Internationalization facilitates cultural exchange

Audrey Chung

Share this article 

In support of CityU’s mission to promote cultural diversity and internationalization, the International and Non-local Students Office (INSO) organized a welcoming ceremony on 2 September for more than 200 students.


Internationalized education at CityU promotes cultural diversity, exposes local students to a more diverse student community, and enriches campu

s life for local as well as exchange/non-local students.


In his welcoming address, Professor H K Chang, University President, said CityU enjoyed a broad mix of students from America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. He urged the audience to strive for academic excellence and to focus on personal growth. “You should grasp every opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue and establish long-lasting friendships,” he said. 


The University is strengthening international ties in academic and student exchange activities and attracting more students from the mainland and overseas in response to the University Grants Committee’s plan to increase non-local student intake.


In 2003-2004, CityU maintained cooperation and student exchange agreements with approximately 200 partner institutions worldwide, bringing 102 overseas and mainland students to campus. This year, however, CityU has admitted over 400 non-local students, a remarkable achievement for such a short period of time.  


To help acquaint non-local students with their new home, 40 CityU students are working as buddies on this year’s “Buddies Scheme”, organized by Student Development Services (SDS) and now into its fourth year. The scheme provides visa application support, arrival reception services, campus tours and helps in course enrollment. It is also a genuine platform for exchange since both parties benefit. “By helping exchange and non-local students adjust to life on campus and in Hong Kong, the buddies are exposed to a variety of different cultures and languages, an experience which is a crucial part of growing up,” said Dr Ruth Yee, Associate Director of SDS.


Florian Neuhuber, an exchange student from Austria, said that the high number of non-local students on campus meant he could make friends with people from different countries and thus collect useful contacts for the future. “I am confident my time here will be a springboard to develop my career in the business sector in both China and Hong Kong,” said Florian, who is enrolled in the

Department of Management Sciences. Impressed by CityU’s international reputation and commitment to forging closer links with overseas and mainland institutions, Florian has set himself certain goals while in Hong Kong. “I want to get together with students from different cultural backgrounds, learn practical business knowledge, and develop good intercultural and communication skills,” he said.


CityU buddy, Lian Jiaxin, a trilingual Year 2 student in the Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, said it was a pleasure to offer a one-stop service to exchange students. “Now that I have served as a CityU Ambassador, I have become more confident and the opportunity to openly exchange views on cultural, social and international issues has broadened my global horizon,” she said.


Qiu Jie and Wang Xinhao, both from Shanghai and Year 1 students in the Faculty of Business, said CityU was a dynamic, fast-expanding university. The students were genuinely friendly ambassadors for both the University and Hong

Kong, they said. Their new friend at CityU, Pei Yuanteng, a Year 1 student in the Department of Computer Science, said CityU offered the chance to get immersed in an East-meets-West culture. “This is an eye-opening experience, one I’m never going to forget,” he said.


The International and Non-local Students Office (INSO) came into operation in mid-June 2005 in response to the increasing numbers of overseas and non-local students coming to CityU. The Office provides information and services and helps students interested in joining student exchange programmes outside Hong Kong. Services include allocating the Student Exchange Fund, pre-departure orientation training, support during the exchange and post-exchange back-up.


Contact Information

Communications and Public Relations Office

Back to top