Walking up the stairs of the teaching building of the Nanjing No. 13 High school, a burst of English dialogue came from the fourth floor. Second year students of the Sino-American class were taking English class. Ivana Davidovic, academic principal of the class, set up an interactive topic:biomimetic.
In class, Ivana uses English to guide students into creative world of thinking; outside the class, she uses fluent Chinese. This Serbian “post -80s” who has lived in Nanjing for ten years once worked at Overseas Education College of Nanjing University and School of Foreign Languages of Nanjing University of Post and Telecommunications.
Ivana’s love for China started when she was young. Ivana studied Chinese in the best high school in Serbia, and then chose Chinese as a major at the university. She came to China for the first time at the age of 15, to Nanjing at the age of 26 ……and just like that her love towards China became deeper and deeper.
In 2010, Ivana got a scholarship to study at Nanjing University; she resigned from her job and came to Nanjing with her husband and daughter. In 2016, she received a PhD in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics from Nanjing University.
“Nanjing, the capital of world literature is my best choice”, Ivana said. Nanjing is a highland for cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries, especially in education. While Chinese students are stepping onto the world stage, more foreign students are heading to Nanjing to feel the charm of the ancient capital of the six dynasties. Ivana has opportunity to teach international students about Chinese culture at University of Nanjing during her PhD studies and help them complete their cross-cultural exchange projects.
In 2018, Ivana was appointed as the academic principal of Sino-American class of Nanjing No 13 High School. At that time, the class had just been established for one year, and the curriculum settings were not perfect. She integrated Chinese and foreign educational concepts and taught students in accordance with their aptitude. On the one hand, she supplements "tailored" courses to explore students' potential, and cultivates necessary research skills, critical thinking skills, teamwork and other abilities; on the other hand, she organizes social practice activities to increase the opportunities for students to interact with foreigners. In the past two years, the learning atmosphere of the Sino-American class has become a high aspiration of the students and the staff there.
Ivana made her home in Nanjing, and kept her heart in Nanjing. In 2014, Ivana's youngest son Alexander was born in Nanjing. From the education of the children, the employment of the husband, to the medical treatment of the family, this Serbian family has never felt any obstacles. Now, her two children who are native-like Chinese, often makes the doctor mother " inferior".
In this international city with an ever-increasing opening to the outside world, Ivana has a more sense of "participation": serving as a judge of the "Tongle Jiangsu" Foreign Chinese Contest hosted by the Publicity Department of the Jiangsu Provincial Party Committee; as a guide to the Canadian Ottawa Education Bureau director while visiting Jinling Primary School; together with her family, she became the friendship ambassador of the Youth Olympic Games of Beijing East Road Primary School...
In order to help more overseas friends understand Nanjing, Ivana is always full of enthusiasm. Not long ago, a live program "Traveling in China" hosted by Australian Internet celebrity Amy Lyons came to Nanjing. As one of the "cloud tourists", Ivana shared the scenery and stories of the city wall of Jiefangmen, which attracted hails from foreign netizens. "It's so beautiful, I want to go there too.""The ancient city wall bricks are actually engraved with the construction time and the people. It's so cool"... All these reviews, made Ivana's heart to grow "proud with joyful".
"Love is mutual!" Recently, at the 2020 Nanjing Urban Internationalization Development Seminar, Ivana was appointed the first batch of “Zijin Friendship Ambassador of Nanjing Urban Internationalization”. She was deeply moved. This award is a recognition and expectation for my further work.” Ivana said that she will make best of her work to create more international exchanges for Nanjing and be a good messenger for cultural and educational exchanges between China and foreign countries.