Middlesex University managed to arrange each of us to live in different local homestay families with different cultures and backgrounds. There were 1 to 2 of us with the homestay families. This arrangement was aimed to create an environment that helped us to practice our English speaking with our homestay families. We had different experiences of living with our homestay families. And we were enjoy it.
Cultural and Language Immersion Scheme 2014
Department of Computer Science & Division of Building Science and Technology
SUMMER PROGRAM IN MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY, LONDON
Introduction to CALIS 2014
Cultural and Language Immersion Scheme 2014, which is jointly organized by the Department of Computer Science and Division of Building Science and Technology, aims to improve students’ communication skills and global perspectives through immersion in overseas community activities.
It is a 4-week summer school programme which was conducted in collaboration with the Middlesex University of England. The scheme includes intensive English language classes with IELTS preparation as well as cultural and social activities and community projects designed by overseas partner institutions.
An IELTS examination took place immediately after the 4-week programme in England. Students were arranged to live with local homestay families in order to enable students to communicate in English with increased confidence and gain a greater awareness of lives of the English people.
The ultimate goal of the scheme is the application of language learning strategies and cross-cultural communicative skills for use in multi-cultural environments.
We attended the 4-week intensive IELTS preparation course of the summer school in Middlesex University. They provided professional English education for us to improve our English language skills consisting of listening, reading, writing and speaking. At the end of the course, we had IELTS examination. During the 4-week program, we had a great experience in the foreign learning style. We expressed our ideas freely in the class. Tutors were helpful. They helped us to improve our English skills, overcoming our weakness. We all gained not only the knowledge, but also the teaching and learning style in England.
Although the schedule was tight, Middlesex University managed to arrange different extra-curricular activities after school and weekends. Some of them are the following:
- Cruise along River Thames
- Ascend the London Eye to London Eye
- Visit to museums
- Horse Riding
- Playing cricket
- Trips to Oxford and Cambridge
- Community Service at a primary school and an elderly home
We participated in all these activities, and took advantage of these activities to learn the cultures and places in the UK. We all enjoyed them very much.
First day we arrived London! Middlesex University arranged a coach to take us from Heathrow Airport to the campus! We attended a briefing in the morning, and we all were transferred to our own hostfamily afterthat. Everything were new and incrediable!
Visit to British Museum
We were overwhelmed when seeing this wonderful building. Inside the museum, numerous collections shocked us because we had not seen such a big museum before the trip and the collections are very comprehensive.The exhibits are very precious and have their own historical significance. For example, there are real mummies displayed in the British Museum. It was really marvelous since they always appear in the adventure movies but we never thought that we could have a chance to see the real mummy.
Visit to London eye
We love the London Eye so much because it is a wonderful sight-seeing facility for visitors to take a paramount view of the whole London. We could see the river side view of Big Ben together with the Houses of Parliament and the Tower Bridge on top of the River Thames.
White Masquerade themed Ball
a summer Ball night held on 4th July. We carefully dressed and took so many beautiful photos; students in other courses also joined this ball. We dance together and my impression to them is very good. They do not discriminate us and are willing to make friends with us.
Another sport activity is horse riding. We were all new to horse riding. It is glad to receive training how to ride and have the opportunity to ride a horse. Although horse riding is not popular in Hong Kong, we do also wanted to ride a horse one day. Ultimately, we can experience this in London. we were so pleased that we participated in it Also we were able to interact with the horse such as feeding them and carding curled horse hair.Although it was raining, we still enjoyed a lot
Visit Bank of England Museum
The second highlighted activity is to the Bank of England, embarking on a journey through time, it is a central bank, and handles the monetary policy of the UK. In a way, they are the bank for the Government. Other banks, known as the 'high street banks' are there for customers to use for normal bank accounts etc. In Scotland, the high street banks can also issue banknotes, but only with the Bank of England's consent. Basically, they control the countries money. They can independently set interest rates and inflation rates. This means that they control all of the banks in England because they set the basic interest rate.
Watching the Phantom of the Opera
Among the activities, watching the Phantom of the Opera was definitely the highlights of the whole tour. The play was recognized as a masterpiece in opera, it was a humbling experience and an extraordinary enjoyment to appreciate this classic in the Capital of United Kingdom even we were not familiar with this art.
Visit Bath and Stonehenge
Preservation can also be seen in mysterious Stonehenge, Bath and many historical sites. The Stonehenge is very clean, and most of its characteristic remained the same though all these centuries. In contrast of China, the historical remains are coated with Graffiti of local visitors. The Bath realm also keeps its beauty. The magnificent buildings are mostly made from the local, golden-colored Bath Stone. Georgian architecture majors the city center. It was develop from the Palladian revival style after 18th century. The Royal Crescent is probably the most spectacular one. The architecture also features “Queen Anne fronts and Mary-Anne backs”.
Next came the climax of the program and my favorite activities - sports. Cricket is the national sport of England. We had a chance to learn it in England.. Although it was very hot and shiny on that day, we did not sweat much because the weather in London was not humid and we did not feel heated when playing the cricket. At first, we were divided into pairs to have some practice. After that, we were separated into four groups to have competition. We all had fun in this traditional sports.
Trip to Oxford and Cambridge
we had an overnight excursion to Oxford and Cambridge during the weekend. We lived in the student Hall of Oxford University and had a full breakfast in Oxford. Throughout the visit, there were tour guides to introduce the background of different buildings and provide lots of additional information for us. They were very helpful and friendly and helped us to have a deper understanding of the histories of Oxford and Cambridge.
The dungeon we have the party is actually a restaurant which have classic characteristic. All the waitress wear medieval costumes and the interior design of the restaurant are like a cave and with old style. When the party started, we took a lot of photo with each other including other students of City University, foreign students, teachers and our student ambassadors. Since after one month, we all get very close and we have established a valuable friendship. Also, we all got a certificate which is from Middlesex University, we feel very excited. When the dinner starts, there are dancing show and opera show which are very fantastic and creative.
As ever, CALIS 2014 has come to a great success. The programme was beyond our expectation and we all shared fruitful memories. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to Middlesex University and our homestay families for their thoughtful arrangements and warm hospitalities. We would also like to extend our genuine gratitude to those who had contributed in preparing and organizing this rich-content programme. Our particular thanks go to Department of Computer Science, Division of Building Science and Technology, College of Science and Engineering and City University of Hong Kong for their kind support and generous sponsorship. Last but not the least, we especially thank Edward Chan, Joe Yuen, Queenie Lau and CS & BST Department for their constant and patient guidance throughout the programme.