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Sharing of Exchange Experience

Some students from CW Chu College had a wonderful time going on exchange, and wish to share their eye-opening experience with us. They met and made friends with people from other cultures who have different world views, had a taste of life not known to them before, and learnt to be independent away from home—rewards not easy to come by in formal classroom learning.

Come and read their stories, feel their passions and joy through photos taken at exquisite spots, and plan your own rewarding study trips!

 

Student: HAN Liming (Cell and Molecular Biology, Year 4) 
Host Institution: Queen's University, Canada
Exchange Period: Term 2, 2017–18

Over the past years at CUHK, we have been immersed into a mix of different cultures and exposed to opportunities to communicate on different social occasions, so fitting in to the local culture in Canada was not a challenge to me. A good command of English would be an edge for me to mingle with the locals. Also, other than providing us with a multi-cultural study environment, intimate engagements and interactions among people, the College had organised some practical workshops, for example, the Social English Workshop, which helped me communicate with the foreigners confidently on different social occasions. 

2018 HAN Liming 1                                  2018 HAN Liming 2a
Lobby of Chernoff Hall, Main Building of the Chemistry Department, Queen's University

     

Liming at the Kingston Signature, Kingston, Ontario

 

Student: ESHBOLOTOV Kairat (Mathematics and Information Engineering,
Graduate of Class of 2018)
Host Institution: Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary
Exchange Period: Term 2, 2016–17

I had plenty of free time in this exchange semester, so I spent my leisure time on things that I really enjoyed such as traveling, reading and doing exercises regularly. It has been a term in which I have learned and grown substantially. Being in a new environment without the support of my family and friends for the second time in my life, I have managed to spend some time on self-exploration, and become more self-aware of my capabilities and shortcomings. I have become less judgmental about my weaknesses, and devoted more energy to improving my shortcomings while developing my strengths. I am especially grateful for the help from many people during my exchange period, as it has enabled me to realise how important it is to give and help people in need. Hungary is probably an unusual choice of exchange destination, since many people may prefer more well-established countries, but as an adventurous person, I like to try new things that people around me have not tried, and I do not regret my decision to be on exchange in Hungary.

2017 Kairat01 2017 Kairat02
Kairat in front of the Hungarian Parliament Building, a breathtaking building in Budapest, Hungary
Kairat at the Juliusz Słowacki Theatre in Krakow, Poland

 

Student: KWAN Pui Ying (Professional Accountancy, Year 4)
Host Institution: University of Sussex, United Kingdom
Exchange Period: Term 2, 2017–18

Going on exchange is not a year in life, but life in a year. I had a lot of first time experiences throughout this journey: to live and study abroad alone, to celebrate the Lunar New Year without my parents and relatives, to take care of myself independently, to speak in English every time I met someone, to write a formal letter of complaint to protect my customer right… I felt panic once because these problems were new to me, but I enjoyed the process of how I tackled them. To me as an undergraduate, the exchange experience is very valuable. I learnt from every mistake I had made, from every obstacle I had faced, as well as from the mistakes made by my exchange buddies who also had a lot of new experiences like me. That was a good time for me to explore my interests and potentials by putting what I had learnt into practice, for example, communicating with others in English every day and stepping out of my comfort zone to make new friends. From now on, I am more than happy to try new things, as I am no longer afraid of making mistakes.

2018 KWAN Pui Ying 1         2018 KWAN Pui Ying 2
Pui Ying (first from right) cooking with her new friends

   

A visit to Hampton Court Palace

 

Student: LAM Chin Heng (English, Year 4)
Host Institution: Hanyang University, South Korea
Exchange Period: 2017–18

(Chinese version only)

由於漢陽大學英文系的課程選擇有限,我在交流期間主要修讀韓語。在韓國生活令我的韓語進步得很快,上學期結束時,我已經可以自信地以韓語跟當地人交談;在下學期,交韓國朋友變得容易了,說韓語時也更自然,更流利。學韓語的意外收穫,就是爬山時能夠與一些親切的韓國大叔溝通,聽他們分享在韓國爬山的好處。從前,我在香港常常拒絕父母的爬山邀請;現在的我卻主動找人一起遠足,甚至在其他人沒空的時候也獨自前往

2018 LAM Chin Heng 1                                                                                                                2018 LAM Chin Heng 2
林同學(左)獨自在光州登無等山至六百多米,打算原路下山時遇見一位韓國大叔,最後二人一起爬上無等山之巔。

       

由國際學生會為交流生舉辦的跆拳道體驗活動

 

 

Student: SANG Zihao (Mathematics, Year 5)
Host Institution: The University of Washington, United States
Exchange Period: Term 1, 2017–18

(Chinese version only)

華盛頓大學(華大)校園的風景是美的,古典的歐式建築與新興的教學樓並存。當我走進一些紅磚高頂的哥德式建築,發現裡面竟是充滿現代設備的教室、圖書館和實驗室,令我嘖嘖稱奇。華大中心的蘇札洛圖書館(Suzzallo Library)是哈利波特的取景地,大概是整個學校最著名的景點之一:高高拱起的穹頂,黑色的吊燈掛在兩旁,下面是從一頭到另一頭的書架。我第一次去時工作人員正在把自習的桌椅搬運過去。我也沒想到以後來這裡自習會感到如此靜謐,偌大的空間,只有人的走動聲和偶爾發出的咳嗽聲,才告訴我這裡坐滿了人,彷彿自己也走進了哈利波特的世界學習魔法

2018 SANG Zihao 1                   2018 SANG Zihao 2
哈利波特的取景地——華盛頓大學蘇札洛圖書館
          桑同學(右一)與朋友正在登上西雅圖附近的雷尼爾山(Mountain Rainier)

 

Student: SHIH Ka Lam (Professional Accountancy, Year 4)
Host Institution: Cass Business School, City, University of London, United Kingdom
Exchange Period: Term 2, 2017–18

In this exchange experience, not only did I acquire academic knowledge, but I also learnt to be more independent. In Hong Kong, I do not have to do household chores. However, no one did these for me in London, so I developed a habit of cleaning up my room regularly in order to keep it neat and tidy. I also learnt how to cook during the exchange period. I have never cooked in Hong Kong because I have meals in the canteens of CUHK and have those prepared by my family. However, I always had to prepare dinner by myself in the exchange period, especially in London where it was expensive to dine in restaurants. Although the meals I cooked were much easier than what were prepared by my parents, I sometimes had a sense of satisfaction when the food turned out to taste nice. I found that cooking was quite exhausting, so I am really grateful for my parents, who prepare nice meals for me even after work.

2018 SHIH Ka Lam 1        2018 SHIH Ka Lam 2
Ka Lam at Windsor Castle, Windsor, United Kingdom
     An ordinary day of the Europeans—enjoying sunbathing in a park

 

Student: TSANG Chui Shan (Biology, Year 5)
Host Institution: Aarhus University, Denmark
Exchange Period: Term 2, 2017–18

In Aarhus University, every department hosted a student bar for its students, so that students from the same major can socialise with one other. The bars usually provided simple drinks, beer and some board games. Many students would also love to visit bars of other majors on Fridays besides the one of their own major, and they called this a ‘Friday Bar Tour’, meeting people with different specialities and fields of knowledge.

In summertime, the weather in Denmark is usually nice with lovely sunshine and a clear blue sky. My friends and I often grabbed a picnic mat; made some simple food and sat on the grass beside the lake in the university park. Aarhus University has a beautiful campus and a perfect atmosphere for students to enjoy some ‘hygge’—a feeling of comfort and happiness with companionship.

2018 TSANG Chui Shan 1             2018 TSANG Chui Shan 2
Chui Shan at DOKK1, the cultural centre of Aarhus University
        Chui Shan (second from left) having a picnic with her friends at the University Park

 

Student: TSE Chui Lin (Economics, Graduate of Class of 2017)
Host Institution: Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary
Exchange Period: Term 2, 2016–17

(Chinese version only)

雖然我主修經濟學,但由於我希望在交流期間體驗不同的學習經歷,因此我沒有選修任何經濟科科目,反而選擇了許多中大並沒有提供的課程。其中令我印象最深刻的是由一名猶太籍教授主理的課程,名為「Narrative Interview」。該教授致力於研究二戰時期猶太人被屠殺的歷史,因為後悔沒有在長輩在生時記錄他們對於二戰時期的回憶,因此她現時主力於訪問並紀錄倖存者的回憶。她發現舊有的訪問方法和問題設計局限了搜集的資料,而且很有可能會對倖存者造成二次傷害。教授無意中發現由受訪者主導的訪問效果非常好,甚至有治療心靈創傷的作用。自此,她便著手研究和完善這套名為「Narrative Interview」的訪問方法。在課堂上,我和同學參與了分析當年大屠殺倖存者訪問的謄錄稿,並嘗試用這套方法互相訪問,不少同學都敞開心扉,更有同學聲淚俱下。是次經歷非常特別和難忘,不但讓我有機會去窺探別人的故事,也令我有機會從另一個角度去了解二戰時期那些黑暗的歷史

2017 TSE Chui Lin 00      2017 TSE Chui Lin 01
學園的櫻花在四月盛開     匈牙利首都布達佩斯內大廈外牆上的壁畫

 

Student: WONG Lee Ching (Integrated BBA Programme, Year 4)
Host Institution: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States
Exchange Period: Term 2, 2017–18

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), like many other universities in the US, is devoted to providing opportunities and creating platforms for students to connect with one another. There are diverse sororities and fraternities on campus as well as clubs and organisations run by different student associations. Not only for its local students, UNC also puts a lot of effort into organising activities for international students to make sure that they integrate with their host university. I had the opportunity to volunteer and participate in exchange information gatherings to provide more information about CUHK and Hong Kong to American students. I believed that through these kinds of networking sessions, I would be able to get in touch with people with different backgrounds and to introduce Hong Kong to more people.

2018 WONG Lee Ching 1         2018 WONG Lee Ching 2
Lee Ching in front of a very famous wall painting at Chapel Hill
    Lee Ching (second from left) and her friends enjoying their time in Charlotte

  

Student: WONG Pui Ki (Professional of Accountancy, Year 4)
Host Institution: The University of Melbourne, Australia
Exchange Period: Term 2, 2017–18

The most memorable event that I had joined in Melbourne was the White Night. It was an overnight event till 7:00 am of the next day. The city was ignited with spotlights projecting on the facades of buildings. Within the precinct, there were all kinds of exhibitions and performance along the streets and even on rooftops of buildings. What made the event more fascinating was the supportive engagement from families, instead of from just a particular age group. I appreciated their respect towards the development of creativity. To a certain extent, I wondered how they could achieve harmony between demonstration of art and environmental issues concerning the use of bright lights.

2018 WONG Pui Ki 1       2018 WONG Pui Ki 2
Pui Ki participated in the White Night
    Pui Ki and her College mates from St Mary's College

 

Student: WU Hiu Lam Crystal (Journalism and Communication, Year 4)
Host Institution: University College Utrecht, The Netherlands
Exchange Period: Term 2, 2017–18

Europe is famous for its rich history in arts and architecture.  My Art History course did not only equip me with the basics of this area of studies, but also gave me a lot more insights into it. When I visited different architectural masterpieces during my trips around Europe, the historic buildings were no longer ‘just old buildings’ to me. I understood the architectural styles of the buildings, such as Gothic and Baroque, their history and anecdotes, which made me appreciate them even more.

Even though I studied in Utrecht for just one semester, it seemed that I could learn almost everything about the Dutch culture during my Dutch Culture class. We explored different parts of the Dutch identity, from their history to the famous Dutch tolerance. Studying abroad provided me with a chance to explore fields of study that I knew nothing about before, which was a very enriching experience.

2018 WU Hiu Lam Crystal 1                                                       2018 WU Hiu Lam Crystal 2
Crystal (second from right) with her amazing orientation week family in Eindhoven, a Catholic city in the Southern Netherlands, celebrating Carnaval
              Crystal on top of Preikestolen, looking at the breathtaking Lysefjord

 

Student: XU Duogeng (Integrated BBA Programme, Graduate of Class 2018)
Host Institution: The University of Texas at Austin, United States
Exchange Period: Term 1, 2017–18

From my perspective, this exchange experience was very important and memorable to me, because not only did it improve my English communication skills and enhance my insights into studies in the US, but it also greatly benefitted my application for post-graduate studies in the country. Although I did face some challenges and difficulties at the beginning of my exchange programme due to language and cultural barriers, I found the divergence among different cultures impressive.

2018 XU Duogeng UT Austin 3   2018 XU Duogeng UT Austin 4

UT Tower, the landmark in the University of Texas at Austin

  The student dormitory where Duogeng lived during his exchange period

 

Student: YAN Chenji (Integrated BBA Programme, Year 4)
Host Institution: Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France
Exchange Period: 2017–18

During the exchange period, I studied in the Economics Department. We discussed most economic issues in class from a European perspective. As a result, my knowledge about the European political economy, European demographic economics and European economic integration was expanded beyond my original horizons. For example, in the class of Demographic Economics, we discussed the migration of refugees in Europe. The huge number of refugees from Muslim-majority countries like Syria has become an issue the Europeans cannot turn a blind eye to. And it has been affecting the European demographic structure as well as its economic development.

2018 YAN Chenji 1          2018 YAN Chenji 2
The Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
    One of the lecture halls in the university with a beautiful wall painting

 

Student: ZHU Lin (Journalism and Communication, Graduate of Class 2018)
Host Institution: University of Geneva, Switzerland
Exchange Period: Term 2, 2017–18

Before starting my exchange programme, I had already decided to take some courses that were totally irrelevant to my major studies (Journalism and Communication). Thus, I finally registered for three courses from the Faculty of Economics and Management and the Faculty of Global Studies. All the three courses were challenging to me since I had not had any knowledge related to those fields of study. Nevertheless, these introductory courses provided me with opportunities to expose myself to new areas of knowledge and find my interests in disciplines other than Communication. Moreover, thanks to the courses, I became more aware of the sensitive issues in the business industry as well as issues revolving inside the African political sphere.

2018 ZHU Lin 1              2018 ZHU Lin 2
Lin's first skiing experience, with the famous Matterhorn at the back
    Lin having a picnic by the Lake of Geneva

 

 

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