My Visit to Dulwich College, Suzhou

I was invited to visit Dulwich College in Suzhou as the visiting author for their book month. They’ve been looking for a Chinese writer who can communicate with the students in English. It was not my highest paid speech gig but the positive response from the students was worth a million dollars! See below the note from the teacher Eric who initiated the visit.

Zhang Lijia’s visit to Dulwich College Suzhou’s Senior School engaged students and teachers alike. She spoke effectively both from the stage and in personal conversations with individuals and small groups. Students commented on her sense of humour and ‘bubbly personality’. As second-language learners themselves, they were mightily impressed that she had been able to learn English, mostly on her own, to the point of being able to write in English for a living, and that she had had the courage to transform herself from a factory girl to an international writer. They were also inspired by her determination to follow her passions. The response from students of a wide age-range (13-18 years old) was overwhelmingly positive. As the main organiser of her visit, I could not have been more pleased, and I would certainly recommend her to other schools looking for a published author who can speak with students effectively. Our history teachers have already had
discussions about bringing her back to discuss her journalism work with older students studying contemporary issues in China and elsewhere.

I asked my own students to write about your visit on their class blogs, and you might enjoy reading their responses. Each of the links below will produce a page of ‘snippets’. To read the whole thing, click on the title, and then use the ‘Back’ button on your browser to return to the list of snippets. Not all of the students have responded, but most of them have. The most recent responses are at the top.

Year 9s:

Year 10s and 11s:

Year 12s:

Once again, thanks so much!


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