Students and Alumni

Off to See the World

All year round, students of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) fly out to explore new lands – with boundless enthusiasms and high expectations!

A photo taken at the Hong Kong International Airport, when Katie and other CALI programme participants were heading to an adventure in an English-speaking country.

To Samuel’s surprise, some participants of the Cambridge summer school are retired or working professionals and professors. Though their ages and backgrounds differ, they had a fun and rewarding exchange together.

Celeste attended the “Science Fiction and the Imagination of Planetary Futures” seminar conducted by Professor Ursula HEISE from UCLA.

An old Chinese proverb states: “Read 10,000 books and travel 10,000 miles.” In other words, immersing oneself in a completely different environment is one of the best ways to broaden one’s global horizons. CityU CLASS is dedicated to providing students with opportunities to go beyond Hong Kong, whether it involves sending them on rewarding cultural and language programmes, nominating them for international conferences, or arranging collaborations with overseas institutions to run summer schools and community services trips.

The Cultural and Language Immersion (CALI) programme is popular for those who want to polish their language skills in an English-speaking country. On this course Year 1 to Year 3 students can join – thanks to generous subsidies from the University and the College – one of the intensive cultural and language programmes run by our partner universities in the UK and US. This year, our partners include Hertford College of the University of Oxford and the University of Sheffield.

The main themes of the programmes offered by each institute vary, ranging from units on British culture to modern trends in the humanities, science and technology. Throughout the four-week programme, students stay on campus or with a host family. And here is what makes CALI so special: in addition to attending language classes and having cultural excursions, students can also conduct community or research projects under the supervision of staff from the partner university, allowing them to have intimate contact with the local community.

Katie CHEUNG Tsz-kwan, who will be in her third year of study at the Department of Chinese and History after the summer, spent most of July at Hertford College. She sought to improve her English skills, especially her conversation and writing ability. “CALI emphasises improving students’ language skills and raising global cultural awareness, which are some of my goals of attending university,” she said before leaving Hong Kong. She was also keen to discover cultural differences between the UK and Hong Kong, and to make friends with local and international students.

Also attending a renowned university in the UK via the College’s Overseas Summer Schools programme was Samuel CHAN Yat-hin, who will be in his final year at the Department of Asian and International Studies in September. Samuel enrolled in the International Summer Programme offered by the University of Cambridge, which is open to students from around the world. “I want to study for a master’s degree abroad in the future,” he said, “so this summer I can get a taste of studying and living in a foreign country. This can help me gain some real life experience before going abroad.”

Of the dozens of academically rigorous courses on offer, Samuel chose “Managing the World: International Politics and the Global Order” and “The Great Prime Ministers”. Given his expectations of the programme and his keen interest in history, the choices were not surprising. “The credit transfer is an added incentive,” he said.

This year also sees CLASS introducing the Institute for World Literature (IWL) at Harvard University to students for the first time. The four-week programme included seminars and colloquia, plenary lectures by distinguished guest speakers, panel meetings and discussions. Of the four components, seminars and colloquia were compulsory, and required intense preparation by participants ahead of their departure.

Celeste CHEUNG Hui-yuet, who will be in her third year at the Department of English, is passionate about literature, particularly Gothic and contemporary Japanese literature. As one of the two students selected for IWL, she took part in two seminars – “Science Fiction and the Imagination of Planetary Features” and “Localising Time in World Literature and World Cinema” – a colloquy on pre-modern literature, and certain cultural and social activities. IWL gave her the opportunity to meet people from different sociocultural backgrounds and to cultivate a comprehensive view of the world that will assist her pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. “I want to be a proactive and curious learner who is not afraid of raising questions or expressing a point of view,” she says.

In April this year, 12 undergraduates majoring in applied sociology, criminology, psychology, and social work travelled to Cardiff, Wales for the British Conference on Undergraduate Research, with sponsorship from the University’s Development Office and Office of the Provost. Besides exchanging ideas with other participants, 10 of the students also shared original research conducted in collaboration with their teachers.

During this academic year, the University’s donation fund has also supported the College’s community engagement projects including the International Community Service-Learning Programme and the 25th IAVE World Volunteer Conference. The International Community Service-Learning Programme took students to Myanmar for a voluntary internship in June. The 25th IAVE World Volunteer Conference, held in Germany last October, brought eight students of the Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences to an enlightening event that discussed the challenges of volunteerism at the global level.

All these internationalisation programmes aim to help our students develop a sense of global citizenship and to enhance their self-confidence and problem-solving skills.