College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Updates from Overseas by Students Joining Summer Programmes

Students who join the Cultural and Language Immersion (CALI) programme, the Overseas Summer Schools programme or the Institute for World Literature (IWL) via the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) this year flew out of Hong Kong in June or July. Three of them shared their expectations before departure, and are sending updates while on their adventures.

The CALI programme targets at Year 1 to Year 3 students who want to polish their language skills in an English-speaking country. They can join one of the intensive cultural and language programmes run by our partner universities, which include Hertford College of the University of Oxford and the University of Sheffield this year. 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, sought to improve her conversation and writing ability. “CALI emphasises improving students’ language skills and global cultural awareness, which are some of my goals of attending university,” she said before leaving Hong Kong. Halfway into the journey, Katie has sent some photos showing that she had lots of opportunities to practise spoken English and learn about British culture, through various social activities and tours. 

With a goal to study for a master’s degree abroad in future, Samuel CHAN Yat-hin, who will be in his final year at the Department of Asian and International Studies in September, would like to get a taste of studying and living in a foreign country this summer. He enrolled in the summer programme of the University of Cambridge, which welcomes participants across the world and from all walks of life who have prepared for an intensive and academically rigorous study experience.

Photo 2: Samuel’s classmates at the summer school come from diverse backgrounds.

Among the courses on offer, Samuel chose “Managing the World: International Politics and the Global Order” and “The Great Prime Ministers”. “I enjoy my stay here in Cambridge!” he shared after the first week of stay. “One day I had a fruitful chat with my classmates in the Garden Party at St John's College. As you can see in the photo, I am taking the same course with people of different ages including retired or working professionals and professors.” Before going to the UK, he has expected the programme can help him widen global perspective and improve communication skills. From what he experienced so far, it is very positive that he can achieve this result and much more.

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 compulsory seminars and colloquia, as well as plenary lectures by distinguished guest speakers, panel meetings and discussions. 

Photo 3: Celeste attended the “Science Fiction and the Imagination of Planetary Futures” seminar conducted by Professor Ursula HEISE from UCLA.

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 the “Science Fiction and the Imagination of Planetary Features” and “Localising Time in World Literature and World Cinema” seminars, and was engaged in a colloquy on Premodern Literature, in which she and other participants took turns to share past, ongoing or future projects revolving around this topic. She also toured to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and joined a beach outing. She is grateful to have an opportunity to meet people from different socio-cultural backgrounds and 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 my point of view,” she says.

The summer programmes will come to an end soon, and the students will bring back with them new knowledge, valuable insights, soft skills that benefit their lifelong learning, and most treasurable of all, vivid summer memories. 

Cover photo: 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.

Photo 4: The partner university gave a warm welcome to the students joining the CALI programme.

Photo 5: Apart from attending language lessons, Katie also spent time with her classmates for games, afternoon tea, outings, a trip to London and other activities, allowing her to practise English in her daily life.

Photo 6: Samuel took a photo with Sir Tony BRENTON, former British Ambassador to Russia and a speaker of the lectures at the Cambridge summer school.


Photo 7: While in the UK, Samuel stays at the beautiful Selwyn College, Cambridge.

Photo 8: Social activities with peers sharing the same passion in literature also form a part of Celeste’s adventure.

Photo 9: Celeste enjoyed a relaxing day at a beach with new friends.