Colorful Summer | Overseas Study of HSS Students
Students of our School of Humanities and Social Science spent a busy and fulfilling vocation during the long summer, some of whom went to study abroad to broaden their horizons, some went to enterprises for internship to accumulate experience, and some took summer classes here in CUHK, Shenzhen. The list can go on and on.
In this article, let’s follow the footsteps of our students, to enjoy the unique styles of the United Kingdom, the United States, and Hong Kong SAR, etc!
01 Shared by
MA Yinghao（class of 2025, BA in Translation, Shaw College）
International Summer School in University of California, Berkeley
My biggest impression of Berkeley ever since I came here one and a half months ago is the cool weather in summer. Berkeley is situated in the bay area, with an average temperature of 20 Celsius degree. But the sunshine in California is very warm, so lying on the lawn and basking in the sun can be said as a major feature of the campus. There are many different architectural styles around the whole campus, so that you can experience various styles of buildings in over a dozen schools and libraries. Courses vary from each other in difficulty, but generally the exams are not too difficult. The pressure mainly comes from peer competition. The overall class atmosphere is quite open, and professors always encourage students to express their own opinions. I had one course on educational sociology, each of whose session was filled with shared experiences and ideas from fellow students across the whole world. During the class intervals, you may hear four or five different languages spoken around you, which is kind of novel.
The reason for taking this summer program in the US is to enrich my own experience and broaden my horizon. Except for study, I also went to many famous cities in western US like San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle at weekends, to experience local scenery and culture. I visited Stanford, UCLA and UW these prestigious universities, headquarters of tech giants like Apple, Google and Microsoft, as well as some must-visit places, including Golden gate bridge and Hollywood among others. Besides, there are such a variety of national nature parks as Yosemite and Mount Rainier worth exploring, where you can enjoy the most pristine natural views and run into squirrels, groundhogs, deer and other wildlife.
02 Shared by
LUO Wenjing（class of 2025, BSc in Applied Psychology, Muse College）
International Summer School in the Chinese University of Hong Kong
In CUHK International Summer School, fellow students from Chinese mainland, Macau SAR, Melbourne, the US, Mexico, the UK, and France among other countries joined together in discussion, which was indeed cross-cultural experience for me. In one of my courses about Ethnic and Cultural Anthropology in Southeast Asia, the professor led us to do fieldwork in the Thai streets near Sung Wong Toi, Kowloon City District. We not only observed the internalization of Hinduism and the practice of almsgiving as bystanders, but also tasted authentic Thai food and experienced Thai mediation personally at the invitation of the professor. We also had the chance to communicate with monks on the modernity of religions (with our professor acting as an interpreter). This fieldwork is a learning experience imbued with the original flavor of culture and ecology. And it’s an elimination of puzzle in the unknown culture with the exchange of thoughts, when the professor introduced countries in Southeast Asia from inland to ocean one by one in class. Many previous biases and ignorance all vanished. Then I realized the existence of barbarity in modern civilization can still be found and that there was once a racial cleansing movement in Cambodia no less than the Nazi massacre of Jews. Only then did I understand how the basic historical facts learned in history textbooks, such as the US Vietnam War and the Vietnamese boat people, truly and concretely fall on individuals and have a heavy impact on them.
After class, I traveled around Hong Kong, enjoying the sea breeze of Victoria Harbour and the night view from Victoria Peak, seeing Ding Ding Cars shuttling through bustling streets, and viewing the harmonious coexistence between exquisite modern skyscrapers and crowded residential buildings, with unique Chinese and English signboards in different colors among them, as if they are footnotes for some old events in the last century. You can see the elderly and the young read paper books everywhere on the subway. On Sundays, you can always encounter Filipino domestic workers throw parties near Central, Hong Kong. And you can notice different ethnic groups from all over Asia in Chungking Mansions. In such daily experience of diverse languages, religions and races, I felt a distinctive cultural landscape in Hong Kong and also benefited a lot from it.
03 Shared by
CHENG Junxi（class of 2024, BSc in Applied Psychology, Shaw College）
The United Kingdom
International Summer School in London School of Economics and Political Science
London has long been the city that I want to explore. Its beautiful scenery and history have always triggered my endless reverie. And LSE has been my dream school for social science. So I’m actually very lucky to realize both the two wishes at once during this summer.
The course I took is “International Migration, Social Conflict and Public Policy”. Although I am a student majoring in Applied Psychology, my curiosity about the whole world is not only limited to psychological area, but also many others like international migration and populism. It happens that this course can enable me to see a broader picture, let me dig deeper into how international migration shape the social structure, and investigate the motivation behind social conflicts. And it can also provide me with a brand new perspective of considering other social issues.
It’s really a huge pleasure to live here! London is a great city which deserves even more exploration, regardless of its economy, culture or natural environment. Maybe there are not many cities that can match it all over the world. Besides, there’re all kinds of activities here in LSE, including city hiking, musical appreciation, and boat party, etc. Every day in LSE was very fulfilling!
In fact, the most important thing here for this one-month study is not academic achievement, but the in-person experience of “cultural shock”. There’re many chances for me to communicate friends from different countries, and learn a lot about their habits and customs, ways of thinking, and their views on China during this one-month program in LSE. As ancient Greek philosophers once put it, life is just a matter of staying at home, going out, and coming back home. Trying to look at ourselves from their perspectives is a process of reflection in itself. And it can also help us with a more comprehensive understanding of our Chinese culture.
04 Shared by
WU Shijia（class of 2025, BSc in Applied Psychology, Muse College）
The United States
International Summer School in Yale Universi
The reason why I applied for summer school in Yale University is that I want to experience overseas study personally, and feel the learning and living atmosphere in the US, to consider whether to further my study there in the future. Knowing our school provides chances for us to apply for summer program in Yale University, I found it a good opportunity to experience different life styles, and it will not cause too many impacts on courses I take in other semesters, therefore I signed up for it. The application for international summer program which has cooperation with our school is divided into 2 categories—Nomination and Registration. The Nomination one is determined by school, based on 3 applications from students, and their GPA. It mainly focuses on GPA and students’ own choice. The Registration Program is the one that you apply for to the overseas universities directly by yourself. I applied for Yale University Summer School through Nomination.
The two courses I took are Introduction to Clinical Psychology and Race, Gender, and Class Inequities in the United States, which are classes of psychology and sociology respectively. The first one is an online course, which consists of two online discussions every week. Before each discussion, recorded videos of the lecture, textbooks and other related materials need to be finished. The instruction of our professor really inspired me, and fellow students were also very active in expressing themselves. Each discussion would trigger many reflections on clinic psychology. The latter one is an offline course, consisting of two sessions of 3.5-hour classes each week. There’re also many reading materials before class. And the work load is bigger than that of the online one. As a result of my lack of knowledge on the background of American culture, I put into a lot of efforts to understand the course content. But at the same time, I also gained information about race, gender, and class in America as well as theories of sociology.
Yale Summer School is full of extracurricular activities, with multiple on and off-campus events every week. At the first weekend, I participated in the activity to Block Island, where we enjoyed the summertime on the beach and in the midst of waves. On-campus activities are quite similar to those we have in CUHK, Shenzhen, organized by different student associations and organizations, including interesting games and craft activities.
05 Shared by
WANG Yizhang（class of 2025, BA in English Studies, Diligentia College）
The United Kingdom
International Summer School in London School of Economics and Political Science
I chose the summer school in LSE for the summer of 2023. The course I took is IR 115 Culture and Globalization, with only session for 3 weeks, from June 19th to July 7th.
I once went to London with my high school’s summer camp, and experienced the quintessential British teaching style. As the COVID pandemic was over, I want to experience that teaching atmosphere of British undergraduate study again during this summer, so as to prepare for my further postgraduate study. For this reason, I chose LSE which is among the top universities of Social Science for its summer school. The requirements for application include that total GPA reaches 3.3, and IELTS scores no less than 7 or TOEFL no less than 107 according to the official website.
LSE summer school has a very high teaching quality. Lectures were all given by professors or deans of the school, and tutorials by doctoral students in LSE. Every day we had 3 hours lecture and 1.5 hours tutorial, for 5 days a week in a row. The pressure and workload are still quite big, for we need to finish 2 related papers on the topic of discussion before everyday class so that we can have something to share.
This course took an interdisciplinary approach to interpreting complex international challenges, differences between globalization and the old “world system” in the scale of mobility, migration and travel. We also had discussions on global migration’s impacts on family, sense of belonging and citizen identity, as well as roles of different societies and cultures in shaping human responses to global climate change. Two professors who gave us lectures are both from LSE Anthropology Department. One is Prof. Catherine Allerton, who often shared with us her field research in Southeast Asian countries, including exclusion, belonging, and statelessness of refugees and migrant children in Indonesia and Philippine. Such shared experience was an interesting combination with the concepts she taught. The other one is Dr. Andrea Pia, whose research area happens to be in China. After class, our Chinese students would discuss with him, and he told us with scarce water resources of rural areas in southwest China, some multi-ethnic areas with ecological damage, and the vantage point of Huize County in exploring solutions to China’s persistent water crisis.
In addition, living in London is a nice thing. The school is right in the center of London, and places like the British Museum, Chinatown, and the National Gallery are all within walking distance. My dorm was Bankside House, which enabled me to cross the Thames against the wind on the bridge on my way to class every morning with my friends. Or I could just walk quietly while enjoying the scenery and people around me.
All in all, it’s an impressive experience spending the summertime in LSE summer school. And I’m looking forward to coming to London next time.