Since the reform and opening up of China, a lot of foreigners have permanently lived in Shanghai. There is a lady named Rose Oliver, who has been working at USST as the director of the British Cultural Centre. On Sep 29 of 2019, she was awarded “Magnolia Gold Award” by the Shanghai Municipal Government. This was the second time that she had won the award since 2013. In 2011, she was once conferred upon MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire). In 2014, she was given chances of being present at a face-to-face talk with President Xi.
By the next year, Rose Oliver will have lived in Shanghai for 2 decades. Since 2001, she has been an English teacher at Shanghai University, and also worked as an English Trainer for Baosteel Co., Lt as one of her part-time jobs. Since 2014, she has been appointed as the director of the British Cultural Centre of USST. “When I first came to USST in 2002, leaping in my eyes was a garden with old-grown trees and flowers which is now called Hujiang International Cultural Park. Compared with other university campuses in Shanghai, it took a very different look and left a deep impression on me.”
“It seems that I have had ‘Yuanfen’ with USST since I met the garden,” said Rose Oliver. On usual days, she is the organizer of all different programs and activities which are suitable for the campus. Some USST students volunteer together for something special at the British Cultural Centre where Rose Oliver often guides them into professional roles and encourages them to listen to speakers’ professional advice. In return, she has won a lot of admiration and supports from students. Talking of those students who come to the British Cultural Centre, Rose Oliver also invites them to join in various talks, which helps to improve their social interaction and positive attitudes. She works together with them to provide the soil of life for the campus. “Only by involving students in different types of activities and programs, can they realize that they can make some contributions to the campus in various ways. At the same time, they can find more joys from the activities and programs,” said Rose Oliver. At the British Cultural Centre, students come here to meet a lot of foreign guests. Chinese students work together with new foreign friends to create an active atmosphere for the school campus. They discuss the cultural difference and share different cultural perspectives with other friends.
When asked how the impression of USST has left on her, “USST provides me with a lot of encouragements. With regard to salaries, housing conditions or other basic material requirements, I can receive the same or even higher treats from other universities. However, I can enjoy more responsibilities and spiritual encouragement at USST because it attaches more importance to my work. This is such important intangible support.” Also, USST students always make her feel relieved and gratified. “They can do a great job at the British Cultural Centre, demonstrating unique innovative and pragmatic traits. For many years, they have maintained these key traits as they can continue to seek to better themselves,” said Rose Oliver with pleasure. She takes delight in guiding students how to interact with the outside world, how to improve themselves, and how to look for new ways. Talking of her feelings about being awarded MBE, she also thanked USST teachers and students for their efforts over the years，which contributes to her receiving the honour. She hopes that she can continue to cultivate international perspectives of students and establish a better platform for exchanges between British cultures and Chinese cultures.
When asked how she regards Chinese cultures, she expresses great delight. She is much interested in Chinese Taiji and has even been evaluated as a messenger for the soul of Chinese Kongfu. She has a wide range of interest in Chinese arts such as Taiji and Chinese calligraphy. “All Chinese culture like Taiji and Chinese calligraphy is closely and connotatively connected,” she told to us. Just like Chinese philosophy which tells that there is both a positive and negative side in everything. By simultaneously practising Taiji and calligraphy, she can feel that any two things appear in a paradoxical, united, or acculturative relation. She is inspired by a feeling of a combination of two elements while injecting the brush into the ink and touched by a feeling of converting dynamics into motionlessness while practising Taiji. “I love Chinese culture. I would like to become a bridge for the communication between Chinese culture and western culture,” said Rose Oliver.
Rose Oliver, who holds enthusiasm for Chinese cultures, is now working at USST with fighting will, high devotion and delicate care. Like a bright rose, she is quietly blooming between Chinese and western cultures.