2019 SPC Overseas Summer Program
Successfully Held in Eugene, Oregon, USA
From 18th June to 5th July, 2019, a team of eight students from Shiu Pong College participated in “American Culture and Language Program” (ACLP) at Northwest Christian University (NCU) in Eugene, Oregon, USA. This Overseas Summer Program, which was designed to be experiential in nature, combining language enhancement, cultural immersion and leadership training into one, has been successfully completed as planned. It was a rewarding journey of lifetime that was filled with a mixture of classes, workshops, cultural tours, homestay experience and other activities.
The ACLP is a critical part of SPC’s effort to help its students to significantly improve their English language abilities and broaden their global vision through diverse experiential learning activities. Over the course of almost three weeks, SPC students were immersed in an environment that allows the most encouraging environment to learn English, break through personal comfort zones and welcome the differences of Chinese and American culture. It signals SPC’s commitment to students’ personal development and effective learning experience in English.
The class of “English Language and American Culture” explored not only the language, but also how it has changed and shifted according to the trend of users and how it has evolved over the years in the context of American culture. The interactive classroom setting was well adapted to the needs of our students; and under the supportive atmosphere that was provided by teachers and peers in Eugene, SPC students were participating as actively as they could in discussions. Workshops were another essential part of the program that went beyond the language and American culture to discuss topics ranging from personal growth, global leaderships, current economics standing between the US and China, American sports, etc.
The ACLP invites students to initiate learning experiences not only indoors but also at other occasions. Accompanied by the program assistants at NCU, students have spent their free time during the evenings or meal times to engage in meaningful conversations which took their understanding of the different environment broader and deeper. It was also by utilizing the free time that the team of students this year have had the chance to learn how to play American football, spikeball and also baseball. The students felt excited about chatting and playing with English speaking friends whose cultural backgrounds were very different from theirs.
Weekends of the program were usually cultural tours around famous local sites of Oregon. The team went to the Oregon Coast and also Crater Lake, the deepest lake of North America. It was hailing and snowing high up in the mountains where our students ate lunch by the lake and also sledded down a snow-covered hill albeit in the middle of summer. During one weekend of the program, students were sent off to live with their host families and engage in a true American home experience. This particular activity has received consistent positive feedback from our students, for it gave them the opportunity to observe and experience a typical American way of life.
Towards the end of the adventurous program, all students were required to prepare and deliver presentations in front of an audience of professors and friends they have made throughout their time there in Eugene. It was a summary of their learning outcome as well as experience sharing. These presentations highlighted how SPC students had learned about American culture as well as their personal growth that they have accomplished through the program. After their presentations, the students joined a block party with local American people celebrating a significant holiday of the United States, 4th of July Independence Day.
The Overseas Summer Program (ACLP) is the peak of SPC’s longitudinal English programs. The College believes that learning and growing are a lifetime’s work and should be consistently pursued. The program provided phenomenal opportunities to learn English and American culture and brought our students meaningful friendships and the honor of meeting American teachers who both inspired and challenged them to fulfil their potentials and to grow to be future leaders with a global perspective.