Trading places and sharing ideas

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Mr Tomas Collins, an exchange student from Australia's Murdoch University, found life at CityU and in Hong Kong exhilarating. "It's an eye-opening experience," said Tomas, who began his six-month sojourn in July 2002 as a final year student in the Department of Public and Social Administration. "I'm particularly impressed by the multi-lingual environment in Hong Kong and among the college students. In Australia, English is the lingua franca; but here my fellow students are fluent in English, Cantonese and Putonghua."

Going abroad certainly broadens one's experience and cultural perspective, agreed Miss Joanna Tam Chung-yan, a second year student in the Department of Applied Social Studies. She returned from a three-month exchange programme at the Universiti Sains Malaysia. "I now understand more about the cultural and religious diversity in Malaysia," said Joanna, "not to mention that I have also become more independent and more sociable." She thinks her experience as an exchange student will be forever etched in her memories of her meaningful university education.

An international experience is seen as an increasingly important part of undergraduate education worldwide. As Hong Kong needs to train more graduates with a global perspective, CityU is losing no time in integrating this component into its educational strategy. Since the University initiated student exchange activities on a regular basis some five years, it has successfully built ties with more than 39

internationally renowned institutions in North America, Europe, China and Australia. So far, about 400 students from CityU and overseas institutions have traded places and shared ideas under such exchange arrangements.
The University, in a move to promote more opportunities for students to go abroad on a semester or year-long basis, has formally established a Student Exchange Fund, through which 99 students will be sponsored in 2002-03 to take part in credit-bearing exchange programmes outside Hong Kong.

"When students go to faraway places for even a short period of time,"

said Professor Edmond Ko, Vice-President for Undergraduate Education and Dean of Students, "they come back different people. You can see the qualitative changes in their lives and their attitude to learning."



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