and China, working with young people and creating opportunities for the personal and career development of the youth. I enjoy travelling and work has become a pleasure for me. I enjoy my lifestyle. One of the greatest benefits of becoming an entrepreneur and managing my own business is that I can control what I am doing and what I want to do with much freedom. I also know the great responsibility upon my shoulders as an entrepreneur. I always size up situations and make each choice after due and careful assessment.

Shanghai Bund [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

To make more foreigners know better about China and come to China, I planned to film a short video with my colleagues, introducing China to the world. We demonstrated our ideas to Swissnex in China. Deeply moved by our visions, they not only provided economic support but also invited French director Robin Mahieux to direct the filming. Mr. Mahieux came from France, travelled across China, captured all exciting moments, and shared the beauty of China with the whole world.

A French electronic musician, deeply touched by the Chinese charm in the film, made original dubbing for it. The video, CHINA BEYOND BELIEF, took us five months to complete and was published in the celebration ceremony of Chinese Spring Festival in Lausanne, Switzerland. More foreigners get to know the beauty of living in China through this video and their interests to come to China and experience Chinese culture are inspired.

The video has become a hit and a Chinese airline bought this video for advertising so as to make more international tourists know more about China. What made me more proud was that I won the Prize of Entrepreneur Outstanding Achievements for Sino-Swiss Business Awards in 2017 and was interviewed by National Television of Switzerland. Now I am making efforts to develop an international youth tourist platform to promote the development of tourism as my future mission.

Dumont has a Chinese class. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Study in China has ignited my entrepreneur passion and living in China allows me an easy and comfortable life. The huge market of China provides my start-up company with broad development space. As a international student, also as a partner, I hold deep gratitude toward China which has given me everything I need to start my business, and I will develop my career with utmost efforts and facilitate the friendly exchange between China and Switzerland to return all the goodness to the society.

The story is from "My Beautiful Encounter with China" Essay Competition organized by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchanges (CSCSE).