Thousands of volunteers have helped with the hosting of the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai in the past two years.
Volunteers of the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) attend an oath-taking ceremony at
the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, East China, Oct 18, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]
With this past experience in hand, 110 students who previously volunteered at the expo were selected to become trainers for this year's new batch of volunteers.
Hailing from 40 universities in Shanghai, these new trainers shared their skills with 4,844 new volunteers before the expo which officially kicks off on Nov 5, according to Chen Liudong from the volunteer center of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Youth League.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the training was delivered via online courses. The trainers recorded 93 videos that contained content such as their past experience, an introduction of the expo, pavilion guidance, and duties of each position.
Gu Hang, an undergraduate in Arabic studies from the Shanghai International Studies University, had volunteered at the previous two editions of the expo, greeting international delegates during the event. This year, he will teach his successors how to do the same.
To make the course more practical, Gu relied on simulation-based learning, designing guided scenarios and teaching volunteers ways of handling such situations.
"I've designed complicated situations regarding customer service. For example, some delegations need shuttle buses, some are elderly people or the disabled, and some have distinct religious beliefs and eating habits," he said.
"Although the actual situation might not be as complex during the expo period, I believe it is important that volunteers are prepared for such circumstances."
Gu added he happened to meet practitioners in foreign affairs at the expo and was motivated to start career in the industry.
"Volunteering at the CIIE is a skills-enriching experience that adds value to my life socially and professionally. I have shared this with volunteers to encourage them as well," he said.
Niu Hong, a postgraduate in law from Tongji University, volunteered at the second CIIE last year. He said he was disappointed that he is unable to volunteer this year as he needs to take an exam during the expo period. However, he is glad that he is able to lend a hand through training new volunteers.
Niu was responsible for the installation and adjustment of an indoor navigation system provided by Tongji University at the expo last year. To set up the system, he and his team members started work in the venue a month before the commencement of the expo. Each member of the team took over 20,000 steps a day across each pavilion to ensure that the system was working properly.
"I can still remember the scenes when the team worked together and helped each other. This is the value of volunteering which I have shared with new volunteers," he said.
"I'm excited that my stories can help new volunteers better understand their responsibilities and guide them to overcoming difficulties."
Niu's sentiment was echoed by Zhang Mingquan, a postgraduate in ideological and political education from East China Normal University. Zhang said she was delighted to meet people and work toward a common goal in a team setting.
"I remember there was one night when our team took a bus from the exhibition center back to the university last year. We told jokes, sang songs and chatted on bus, despite being exhausted from days of volunteering. This experience is all about teamwork and friendship," Zhang said.
Source: China Daily