The first formal Winter School for Cuiying Honors College took place, coincidentally, in two countries that are warm in January, Australia and Singapore. Forty students spent their winter vacations in English language and cultural studies. Twenty four students took part in The University of Adelaide’s four-week General English for Academic Purposes (GEAP). Cuiying Honors College’s CPC Deputy Secretary Shuchao Ma and Xinping Hui, a Chemistry teacher at Lanzhou University accompanied these students. Shengyi Du, Cuiying Honors College’s CPC’s General Secretary and Liping Fu, CHC’s Student Affairs Administrator travelled with the sixteen students who attended a tailored seventeen-day English language and Singaporean culture studies program offered by Nanyang Technological University, in Singapore.
The University of Adelaide has hosted CHC students in years past and is an active English language program partner. As part of the GEAP program, each student enjoyed the comforts of a homestay environment and weekends off to explore Adelaide and other locales in South Australia. Australia is a beautiful country which thrives in its geographical and cultural diversity. The homestay families, who varied in age, ethnicity and experience, spent their time introducing these students to beaches, parks, museums and nearby towns, sometimes taking them to meet relatives and other friends.
The GEAP classes were tailored to each student’s English level, which was determined through on an online pre-placement test. The feedback from both the University of Adelaide and CHC’s students was constructive, instructive and positive. The students also gave feedback on the curriculum, noting that they particularly benefited from group cooperative activities thatrequired listening and speaking.
Liu Yaxin, 2013 Humanities major stated that the most valuable outcome of the experience was that she learned how to be more independent and proactive in managing her time.
Students at Cleland National Park discover that even the animals are laid back in Australia!
Nanxun Qin, Dong Ying and Xueya Cao display their prizes for best group presentation in the GEAP program.
2015 marked the first Winter School for CHC and its first colloboration with Nanyang Technological University. The Singapore Learning Journey program introduced students to Singaporean history and the development of its education system, economy, governance system and infrastructure. The course included guided tours to important examples of Singapore’s infrastructure management and facilities, cultural landmarks and recreational amenities. Like their class mates who participated in the University of Adelaide GEAP, the students attending the Nanyang Technological University program were required to prepare a presentation in English. During their free time, they enjoyed Singapore’s diverse culture, cuisine and shopping opportunities. In addition to participating in the Singapore Learning Journey program, the CHC contingent also met with Professor Fangwei Shao, who introduced NTU’s science programs and facilities, representatives of National University of Singapore and also staff from the Chinese Embassy in Singapore. In all, the students described the trip as an interesting experience in an international Asian and western-influenced culture.