English enhancement and fun abroad all in one

Joyee Chan Long-kwan and Connie Lam Sau-ling, FHS Year 1 students

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This summer the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHS) launched the English Immersion Programme with the aim of improving students’ English language competence and developing their cultural awareness. Participants spent four weeks attending classes in the United Kingdom or Australia.

At the University of Western Australia in Perth, our group of 17 students attended English lessons every weekday. The lessons, which were designed to strengthen our English writing, listening and communication skills, were highly interactive and interesting. Through the use of different materials, we have learnt to better master the language.


At the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, we were divided into three classes according to our English standards so that the course could fit every student’s need. We had a tutorial every week in which teachers discussed our learning progress with us individually and then gave us advice for further improvements.


What's more, the students in both places had the chance to meet a huge number of international students from Japan, Finland and Brazil. This enhanced culture exchange and, at the same time, gave us the opportunity to comprehend different accents and use of words.


The learning of English did not end with the classes as we stayed with local families. This not only gave us more opportunity to practise English, but also helped us familiarise ourselves with their culture. This experience helped tremendously in speeding up our improvement in spoken English.

Apart from classes and our home stays, we enjoyed the living environment in both Perth and Edinburgh.


The panoramic blue skies, peaceful rivers, fresh air and greenness of Perth lifted our spirits and filled us with vigour. The home stay agent took us on excursions to farms, wildlife parks and the outback. We felt excited trying lots of new things like canoeing, watching shooting stars, and making yarn out of wool. Words cannot describe how amazing it is to be in close contact with Mother Nature. These experiences have definitely added much more colour and excitement to our memories.


In Edinburgh, we experienced a different culture and environment similarly. The University arranged social gatherings and cultural activities after classes regularly, like visiting local pubs and learning Scottish dancing. We also went on many sightseeing excursions to historical buildings, old castles and neighbouring cities during the weekends. Some students even joined local tours to the Highlands and Loch Ness. All these experiences were valuable to us.


In a nutshell, we found the English Immersion Programme very fulfilling and rewarding. It not only offered us a valuable opportunity to enhance our English ability, but also helped broaden our international perspectives.


The English Immersion Programme provided a total of 85 students with an opportunity to study English at universities in English-speaking countries this year. Apart from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Western Australia, students were sent to the University of York and the University of Sussex in the UK, and Central Queensland University in Australia.


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