English Immersion Programme – The University of Queensland

An Invaluable Opportunity For Students’ Personal Growth and Development

17 June – 9 July, 2017
Tour Coordinator: Mr. Martin EASTWOOD

‘G’day, how are you going?’ Well, 14 students from CIE were going ‘pretty good, thanks’ as they jetted off to sample the delights of Brisbane, Australia’s third most populated city and a place offering natural beauty, cultural sophistication and friendly inhabitants in equal measure. The well-established tour, now in its fourth year with the University of Queensland (UQ), offered CIE students an engaging three-week English immersion programme to enhance both their English language competence and confidence. As in previous years, the 2017 cohort were able to enjoy interactive lessons among the idyllic surroundings of the UQ St Lucia campus and explore the wider city through numerous experiential learning activities. These activities included but were no means limited to: trips to Second Nature Organic Farm, North Stradbroke Island and the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

As well as experiencing the academic excellence of a World Top 50 University (QS rankings) and encountering several majestic marsupials, the tour also provided students with an invaluable opportunity for personal growth and development. An unfamiliar, exciting new cityscape had to be negotiated and an intimate understanding of Australian culture garnered through day-to-day life with a home-stay family. The new relationships forged in these families was undoubtedly one of the most precious elements of the tour. Students were able to enhance their awareness of Australian codes and customs while at the same time conveying the significance of Hong Kong culture. This cultural sharing even extended to some students preparing Chinese cuisine for their new Aussie families!

Ultimately, the tour delivered an unforgettable experience, one filled with education, exploration and exhilaration. Brisbane and Hong Kong may be separated by 6,940km and a two-hour time difference, but the divide was bridged successfully by CIE students courageous enough to step outside of their comfort zone. Their receptiveness to new places, ideas and people ensured they took full advantage of this ever-enriching study tour.

"It Strengthened My Confidence In Expressing Myself."

LEUNG Ka Kiu, Shara (Environmental Conservation Studies, Year 2)

As a student studying environmental science, the itinerary had aroused my interest in joining this study tour. During the trip, I visited a farm called Second Nature Organics and talk to the owner. I then came to know that the government of Brisbane is very supportive to local farmers to practise organic farming by providing subsidy and a comprehensive certification system. After the visit, we were given a chance to prepare our own Australian pizza for lunch by using herbs from the farm. It was indeed an interesting ‘farm-to-plate’ experience for me.

On the other hand, this three-week programme provided me lots of chances to speak in English. Before the trip, I was rather reluctant and shy to express myself in English and now I am more willing and competent to talk to foreigners after the homestay. The members of my host family were very friendly and we exchanged a lot of the culture of our own country.

It is a fruitful and meaningful study tour which I have achieved a lot of goals. The slow-paced living style in Australia well reminds me to live in a peaceful way in Hong Kong. The trip has also raised my awareness of a healthy lifestyle, and ultimately I hope that I could become an environmentalist in the future.