A dozen students from College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) partner institute in China, Hubei Polytechnic University, are visiting St. John’s for a summer camp and learning program this week.
Iris Yang, Manager of Administration Services for the China Project, says the students are enjoying their first trip to Canada.
“We have had a partnership with Hubei Polytechnic University for almost 10 years and this is the first time the college has held a summer camp for our partner institute,” Yang said. “During this two-week camp, the students are here for immersion in English learning, to experience our culture and to see Newfoundland.”
The first joint ventures between CNA and Chinese post-secondary institutions took place in 1999. The current partnerships enable CNA to expand its geographic interaction to Asia, providing a formal platform for the students to start with a diploma level program and then transfer to undergraduate and graduate programs at various North American universities.
The summer camp students arrived in St. John's on July 23 and will be returning home on Friday, Aug. 4. Their schedule thus far has seen them spend each morning in class at the college’s Ridge Road campus with each afternoon spent exploring their host city, taking in sights such as Middle Cove Beach, Quidi Vidi Lake and Cape Spear.
Sasha Miao, an English teacher and the trip coordinator for the group, says this is a cooperation program between institutions which gives their students additional information about CNA.
“We organized a trip to include visiting here so they can know more about CNA,” Miao said. “They are enjoying the difference in the engineering courses. I think most of the learning is in the equipment and in the education model and testing the difference in the education models. It is a totally difference experience.”
She hopes that after this trip the students will have more confidence speaking English.
“When they go back to university they can enjoy the foreign language course through Hubei Polytechnic University. This was a wonderful trip and we hope next year we will come back again with different students.”
Chen Rui, who is majoring in International Economics and Trade, says she is enjoying her first trip to Canada; their sightseeing trips around the St. John’s area have been something she has relished so far.
“I think it is fun because I have enjoyed a lot of sunshine in Middle Cove beach. We also went to Signal Hill and Cape Spear. It’s a really nice place. I would like to come back perhaps in the future.”
While she says the classes are very different from what she is used to and the language can sometimes be a barrier, she is enjoying the learning environment.
“The way they teach has more freedom, and I think I like this way.”
For more information about the China Project visit www.cna.nl.ca
Public Relations Specialist
College of the North Atlantic