Exchange Students and Alumni Gathering 2015

When the Christmas lights turn on at the residence of the Swiss Embassy, the mulled wine is being warmed up and the air smells of Swiss Raclette cheese, then it is time for this year’s Exchange Students and Alumni Gathering. Yet before the residence transformed into an oasis aimed at pampering all senses with Swiss delicacies, the exchange students were rewarded with a panel discussion featuring young entrepreneurs in Beijing. Among the visionary panelists, who introduced their experiences on “Opportunities in China beyond the Classroom”, were:

  • Liam Bates, co-founder of Origins Technology (moderator)
  • Claudia Masueger, founder of CHEERS Wines
  • Tawanda Michael Mahere, startup expert
  • Biman Najika Liyanage, inventor and engineer
  • Jeff Frey, co-founder of

In doing the right things right and at the right time, they have all defined critical requirements needed to efficiently get accustomed to a growing, persistently competitive market. “I was fascinated by the drive and inspiring comments shared by the entrepreneurs,” said a Swiss exchange student now studying at Peking University. “To study in China means more than acquiring knowledge. It’s about new opportunities in a new environment and about tackling professional challenges that might lie ahead if I decide to do business in China.” H.E. Ambassador Jean-Jacques de Dardel, host of the gathering, called it a “privilege” to hear creative minds presenting fresh ideas and challenges beyond. He emphasized the importance of an educational and entrepreneurial landscape which boosts unconventional thinking and supports innovative actions.     

Following the panel discussion, alumni and exchange students could relax and let the hectic pre-Christmas time ring out for a while. Old friends met up and new ones were made. The curtains opened for an interesting exhibition on Albert Einstein, himself a Swiss alumnus (ETHZ, UZH), who elaborated the general theory of relativity around 100 years ago. His revolutionizing theory has spurred on the imagination of how time and space relate to each other – and possibly explained why time flashed by so quickly that evening. Finally, a lucky draw with a Laser Egg as the main prize friendly sponsored by Origins definitely made the winner’s day. Thanks to Lindt that generously provided delicious chocolates to all, nobody was left empty handed. It guaranteed an abundance of smiling faces in the rooms of the Ambassador’s residence. 

The Embassy of Switzerland in China and the swissnex Beijing team wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

- Contributed by Marcel Schneider,  Attaché of Science, Technology and Education Section, Embassy of Switzerland in Beijing