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By Sunny DENG (JC Academy Hall)

This year, we are happy to have 198 Foundation Year students living in our student residence. “Every year, MEAO will arrange many orientation activities for them. Also, the colleges and departments will organise events to welcome all FY students”, said Pancy Lo, an Executive Officer in MEAO. Traditionally, all of the FY students are from different places in mainland China. But for the 2009 cohort, excitingly, we have 7 Taiwan FY students.  I have met a Taiwanese FY student called Annie who lives in my Hall - JC Academy Hall. She is an outstanding student from Taichung, a city located in west-central Taiwan. “Hong Kong is a bit different from what I imagined,” Annie said. “But I don’t think it’s a big deal. I like to join actively various events here.” Her roommate, Noni, said in jest that she felt old when she saw Annie going out early and returning back late. As a year 2 undergraduate student, Noni is quite happy to live with this lively Taiwanese girl.

FY students are getting more active in taking up roles in the Executive Committees of Residents’ Associations. “There are many Foundation Year students planning to join us”, said Wang Ying, a current RA Exco member in JC Academy Hall.

Two years ago I was also one of the FY students. I still remember my first day in the student residence: new room, new bed and new roommate. Everything was just new to me. I needed to learn how to blend into the student residence rather than simply survive.  I have learnt that Cantonese is a vital language if you want to communicate with local people. I heard that some FY students are required to learn Cantonese, but Pancy told me that Cantonese courses were only required by some colleges and departments.

The first year is always very short.I hope you can value the wonderful days in the foundation year!