North Bund residents service station recruits local expats
Foreigners make lanterns with Chinese residents at a service station in North Bund, Shanghai. [Photo/shanghai.gov.cn]
A resident service station in North Bund, Shanghai has recruited expat stationmasters on weekends to help local people get more actively involved in community activities.
The station is used to serve as a space where many retired residents can get medical advice and do exercise or just come to socialize. After recruiting some international volunteers, it has started to attract more young people who are interested in some of the workshops held by the group.
"Foreigners from countries such as Israel, Russia and Germany have been serving as stationmasters on weekends, making the station a place embracing diversified cultures," said Ding Xiaoyu, officer at the service station.
Working as a stationmaster at the station also offers foreigners a new opportunity to integrate themselves in the local community.
Andrea from Germany, a senior executive at a local luxury hotel, can speak Chinese well but doesn't know much about Chinese culture. With the hope to integrate more into her working environment, she signed up to be the stationmaster with her colleagues.
"The job is interesting to me. Local people tell me stories about Shanghai and I introduce Germany to them," said Andrea. She made lanterns and sweet dumplings with local residents in celebration of the Chinese Lantern Festival.
In addition, the station has rolled out reform measures to involve more white-collar workers after receiving advice from enterprises and tries to explore new ways of recreation for visitors.
"We hope stations of this kind can serve as a platform to optimize the local business environment and help foreign workers integrate themselves with the development of Shanghai," said Cheng Jun, director at the North Bund sub-district office.