Overseas Summer Programme
The following summer programmes will be funded under the Global Experience for ALL Funding Scheme (GEAFS). Direct student costs incurred by programme fee, transportation fee (economy class) and accommodation for an eligible student can be subsidized up to 60% of the cost per capita. The College will call for applications in January/February. For details, please refer to our email.
Programmes offered in 2023/24
|Berkeley Summer Sessions
|Session C: 17 June - 9 August 2024
|Leeds International Summer School (New for 2024)
|University of Leeds
|29 June - 27 July 2024
|Vancouver Summer Program
|The University of British Columbia
|July Session: 12 July - 12 August 2024
During this summer, I participated in the summer session at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) in America. It is an unforgettable experience and the greatest summer program I have ever joined. It is different than other summer programs, such as in the teaching mode. Most of the summer programs offer intensive courses designed for participants only. Here, UCB offers the regular courses of the summer semester, which are open to both participants and their local undergraduates. In other words, I can take the course from the colleges at UCB, experiencing the real mode and level of their teaching. My course mates are not only participants from different universities but also UCB students.
As a well-known public university, the University of California, Berkeley, has many Nobel Prize winners and unparalleled resources. It provides six types of summer sessions ranging from three weeks to a maximum of eight weeks. The summer session C I selected is an eight-week program mainly providing science and engineering courses. The course of genetics and computing that I enrolled in is provided by the departments of Molecular and Cell Biology, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in UCB. Taking classes in fields that I am not familiar with is challenging. Fortunately, the instructors and teaching assistants provide many resources and assistance to help me overcome those difficulties. In the discussion, we were assigned into groups to work on the worksheets. It not only promotes me with a deeper understanding of the topic but also encourages me to have more interactions with my classmates and teachers. Throughout the whole learning, I can see how the professors pay an effort to improve the course arrangement, especially in promoting classroom participation.
Moreover, I experienced the supportive learning culture in America, such as receiving much assistance and care from the instructor and the teaching team in the computing course. The workload of the computer course at UCB is extremely heavy; there are lecture quizzes, lab quizzes, lab code assignments every day, and a coding project twice a week. As a beginner in computer science, I found the lecture pace extremely fast, and those tasks were challenging. I was quite struggling and anxious at the beginning, but things soon got better. I was recommended to join the regular project party and office hours. The project parties are hosted by the senior students who took this course before; therefore, they can put themselves in my position and help me effectively. I look forward to attending every project party and solving my problem. Another exciting activity is the office hour, which is hosted by the instructor Vedansh. Since many students are always attending, it is almost similar to extra lecture time. We would discuss our problems together and exchange our idea. One of my unforgettable things is the one-on-one office hour after the midterm. I had a deep conversation with the instructor for up to hours. For example, he explained midterm questions and helped me clarify the concept. After I expressed my worries about my study, he shared his story and gave me helpful advice. Lastly, we talked about past experiences and future plans. I am thankful to have such a nice and caring instructor. In his teaching, I was inspired that learning is never too late, and asking questions to smart people can always learn a lot because it is just a matter of experience.
Apart from studying, I enjoyed a great summer in California. The Blackwell Hall I lived in was excellent because of the complete facilities and the close community. It is the newest residence hall at UCB that is equipped with social and study lounges on every floor. Incredibly, the learning atmosphere at UCB is high, in which many residents are always joining me in the study lounge. We are motivated by each other and sometimes chat to relax. Meanwhile, we have many activities in the hall, such as watching movies and holding games and farewell parties. There, I met people from different places and hung out together. We always shared our culture via dining. For example, I enjoyed the delicious pasta: carbonara with a friend from Italian in San Fransico, introduced the rice noodles in China Town to others, shared the reunion culture and Chinese traditional dishes in a Chinese restaurant with friends in Japan, Switzerland, Taiwan and Singapore, chatted with Korean students about their Soju culture and tasted the Singapore Kaya Toast. Moreover, we enjoy the firework on Independent Day, the sunset in BigC, cycling in google park, etc. I am pleased to meet those lovely friends and share all my happiness with them this summer.
In summary, living abroad for a few months was a good opportunity for me to explore the local culture and challenge myself. I always believe that experiential knowledge is important. Therefore, I am glad that I can have the chance to participate in this program to broaden my horizons and can make up for my regrets about studying overseas before graduation. The two months in UCB made me a better person and inspired me to another way of living. I hope my experience can encourage other students to seize their chance to explore the world.
Landing at San Francisco Airport, this was my first time coming to the US.
I toured the campus on my arrival day. UC Berkeley is a really beautiful school. With vintage architectures and a large lawn, it is an ideal place for learning and communicating. There are birds and squirrels everywhere in the campus. Students sit on the grass reading and chatting. Human and nature live in harmony, together creating a quiet and pleasant place.I took my first class the next day, ‘Econometrics’. Teacher was from Chile, and he was a very nice teacher. Economics was my minor, but I learnt a lot in this class. I am a student who really likes to communicate with teacher after class (that is why I cannot be used to online teaching). He was a really friendly teacher. Even though sometimes some silly questions were asked, he always answered with great enthusiasm. He was also willing to discuss some ideas with me despite his postdoctoral identity. There is no high or low in knowledge and everyone can be creative. We learn knowledge not to surpass others but to improve ourselves and make progress. His approachableness impressed me a lot.
My math teacher is a graduate student. I think what he taught was a bit difficult, but one could come to his office hour and take a seat, asking him until he understood all the things. A really friendly teacher as well. He even talked about the Fields winner during class. He showed great passion in math in his class, which came to me the reason to pursue a higher degree. Do I learn a higher degree just for a sheet of fancy diploma and find a better job? Do I really have passion for learning it? It is worth thinking about it.
During my stay, I hiked to the mountain behind the school. From the summit, you can view the significant panorama of the bay area, including the Golden Gate Bridge. On one of these hiking, I met an old lady with her dog also climbing the mountain. She was once a UC Berkeley student. We chatted a bit. Despite her gray hair and wrinkles, she showed great energy. Time can wash away her appearance but cannot take away her passion for life. It convinces me that learning is not only about knowledge but about life. Learning is truly a life-long wealth.
It had never occurred to me that I would come to UC Berkeley, especially in such severe condition, but the trip was really worth it. Berkeley leaves a great impression deep in my mind, including the people, the scenery and what I have learnt in this wonderful place.
I am glad to have this precious opportunity to attend Vancouver Summer Programme 2019. In this summer exchange, apart from learning new knowledge in Chemistry, I had different occasions for intercultural communication with classmates from other countries, to know the cultural difference between Vancouver and Hong Kong, as well as the learning culture in University of British Columbia (UBC). Moreover, I have explored different places in Vancouver. It is unforgettable experience as one-month exchange student in UBC.
A package related to Atmospheric and Environmental Chemistry was attended in this one month exchange. Besides learning new knowledge in these two courses, the lecturers have related their on-going researches during the class and leaded us to visit various research laboratory. They really inspire me that Chemistry has a lot of aspects that we can explore. This programme has widen my horizon in Chemistry that how science knowledge applies to global issue. It arouses my concern on those challenges and I may consider my contribution on these aspects in my future.
Throughout this one-month exchange, I had made new friends from different countries. We attended social activities and visited different places in Vancouver together other than cooperating in presentation and laboratory session. We also had intercultural communication in spare time. We learnt different languages of simple word, like in counting, and sentences. We really enjoyed that time. In addition, we received a gift (drawing of UBC Chemistry building with our names in it) from our classmate. We all were surprised and we had built valuable friendship with each other. I really pleased to meet all of them in UBC.
In this one-month exchange, I have observed cultural difference between Vancouver and Hong Kong, as well as learning culture in UBC. The people in Vancouver very polite. They like to say ‘Thank you’ after receiving help from others, especially when they get off the bus. It is really a great difference from Hong Kong. People in Vancouver are really warm. Besides, the learning culture in UBC has great difference compare City University of Hong Kong. There are a lot of group discussions in in-class assignments which allow us to share our ideas with each other. Moreover, in quizzes and examinations, each of them is separated in individual and group session. They believe that many hands make light work. More people work on the same task will give better result than work on individual. This can apply in science field, all the researches and inventions are worked out by many scientists, instead of one scientist. I very appreciate this culture.
In addition, I have visited various places in Vancouver. For example, enjoying the view in Whistler and Rocky Mountain, hiking in Grouse Mountain and watching firework along the beachside. Many impressive places were explored in Vancouver.
To conclude, although the workload is quite large for first two teaching weeks, I am still satisfied with it since I was able to learn a lot of things other than academic knowledge. I can also make new friends from other countries. The experience that I earn is out of my expectation and it is a valuable memory for me.
Looking back to my one-month journey in the VSP Vancouver Summer Program, I really gained and experienced a lot. Since the end of the term is approaching, it’s necessary for me to conclude my whole studying process during the program and set goals for my future study in CityU.
The first time I went to UBC, the beautiful scene gave me a profound impression. There are lots of historic buildings and you may see many lively animals in the campus. On the first day, with the tutor leading the way, I started to be familiar with UBC campus and knew about many local cultures and customs.
At the beginning of the program, I made plenty of friends from all over the world when orientation and class. Moreover, the tutor organized all kinds of social activities for us such as bowling, visiting Richmond night market, city tour and so on, which offered us good chances to be familiar with each other. My favorite part is the fireworks. We set off to the English bay of the Vancouver on that day very early but still met a large amount of people. The fireworks were attractive and amazing, which I will never forget.
On weekends and other free time, many places of interest were explored by my friends and I. Firstly, we wandered around and went shopping in downtown, where we also tasted varieties of delicious food. Meanwhile, we spent almost one day to climb up mountain in north of Vancouver, from the top of which we can enjoy the view of the whole city.
On the second weekend, it’s unforgettable for me to visit Victoria, which is the capital of British Columbia. What I want to stress is that it’s my first time to take the ferry. What’s more, lots of histories and interesting stories about the city are introduced by the guide during the journey. All in all, it’s a fantastic travel.
And then, fortunately, it’s time of pride once a year. We went to the pride and cheered up for those lovely guys. In addition, we went to the local aquarium and rode around the biggest park of Vancouver, Stanley Park. Although tired, it’s really worth. Lastly, we didn’t miss Whistler definitely, where some events are hold when the Olympics.
I not only enjoyed the tour, but also worked hard on my study. Since my major is mathematics, I chose the package which contains game theory and symmetry. By completing the game theory, I learnt to grasp a real world situations that can be represented as a game, abstract a real situation into a formal game and explain my own insights in term the real situation. By completing the course of symmetry, I learnt to identify different kinds of symmetry in 2D patterns and 3D objects and understood some of the roles that symmetry plays in the physical sciences, and in particular how it is important in the structure of matter. Both classes are introduced by Dr. Jim Evans. And I appreciate him very much to give me such interesting lectures.
I really had a great time in Vancouver and I will study hard in my future study. I wish I could have a second chance to visit the magical city and university.