Alumni Chapter
27 May 2019

Beijing Chapter: Reception at the Swiss Embassy

Ambassador Bernardino Regazzoni hosted the reception, held on the occasion of the Director of the Institute’s visit to China. 

Some 30 incoming, exchange and current students, as well as alumni of the Graduate Institute attended the reception at the Swiss Embassy on 20 May 2019. Institute Director Philippe Burrin and Concepta Canale, in charge of Exchange Programmes, were present as part of their official, respective visits to China to meet with partners. 

Ting Fang (MA, ‘13), Corporate Sector Advisor in the Regional Delegation for East Asia at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and President of the Beijing Chapter; and Ondrej Wagner (MA, ‘17), Third Secretary (Political Officer) at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Beijing and active member of the Chapter, also participated. 

Both Ambassador Regazzoni and and Mr Burrin addressed guests, highlighting the importance of international cooperation in the educational field and the benefits Chinese students could gain from studying in Geneva's cosmopolitan environment. Ambassador Regazzoni recalled his memorable experience as a diplomat trainee at the then-HEI and congratulated the Institute’s achievement on growing partnerships with Chinese academic institutions. Mr Burrin reported on the development of the institute: the new student housing that is close to completion, and various partnerships it had built with top Chinese universities and academic institutions. With newly admitted students, he shared his observation on China’s rapid development in science and technology, which made it even more important to train individuals capable of understanding societal relations and bridging gaps for fostering cooperation benefiting everyone. 

A reception followed at the Ambassador's residence. Institute's alumni working in China – who come from all over the world – shared their enthusiasm with newly admitted students. The students were delighted to be a part of the exchange, which was a lovely introduction to what the Institute has to offer. Mrs Canale said she was impressed by the dedication and enthusiasm of our alumni –  some of whom travelled from Shanghai just for the occasion – and all had fond memories of their time in Geneva.

Since 2016, the Beijing Chapter has helped incoming students connect with each other through events such as alumni mixers. They created a WeChat group for newly admitted students to help them prepare before leaving to Switzerland. They are also planning on an excursion similar to the Great Wall hike that took place last year for alumni and new students.

A warm thanks to the Swiss Embassy for its continued support and hospitality!

Photo courtesy of the Embassy of Switzerland in China.