Charlie’s Feelings about LSSP 2016

  Thanks to our most kind and most generous sponsors, Dr. Lee Shiu and Dr. Jennie Mui Lee, Thanks to the organizer, Chung Chi College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK for short), and two co-organizers, Yuanpei College, Peking University (PKU for short) and University Scholars Programme (USP for short), National University of Singapore (NUS for short). Without them, I can never take part in such a meaningful program and gain such a fulfilling experience.

   I ‘m Charlie, a freshman before Lee Shiu Summer Programme 2016 (LSSP 2016 for short), majoring in Data Science in Yuanpei College. Maybe Wang Qian is a more familiar name to you, but I prefer to say my name is Charlie Wang, which I get right during LSSP, in this English writing. I didn’t realize I need an English name until I arrived in Hong Kong. Though most delegates are Chinese in terms of blood and most delegates only have Chinese names on their official files, like identity card and passport, they call each other by English first name, never caring about any else. It’s a popular phenomenon in Hong Kong, which in my opinion, is a reason why they are so outgoing and it’s easy for them to make acquaintances. I have discussed this with my roommate, Jayden. You can make a friend but don’t have to give out your privacy and personal information owing to your English name, while it’s quite weird that I introduce myself by a single Chinese word, Qian. At the end of the program, I can only match some of the delegates with their English names, but keep relationships with them all the better.

   The delegates are from different universities, from different places in the world. To promote the cultural diversity, we were divided into ten groups. Each group has members from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Singapore. The lucky No.2 group even has a member from Brown University in US, Amy, who is a beautiful girl with authentic and melodious spoken English. On the way to CUHK, I noticed a lot of obvious differences, from the currency to the language, from the weather to the landform, from the transportation to the prices. We missed the Ice-breaking Dinner, so I didn’t meet my group members except my roommate, a reliable senior.

   We had a well-planned schedule, filled by many kinds of activities. For most of the time, we attended lectures, and unfortunately, most of them are in English. Even in the leisure time, we talked with students from Singapore and US in English. The English sentences I heard and spoke this month are more than those I heard and spoke in the last 18 years. In this way, my English level was improved a lot. Besides, I found Singaporean accent is very interesting. We could easily tell that both students and teachers spoke Singlish.

   The theme of LSSP 2016 is “Road to Success in the Modern World” with five sub-themes, covering all the aspects, all the pop problems in the society. The lectures are various and the lecturers are from different statuses. Some words I think I will never forget, for example, “lend me your eye”, “Hong Kong government pay much attention to the efficiency of the anti-corruption strategy”.

Activities are not limited within the lectures. We got the chance to explore CUHK and HKU and pay visits to some institutions and NGOs. CUHK owns a rather big campus, with four old colleges and five new colleges. Students go through the campus by lift or school bus. The bend roads are too complicated to remember, which made me often at a loss. HKU seems much smaller. Only the freshmen can have the dorms offered by the school. Once they become the sophomores, they have to live outsides, suffering both the high tuition and the high rent. As for institutions, we departed for Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change, Geo-park and so on. No doubt that Dialogue in the Dark is the most impressive experiential learning in the memory of everybody. The complete darkness is the most exciting part during the program. Experience in Crossroads Foundation is also forgettable.

To finish our first presentation, we gathered for Field Study in groups, looking around in Hong Kong public housing estates, old one and new one. Our mentor is a fat but kind composer. In the mentoring session and group study, we talked about success, dream and the housing problem in Hong Kong.

After arriving in Singapore, things are different again. Although we were familiar with the model of the schedule, we need to be aware of another social problem, water recycling. Whether visit to NEWater or visit to Marina Barrage is related to this problem.

In the medium presentation, our group chose the theme, minority. Just in the LSSP 2016, we realized that the minority is a big problem. In this world, minority is common. Everyone must have a time being the minority. Therefore, we discussed about how to live in harmony with each other in consideration of these cases.

The events in Beijing were more relaxing, for I had already lived in Beijing for one year. There were many visits as in Hong Kong and Singapore. But the difference was that lunch-cum-visit at The Great Hall of the People came to the first climax of the program. In addition, drama appreciation, the aunt of Li Cha, was really pleasant. However, the final presentation laid much pressure on us. Most of us had to stay up preparing with our study group. Lee Shiu Young Leaders Forum is another climax, so I felt quite honored to be one of the masters of this ceremony.

Apart from the stressed training, we saw a broader world and made more friends. PKU, THU, ZJU, FU, SYSU, NUS, HKU, CUHK, BU all send several students to the program, so that I can communicate with different cultures. As we all kept a tolerant attitude and got along with our group members every night, we developed good relationships. On the last day, we were reluctant to say goodbye to other delegates departing for their next destination. Hopefully, the modern technique allows us to keep in contact and it was convenient to travel to Hong Kong or Singapore to see them.

Time flies. One year past, and will never come again. I gained happiness, relationships, valuable ideas on social problem and the ability to conceive my future from LSSP 2016. I abandoned the stereotypes about other cultures. My original idea was to travel around at a low price, but I totally changed my thought 4 weeks later. It’s a precious treasure beneficial to my whole life.

Postscript: I just want to challenge myself with an English version. If I wrote in Chinese, I wouldn’t grudge my words to narrate more details.