WeChat wins hearts of overseas students
Updated: 2017-10-24

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A teacher shows overseas students from New York University Shanghai how to add new friends on WeChat, a popular message app in China. This was part of a language and cultural activity held by the school on Oct 17. [Photo from WeChat account NYUSH-CHIN]

The fourth series of language and cultural activities at New York University Shanghai opened on Oct 17, inviting overseas students to flex their fingers at WeChat, a ubiq-uitous Chinese social media app.

The first part — how to add friends on WeChat — seemed a piece of cake for the students.

Though required to find friends born with their same Chinese zodiac animals, the students managed to ask and respond appropriately in Chinese, discovered common interests, and named their private WeChat groups with the names of Chinese food, bubble tea and even Chinese pizza.

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The teacher introduces several emojis embedded within WeChat. [Photo from WeChat account NYUSH-CHIN]

The students also tried out WeChat's voice messaging. After they received a voice message from the organizer, they had to correctly translate what they had heard into Chinese and paraphrase it to their partners. The faster they did it, the better.

The diverse emojis embedded in WeChat, which have now evolved almost as extensively as an actual language in China, introduced the students to a new world of self-expression.

The most exciting part was grabbing hongbao, or red packets of virtual money. The electronic version of the traditional Chinese cash gift sent to family and friends on festive celebrations, which has captured the nation since its launching in 2014 due to its fun factor and user-friendliness, was also a hit with the foreigners.

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Students flex their fingers to grab hongbao, or red packets of virtual money. [Photo from WeChat account NYUSH-CHIN]

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