Tag Archives: Culture

Fighting terror with globalization

It seems all too often these days, we are waking up to devastating news involving terror. There are so many terrors in the word every day that we don’t even hear about, but whenever it comes close to home, it makes it much more personal.

The more recent attacks in Brussels, Paris, Jakarta, Bangkok and in Turkey have shocked me the most: These are all places I have been or have seen myself going to, and I can’t help but feel that it could have been me among the hurt and injured, or any one of my dear friends from all around the world. If you live a life in which traveling frequently brings you the bulk of your happiness, unfortunately this seems to be a risk you face in today’s world. Here are a few of my personal views as a student abroad about how we can begin fighting terror in our own way.

A students perspective

It all began for me when I started my student life abroad, diving right into a bachelor’s degree in Finland in 2009. I have since then wrapped up a second bachelor’s degree in Finland in 2016, with a semester abroad in Indonesia under my belt to add to my study abroad experience.

During my 7 years of studying abroad, most of my free time has gone to traveling around Europe, Asia, Australia and a little bit around back home in North America. Although I continue to hear the news of terror attacks primarily targeted at innocent travellers, carried out by either ISIS or by other radicals who feel obligated to use violence to get their point across, and although my anxiety kicks in every time I get on an airplane, I refuse to submit to terror and stop travelling . You shouldn’t let these fears limit you either, and this is why:

How studying and traveling abroad  changes us all

I am tired of hearing from articles online that terror is a valid reason not to study or travel abroad. For all of the young people out there who are currently weighing terrorism as a heavy con against studying abroad, I ask you to reconsider. For all the parents who are begging their children not to study or travel abroad, I ask you also to reconsider.

If I have learned anything at all during my time studying and traveling abroad with people from all over the world, it’s that these experiences are what shape our youth for the better. These experiences are the ones that will break our borders and destroy the grudges that go back way before this generation was even born.

Studying abroad with other international students from all over the world will teach you or your child an unbreakable love and respect for diversity, and will ultimately teach the world how to coexist over time. This generation has a gift that many generations before lacked: The ability to travel abroad more easily and more affordably than ever before. This gift is not just one that is given to its’ receiver, but it is also a gift for those who are touched by the wanderers.

I truly believe that the only way we can fight terrorism is with an emphasis on global education and intercultural understanding with an open mind. We need to let our youth break down the walls we have created, and we need to let them venture out into the world and understand just how small they are, no matter how risky or uncomfortable it may seem.

Let’s not limit ourselves in the face of a challenge, but rather, let’s continue to come together and embrace our neighbours with a clean slate and an open mind. Let’s embrace intercultural interactions as a learning environment rather than an obstacle, and take away as much as we can from those experiences.

fighting terror
At the end of the day, no matter where we’re from or what our culture is, most of us wish and pray for the same things: family, love and happiness.

The future lies with diversity

In these 7 years, I can say I have seen the future blooming everywhere I have had the honour of visiting. I see the future here in Finland: A start-up team proudly standing under the brand “Made In Finland” with smiling faces from as broad a range as Finland, Brazil, Pakistan, the USA and the Netherlands.

I have seen the future in Dubai: Meeting the passionate people who are educating students from all over the world in their classrooms, some hosting well over 100 nationalities!

I have seen the future everywhere in between when I have met new friends in hostels: That guy who was originally from France, off to a business meeting in Singapore to get funding for their company in Indonesia, or that guy originally from the USA, taking a break from his work in South Korea and exploring Hong Kong.

I have seen the future in Airbnb hosts who open up their own homes to complete strangers and create an environment ripe for cultural sharing. I dedicate the firm majority of my life skills from all those amazing people who embraced me with an open mind, and in return, opened my mind!

Yes, I truly believe that the future lies with diversity, and with those who are brave enough to take on the challenges of studying or living abroad along with the priceless experiences they receive in return.

The future lies with those who embrace all of the cultures they are lucky enough to interact with along the way, and who understand that being different is what makes us all beautiful in our own way.

It may seem like a scary world we are venturing out into, but it’s worth it, and it’s up to us to change the world one mind at a time in return as we carry out our journey.

The Discover China program

Introducing the highlight of summer 2016: The DISCOVER CHINA program!

Discover China is new and unique travel education program which allows its’ participants to experience the local traditional life of Hong Kong and China. It’s organised in collaboration of Interface Education and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

Discover China gives its’ participants great insight into the Chinese culture, economy, and heritage, while allowing them to admire the stunning landscapes, and while activating their taste buds with a wide variety of authentic Chinese cuisine. Discover China will take its’ participants far beyond the tourist-trodden paths and will enable them to experience a wide variety of activities, as well as face-to-face interactions with the friendly locals.

Discover China
Now’s your chance to Discover China, are you up for the adventure?

An adventure of lifetime

Discover China is a unique adventure, and its’ primary goal is to introduce its’ participants to the rich natural, cultural, and historical aspects of the destinations in which they will visit. Discover China is ideal for those who wish to better understand Chinese culture within a short period of time, admire wonderful places and meet new people. What better place to start exploring the Guangdong Province in exotic Southern China than Hong Kong?

A new way of seeing things

New destinations often include an unknown culture and a new way of looking at the world and life. A chance to visit new destinations also means new life experiences! During the Discover China journey, you won’t think of these destinations as locations anymore, but rather, you will think more about how they have given you a new way of seeing the world. Participants will build lasting memories and wonderful friendships as they expand their views of the world!

Get in touch with the locals

During this journey, participants will meet and interact with many kinds of locals; including students, hard working factory laborers, farmers and wise village elders. Discover China provides its’ participants with travel companions who are local English-speaking university students. They will give all Discover China participants great insight into local student life and student culture. Participants can practice their Mandarin Chinese with these local students, while building long lasting friendships along the way!

Unforgettable experiences

Have you ever wanted to experience new things, yet never could quite put your finger on exactly what? You now have a one-of-a-kind chance to dive right in to a culture as rich as the lands it originated from!

During this unique journey, you as a student will experience the following activities which will make your journey truly unforgettable:

  • Learn Mandarin Chinese at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)
  • Admire Hong Kong’s iconic skyline at the top of Victoria Peak
  • Enjoy an authentic Hong Kong street market experience in Sham Shui Po
  • Experience the manufacturing plants and meet the hard working laborers
  • Embrace Southern Chinese Culture in the Lingnan Impression Park
  • Visit a 400 year old Ancient Village, and get to know the Hakka people
  • Be amazed at a Silkworm Farm, and learn about silk production
  • Try communal farming and get your hands dirty while having some fun!
  • Learn traditional Chinese arts: calligraphy, painting, and paper cutting
  • Try out the most famous Chinese Martial Art: Kung Fu

As you can see, this isn’t your typical sightseeing tour. This is an educational adventure filled with numerous activities and experiences. It takes you away from the beaten path to help you discover the natural beauty, culture and life of China, which is often overlooked by the average tourist.

Ready to go?

For whom: Students and parents

When: The 7th – 17th of August 2016 and the 21st- 31st of August 2016

Application Deadline: The 7th of July 2016 and  the 21st of July 2016

Price: 1,880 USD / 1,760 Euro per person

***(Early bird price: 1,680 USD / 1,560 Euro per person)***

Discover China is  Organised in cooperation between Interface Education and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

Check out this link for more information: https://www.studyadvisory.org/#!/university/11650/hkust-:-discover-china