Student Development

Embark the Journey to the World – UC Summer GOAL Programme 2023 Episode 2

Summer break is the best time to travel abroad! Succeeding the success of first to fifth trips, the Summer College Globe-oriented Active Learning (GOAL) Programme continued their journey to the world! Let’s find out the details of sixth to eleventh stops!


Sixth Stop: Summer Programme at the University of Sydney, Australia (From 18 June to 8 July) 

A group of 26 college students, led by Prof Peter C K Cheung of the School of Life Sciences, attended a three-week summer programme at the University of Sydney from 18 June to 8 July 2023.  Students had taken courses with the theme of Food, Sustainability and Planetary Health.  Apart from lectures and seminars, the University of Sydney also arranged different excursions and activities for the students, including hiking at the National Park, biodiversity tour at the Botanic Garden and waterfront clean-up activity. Students also had the opportunities to experience local culture via watching Australian Football League and visiting the Koala Park.


Seventh Stop: Language Improvement Project – Culture and Chinese Language (Mandarin) Programme at Taiwan Central University (From 30 June to 6 July) 

This new programme is jointly organised by the College GOAL Programme and College Language Improvement Project with Taiwan Central University. A total of 12 college students, led by the Honorary Adviser, Dr Chan Ning of the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, attended a seven-day language and culture Programme from 30 June to 6 July 2023 in Taiwan. To enhance students’ awareness on history and culture of Taiwan’s multi-ethnic societies, students visited Heweishan, living place of indigenous people of the Atayal, and experienced the river trekking activities. By immersing in the Mandarin speaking environment, students’ proficiency in Mandarin is strengthened.


Eighth Stop: Culture and English Language Programme at Hertford College, University of Oxford, UK (From 1 to 16 July)

20 College students led by Professor Stuart Michael McManus of the Department of History, attended a two-week summer programme at Hertford College of the University of Oxford, United Kingdom from 1 to 16 July 2023. The programme included advance courses of English language as well as culture and history of the United Kingdom. Students had the opportunity to stay at the student hostel of Herford College to experience the traditional college life in one of the oldest colleges in Oxford.

Apart from having classes, the Resident Advisers, who are students at Hertford College, also arranged different kinds of activities for the College students, including punting, visiting the local markets and joining a day trip to London, etc. Their warm and thoughtful arrangement had created a wonderful memories to our students.

Ninth Stop: Summer Programme at Utrecht University, the Netherlands (From 2 to 16 July)

49 college students led by the Programme Adviser, Professor Noam Noked of the Faculty of Law, attended credit-bearing summer courses, European Cultures and Identities, European Politics and Economy, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Europe: Business Models and Financing Models, a newly added course offered by Utrecht University in the Netherlands from 2 to 16 July 2023.

The courses were very intensive and fully packed with lectures, tutorials, seminars and project presentations, etc. Nevertheless, students enjoyed the precious opportunity to study and meet students coming from all over the world.


10th Stop: Pass-it-on: Service Learning Programme by United College and Tsinghua University (From 10 to 23 July)

Pass-it-on Restarts

Due to the pandemic, Pass-it-on was suspended for three years from 2020 to 2022. As the epidemic is under control this year, the College and Tsinghua University immediately resumed the discussion on continuing this meaningful programme to pass on kindness and love to those in need.

Pass-it-on took place in Hong Kong and Beijing from 10 to 23 July 2023. Students from the College and Tsinghua University visited to these two cities and had the opportunity to visit local non-profit making organisations. They also participated in various volunteer service to gain experience in serving the underprivileged communities. By joining the activities, students can have a comprehensive view of challenges faced by those in need in both cities. It also stimulated students to find out ways to help the needy to overcome their difficulties.

Part I: Highlights of Activities in Hong Kong (From 10 to 16 July)

To warmly welcome students from the Tsinghua University, the College hosted a welcome dinner on 10 July. Professor Ko Wing Hung, University Dean of Students of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the United College management team also attended and welcomed the delegation in this occasion.

Through participating in a Dialogue in the Dark game, The Silent Detective, students experienced the challenges faced by the deaf-mute individuals and tried their daily communication method.

Besides, with the support of SAHK, students from both Universities were assigned to the Jockey Club Elaine Field School, Woche Workshop and LOHAS Garden to learn about caring of users with physical disability. Students also prepared a day tour to CUHK for the SAHK users, which was a memorable day for all SAHK participants.

The students also visited the Arc Dog Shelter and helped to take care of the abandoned cats and dogs, and clean their cages. This experience allowed them to understand that the issue of abandoned pets should not be overlooked.

Part II: Highlights of Activities in Beijing (From 17 to 23 July)

Tsinghua University offered a volunteer service for cleaning the campus, allowing students to contribute to the cleanliness of the campus and experience the hard work of cleaning staff.

In the organization of Yangguan Youyi (Sunshine Friendship), students accompanied children with autism to attend classes and assisted them in finishing tasks assigned by the teachers.

The students taught children basic Cantonese in various ways, such as through games, singing, and reading poetries, at the Tongxin Library.

Let’s find our more on Pass-it-on:

No matter how prosperous a city is, there will always be various social issues and vulnerable communities that require our understanding, respect, and help. If you would also like to participate in this programme and pass love on, please stay tuned for next year’s application announcement.


11th Stop: Service Learning Internship Programme (From May to Aug 2023)

Learning and Growing through Service

This summer, eight College students participated in Service Learning Internship Programme under the GOAL Programme. They visited to Taiwan and served at Toy Library in Taoyuan or Shumei Natural Farm in Nanao. Let’s learn more about their unforgettable trip:

The Toy Library

Four students went to the Toy Library in Taoyuan, Taiwan, from 19 June to 30 July. Under the guidance of the staff, they engaged in various tasks such as organising and cleaning toys, assisting in the preparation of materials and games for activities, and assisting children and the elderly to participate in the activities. Serving in the library had improved students’ interactions with children and the elderly, and trained their patience, communication skills, and leadership abilities.

Shumei Natural Farm

The other four students travelled to Shumei Natural Farm in Nanao for two to three weeks between May and August. By participating in activities related to crop cultivation and ecological conservation., they gained knowledge about the coexistence of natural farming methods and the land, as well as about natural organic fertilisers and pesticides. This unique experience allowed them to understand the value of organic farming and the importance of sustainability.

Travelling abroad and serve the overseas communities is a precious opportunity to connect with people from diverse backgrounds, students can understand various cultures and values by engaging in the service.

If you wish to be one of the participants of the summer GOAL programme, please stay tuned for the application information for 2023-2024.