A Peruvian university student's Chinese dream

Not only in China are people talking about the "Chinese dream", it is very much alive in Peru as well.

A young Peruvian, Andrea Daza, 21, whose Chinese name is Luo Xiaoling,is passionate about learning Chinese. That, to her, is the "Chinese dream".

Daza is in her eighth semester at Ricardo Palma University's Faculty of Translation and she also teaches Chinese in the "China-Peru Cultural Exchange" (INCSIP).

"Since I was a girl I always wanted to learn Chinese. When I saw people speaking Chinese on channel CCTV-4 I was very interested, even though I didn't understand them. And when I saw a Chinese character I had the desire to learn it," Daza told Xinhua with an accurate pronunciation of Mandarin.

Daza was born in Arequipa, the capital of Peru's southern Arequipa region, and has been learning Chinese since secondary school.

As for all beginners of a foreign language, pronunciation was the greatest difficulty for Daza.

"At that time, my classmates were all adults with an average age of 30 and I was just a teenager who felt too shy to ask the teacher for help. Then I decided to record all the teachers' words and practiced the pronunciation at home every day until I could master the language at a basic level," Daza said.

After years of efforts, Daza enrolled in the private Ricardo Palma University (UPRP) in Lima, which is currently the only higher education institute in South America that includes translation from Chinese into Western languages in its curriculum. To launch the course, the UPRP signed an agreement with Hebei Normal University in March 2011.

The course takes five years and involves conversation technique, grammar, reading and writing. Students will study for one year in the Hebei Normal University in their third year.

Daza won a scholarship in 2013 to study at Hebei Normal University. "The biggest gain in China was I could speak Chinese more quickly and correctly," she said.

Upon her return to Peru, Daza realized her dream to teach Chinese in the INCSIP.

Daza will return to China later this year to participate in the international contest "Chinese Bridge". She has won the Peruvian leg of the competition in June.