English Immersion Programme – The University of Queensland, Australia

A Quest for Inspiration in Queensland

13-28, June 2015
Tour Co-ordinators: Ms. Bobo LEE, Mr. Terence LI

Following the success of the college's pioneer study tour to Queensland last year, another group of 29 students set foot on Australian soil in June 2015, embracing an exciting and rewarding journey that combines English learning with the appreciation of nature, cultural heritage and city chic.

Immersed in an English-speaking environment, students were offered opportunities to boost their English proficiency in an array of different activities, including but not limited to interactive classes delivered by experienced instructors, exchange sessions with international students and an excursion to city landmarks with fun-loving locals. The immersion programme not only enhanced students’ language skills, but also facilitated their personal development.

Stepping out of the university campus, the journey to farms and the wilderness was undoubtedly an eye-opening escape for city dwellers. The fleeting two weeks away from home has nurtured students’ maturity and facilitated their independence and above all the lasting memories of the warm hospitality by their host families.

Growing the Seed of Dream on the Australian Soil

Irish Guevarra ZAMBRANO (Psychology, Year 2)

My experience living and studying in Australia for two weeks was incredible and it was truly an unforgettable experience. I enjoyed all the activities and the course has equipped me with plenty of knowledge. We visited many different places, savoured Australian cuisine and made new friends. My favourite place was North Stradbroke Island. We went hiking around the island. The scenery along the way was amazing.

Before the trip, I felt nervous because I hardly knew anyone in the group. As I interacted with other participants during the trip, we got well-acquainted with one another. Towards the end of the trip, I even became close friends with some of the tour participants. The newly cultivated friendship made the immersion experience more memorable. Studying at University of Queensland was the best part of it all. The classes and excursions gave me inspiration and motivation to study harder and pursue my dreams. The days of being a UQ student created a proud chapter in my life.

After the two weeks away from home, I found myself more capable of letting my worries and insecurities go. Besides, I am no longer fearful of being myself and following my heart. Now, I am confident that I can be independent and take care of myself without the supervision of adults, making me more empowered to tackle challenges in life. Although there are uncertainties on what will happen to my future, I’m determined to pursue further study in the field of Psychology. I hope my dream can come true so that I can embark on a career that allows me to provide guidance and inspirations to the younger generation.


Shaving the Sheep: Cruelty or Necessity?

CHUNG Cheuk Yu (Environmental Conservation Studies, Year 1)

Among all the outdoor excursions, I liked the visit to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary most. I wasn’t enthusiastic at first because I wasn’t fond of animals. But my mind changed completely after the visit. The sanctuary is an excellent place to educate the public on the habitat and preservation of Australian animals. People can hug koalas, feed kangaroos and watch animal shows. Lone Pine is the only place that allows visitors to hug the koalas in Brisbane. I was fascinated by emus and kangaroos running and lying all over the grass, which is a scene we can’t see in Hong Kong. I think the kangaroos like me too! They were so desperate for the food that they gripped my hands tightly with their claws while eating!

I was a bit emotional during the sheepdog show. As an Environmental Conservation studies student, I felt sad when I saw the trainer shave off the wool in the blink of an eye. It would take a year for it to grow back on the sheep’s body. The shudder of the suffering animal sent shivers down my spine. I think the mankind has a complex relationship with animals. Endless sheep are shaved for the manufacture of wool products. But we’ve never considered how the sheep feel. When sheep lose all their wool, it will be prone to injuries and the extremely cold winter. It’s time to reflect on whether it makes sense to sacrifice animals for human greed, especially when more and more alternatives are available.