Embark the Journey to the World – UC Summer GOAL Programme 2023 Episode 1
First Stop: A Unique Journey of Service Learning Experience to Uganda, Africa (From 19 May to 2 June)
The College Summer GOAL Programme has been suspended for three years because of the outbreak of COVID-19. This year, with the pandemic under control, the College has resumed providing different short term summer programmes for the College students. The first one which is a brand new trip to Uganda, Africa, for a two-week Service Learning Programme.
Led by two honorary advisers, Dr Tong K C Yung, Lecturer, The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care and Dr Tony M H Chan, College Secretary of United College, 15 enthusiastic students went to the other side of the world – Uganda from 19 May to 2 June, to visit, explore, serve and to understand this mysterious country from different perspectives.
This was the first time in three years that a GOAL Programme team set off to the world, and the students were all excited and looking forward to it!
Poverty, sex trafficking and HIV infection are serious social problems in Uganda. College students visited the Watoto Children Village, Baby Watoto and local families in the poverty slums to understand these local issues. As in most parts of Africa, women’s rights are often neglected. The students had a valuable opportunity to engage with local women, listen to their stories, and learn more about the challenges they face.
In addition to visiting, the students also assisted nannies at the Baby Watoto and experienced taking care of babies. The students learned that this is not an easy job, and only those with a heart full of love can take good care of the babies.
The highlight of the tour was to transform an old classroom into an ocean-themed toy library in just three days. The students started planning this project before departure, they collected second-hand toys in Hong Kong, after cleaning and repairing the broken parts, they brought 14 suitcases of toys to Watoto. Although the students encountered many difficulties during the preparation period, they believed that all the hard work was worth it when they saw the smiles on the children’s faces.
The students went to the national park to explore and admire a variety of wild animals and the vast natural scenery.
For most people living in affluent areas, it is difficult to imagine the difficulties faced by local people, and only by truly entering their communities can they understand their way of life. If you are interested in leaving your mark in Uganda with a group of like-minded friends, don’t miss the promotion in the next academic year. Sign up for this meaningful service learning experience next year!
Second Stop: Language Improvement Project – Culture and English Language Programme at the University of York, UK (From 28 May to 18 June)
Apart from the service learning programme, the College GOAL Programme also collaborated with the College Language Improvement Project to organise oversea language programmes for College students. A total of 12 College students, led by the Honorary Adviser, Professor Barry Bai of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, attended a three-week Culture and English Language Programme from 28 May to 18 June at the University of York, UK. The programme included lessons about English language and culture which aimed at helping students to enhance their language proficiencies, international awareness and sensitivity to UK culture. The College students also stayed with local families to gain a deeper understanding of the English culture.
Third Stop: French Culture and Language Programme at Lyon, France (From 2 to 25 June)
College students are very keen on learning European languages, UC GOAL programmes also selected nine students to attend a three-week French Culture and Language Programme at the Université Catholique de Lyon, France. Professor Geoff Chan Chee Hon of Data Science and Policy Studies Programme was also appointed as the Honorary Adviser of this programme to lead the College students to Lyon.
Fourth Stop: Spanish Culture and Language Programme at Barcelona, Spain (From 2 to 18 June)
Apart from the one to Lyon, the College GOAL programme also arranged another group of 14 students to attend a two-week course on Spanish Culture and Language offered by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain (UAB) from 2 to 18 June 2023. Dr Leticia Vicente Rasoamalala of the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages, was appointed as the Honorary Adviser of the Programme leading the group of students to Barcelona. UAB also arranged the College students to stay at the local host families during the programme to enable the College students to have more exposure to a new culture and communication with local people.
Fifth Stop: Summer Study Tour to Suzhou and Shanghai organised by Diligentia College, CUHK Shenzhen
On top of all these tours organised by the College, UC GOAL programme also provided financial support for five College students to join the Summer Study Tour to Suzhou and Shanghai organised by Diligentia College, CUHK Shenzhen from 29 May to 2 June 2023. Through visiting Fudan University, Soochow University, Gu Jinzhen Embroidery Art Museum and Suzhou Industrial Park, students got to know more about the traditional Jiangnan culture as well as the latest development in Suzhou and Shanghai.