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A well-spent summer for IVE participants of MIT exchange programme
  • <p>“The programme, which allowed the IVE participants to spend two weeks with the top students in the world, has encouraged them to work harder and utilise their full potentials”</p>
  • <p>“The programme, which allowed the IVE participants to spend two weeks with the top students in the world, has encouraged them to work harder and utilise their full potentials”</p>
  • <p>“The programme, which allowed the IVE participants to spend two weeks with the top students in the world, has encouraged them to work harder and utilise their full potentials”</p>
  • <p>“The programme, which allowed the IVE participants to spend two weeks with the top students in the world, has encouraged them to work harder and utilise their full potentials”</p>

“The programme, which allowed the IVE participants to spend two weeks with the top students in the world, has encouraged them to work harder and utilise their full potentials”

Aug 2014

For students, the summer holiday is the most exciting time of the year. It can be put into good use in different ways: recuperating from a busy school year; joining exchange programmes; doing internships to gain working experience. IVE Engineering organises a variety of summer programmes, with one of them being the annual MIT China Education Initiative (CETI) summer workshop. More than 80 IVE students grasped the invaluable opportunity and spent two weeks with students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Needless to say, the programme was intellectually stimulating, but most important of all is that students from both institutes had tremendous fun.

The IVE participants were divided into three groups, each of them covering different topics such as mathematics, computer science, finance, biotechnology, product design, civil engineering and physics. The MIT students took up the role as instructors, designing the curriculum and giving lectures.

“When we first started our workshops, we gave our students a diagnostic, basically an initial feedback, asking what they are interested in and also gauged their level of English and how advance their English skills are,” said Juan Hernandez, a materials science and engineering major at MIT. “We used that to change our curriculum. We were surprised by the students’ interests in material science. So we ended up changing some of the classes to include more material science for students.”

Given that the students were of similar age, the learning environment was much more relaxed. The MIT students used different approaches to pique the IVE participants’ interest in different academic areas. “We took all our students to the swimming pool,” said Julia Sun, another MIT student instructor who studies chemical engineering. “We taught them pool physics, such as buoyancy, density, turbulence, laminar flow. For the rest of the time, we had fun in the pool.”

Some IVE students were ambivalent about the programme in the beginning. “I was slightly worried that the programme would be boring after finding out it would last for two weeks,” said Yeung Chin-kuen, student of Higher Diploma in Civil Engineering. Students, including Mr. Yeung, were pleasantly surprised that the workshop was full of fun. Not only did they gain knowledge in science, their English, communication and creativity skills were brushed up after the two weeks. “MIT instructors encourage us to share our ideas in class, regardless of whether our English is grammatically correct or not. They help us to build up our confidence,” Mr. Yeung said.

MIT is one of the world’s best institutes in technology and engineering. Not only does it enrol the top students in the United States, it also attracts elite students from around the world. This year’s MIT student instructors are of different races and come from different countries, providing a chance for the IVE participants to interact with and learn from people whose culture they are not familiar with.

The same could also be applied to the MIT students. While a few of them come from Asian countries such as South Korea and Singapore, some had never set foot in Asia. Hong Kong introduced them to the Chinese and Asian culture. “I’ve lived around the world for most of my life. I’ve got to explore a lot of different cultures, but never really Asian culture. I am intrigued by this side of the world,” said Michael Holachek, an MIT student majoring in electrical engineering and computer science.

The IVE students did their best to show the rich culture of Hong Kong to their foreign guests. They took the MIT students to Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui, Sham Shui Po, the Peak and the Victoria Harbour and introduced Hong Kong’s quintessential food, including wonton noodles, hotpot and dim sum. The cultural exchange was made easier because of the IVE students’ proficiency in English and initiative. “I highly appreciate their English skills and their English is the best of any school we’ve been to,” Mr. Hernandez said.

The MIT exchange programme brought immense benefits to the IVE students: they learnt about the latest technology and science; they got to make friends with people from around the globe. The programme, which allowed the IVE participants to spend two weeks with the top students in the world, has encouraged them to work harder and utilise their full potentials.

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