29 August 2018

CUHK i-Ambassadors Give Support to On-campus Internationalisation



The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has been putting strong emphasis on the importance of internationalisation. CUHK has been developing a student population which is diverse in its nationalities and ethnicity. We have also been striving to enlarge the experience and understanding of different cultures on campus and assist students of different ethnicities and countries to integrate. The Office of Student Affairs of CUHK has initiated “The i-Ambassador Scheme” (the Scheme) which aims to provide a way for students to channel their creative ideas into activities which promote multi-cultural exchange on campus.

Since its debut in 2015, the Scheme has attracted over 780 students, in groups, to join as “International Ambassadors” (i-Ambassadors). The i-Ambassadors consist of both local and non-local students coming from diverse countries/regions including Brazil, India, Indonesia, Japan, mainland China, Malaysia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, the USA and Zimbabwe. Before the i-Ambassadors started planning and organising their own events, a series of training activities including event management workshops, cross cultural communication workshops and various local cultural visits would be arranged to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge and have a better intercultural understanding, cultural sensibility and communication skills. 

Increasing internationalisation on campus through multi-cultural activities 

In the past three academic years, the i-Ambassadors have organised over 70 cultural events, with a total attendance of about 1,200. The activities mainly fell into four categories: cultural encounters, arts, food and physical wellness. In the cultural experiences activities, the i-Ambassadors took the participants on tours which exposed them to the customs of Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Africa, all within the city. Arts lovers had a good time joining in the workshops which featured Chinese folk dance, Indian dance, origami and typography. Foodies enjoyed trying their hand at making local snacks like mini egg puffs and egg tarts. They also made milk tea and tackled Chinese style glutinous rice balls and French brûlée, while getting to know about the cultural aspects. Outdoor activity lovers explored the city’s natural beauty on hiking trips led by i-Ambassadors. 

Developing personal growth 

Many i-Ambassadors see joining this programme as rewarding, and Myrmidon Kangara from Zimbabwe is one of them. She said, “I enjoyed sharing my culture and customs at the African Night session organised by our team. For instance, we invited some participants to try carry things on their heads, like our ladies do. And the students found it was no easy task. Being an i-Ambassador gave me an opportunity to develop a better understanding of my own cultural identity. I also benefited from gaining exposure to different backgrounds, cultures, and people by participating in other i-Ambassadors’ activities. Being part of this programme was definitely a thrilling experience for me.” 

The support from CUHK gave a huge boost to the success of the i-Ambassadors’ initiatives. All the 70 plus events were sponsored by the Internationalisation Activity Fund, which helps the students to realise their ideas and assists in the implementation of their activities. The students also learnt some practical skills including proposal writing and budget planning while they were applying for funding. They also valued the advice from the Selection Panel on their proposals. 

The i-Ambassador Scheme for the new academic year is now open for application until 17 September 2018. For details, please visit: www.facebook.com/iambassadorscheme.

Indian dance workshop
Indian dance workshop

African Night – Participants try to walk with a box on the head
African Night – Participants try to walk with a box on the head

The first Indonesian Night at CUHK
The first Indonesian Night at CUHK

DIY mini egg puffs by the i-Ambassadors
DIY mini egg puffs by the i-Ambassadors

The i-Ambassadors experience the lives of fishermen in the Lamma Island
The i-Ambassadors experience the lives of fishermen in the Lamma Island

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