Students broaden their horizon through overseas exchange programme

Zoey Tsang

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Twenty-eight students from the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) joined the “Internship Programme for Exchange Students” (IPES) and were sent to seven overseas countries and three Mainland cities during the summer vacation. They gathered today (19 September) to share their internship experience with sponsoring organizations, teachers and fellow students.

Launched in 2005 by Co-operative Education Centre, the programme aimed at broadening students’ horizon through overseas working experience. Co-operative Education Centre has worked with partners overseas and in mainland China to seek internships opportunities outside Hong Kong. In return, the Centre will arrange internship opportunities in Hong Kong for overseas students sent by its partners.

This programme showcases CityU’s efforts at actively exploring opportunities for students to apply their knowledge to a real working environment. The internship programme also helps strengthen the students’ professional knowledge and allows the students to be exposed to different cultures.

During the sharing session, student representatives presented a world map with CityU logos marked on countries where the University had internship activities, which symbolizes how CityU students are reaching out to the world and applying their knowledge to practice outside Hong Kong. They also bring back what they have learnt overseas and will make their contributions to the local community.

“Overseas exchange programme helps develop students’ global vision. This is what CityU encourages as our university moves on to internationalization,” said Professor Lilian Vrijmoed, Dean of Student Learning, CityU. “I believe the internship programme has given our students some new experience and inspirations. It will pave the way for further developments in their study and career.”

Two recorded video messages by Professor John Giesy from Department of Zoology of Michigan State University and Professor Werner Jillek from Department of Electronic Engineering, Mechatronics & Information Technology, Georg-Simon-Ohm Fachhochschule Nürnberg University of Applied Sciences in Germany were shown during the sharing session. They complimented CityU students on their outstanding performance and said that the programme facilitated cross-cultural exchanges. They look forward to having more co-operations with CityU which will benefit more students.

Vito Tso Chong-yip from the Department of Building and Construction worked as an intern at Shui On Land Limited in Shanghai. While in Shanghai he assisted in a comparative study of construction standards in Hong Kong and mainland China, which served as a reference to enhance the company’s construction quality in mainland China. Vito loved architectural designs and was amazed by the new buildings in Shanghai. He said that there were plenty of opportunities in the building and construction sector in the Mainland. He was very keen in developing his career in the Mainland after graduation.

Kam Hoi-yi from the Department of Biology and Chemistry had spent two months in Goulburn-Murray Rural Water Authority in Australia and this experience brought her a new understanding of environmental protection. Her job was to assess and research on ecology near river channels and dams in order to maintain and protect the quality of the water source and the environment nearby. She was impressed by how the local Australians treasured their land and how the concept of environmental protection was incorporated in their lives. With what she had learnt in Australia, Kam hoped to help raise the awareness of environmental protection in Hong Kong.

Becky Lo Pui-ki from the Department of Physics and Material Sciences was sent to Siemens in Germany for an internship. Her duty was to conduct testing on various materials for making Siemens’ products and prepare reports for other departments’ reference. “While there, I could apply what I had learnt in the University to practice. This programme had also offered me chances to encounter different cultures,” Becky added. During her stay in Germany, the country was hosting the Soccer World Cup and she was immersed in the World Cup fever, which was definitely an unforgettable experience.

Lawrence Yeung Sze-yi is a student from the Department of Electronic Engineering. He helped develop a system called “Global Heart Rate” during his internship in Banff New Media Institute in Canada. The system makes use of global positioning technology. Individuals with correspondent electronic devices will be able to receive different media messages in different spots within a designated area. The messages could be music, video images or photos etc. Before his internship to Canada, he knew a lot about computer technology, but his internship had shown him how computer technology could be combined with art and broadened his understanding on how technology could be applied in different areas.

Carmen Chow Yin-man, Cyrus Ho Sze-wai and Harry Tang Ngai-hong had joined a field study organized by the Department of Zoology of Michigan State University during their internship in the United States. It was not an easy job. They had to camp at the site and travel through woods and across rivers to collect data. However this was an invaluable experience for them and they had learnt how to survive in the wild country. For those days when they didn’t have to camp, they stayed with their host family and lived the lives of local Americans, learning about the American culture.

This year the IPES was sponsored by Drs Richard Charles and Esther Yewpick Lee Charitable Foundation, Office of the Government Chief Information Officer and Hong Kong Cyberport Management Co., Ltd.

Apart from IPSE, the Co-operative Education Centre also organizes two other programmes for FSE students: “Industrial Attachment Scheme” (IAS) and “Co-operative Education Scheme” (CES). IAS is designed for year-two students who have their summer internships in local or participating Pearl River Delta institutions. CES, on the other hand, is for final-year students who have their internship for nine to 12 months during their study in CityU.

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