National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism
Study Exchange Program between NKUHT and University of Birmingham in UK
- Study Exchange at Birmingham University College, UK, for students to see the world
- Different from the experience of traditional education, requiring self-discipline learning
- Being independent during the internship period and preparing for future before graduation
Highlight 1—Experiencing a different learning environment
Under the regular education environment in Taiwan, teachers often pay close attention to the students’ class work and reports, but the British education model is different from the regular education in Taiwan. Teachers in the UK will only tell you when the assignments, mid-term reports, and final reports should be submitted in the first week of class. Next, students will rely on themselves to study and write report. Many tasks, such as what books the teacher recommends, making an appointment with instructors by e-mails to discuss the direction of the report, making an appointment for the consulting service, arranging the schedule and progress of each study, and submitting the report at the end, should be completed by yourself. No teacher keeps reminding you in class. No one urges you to submit reports and homework. If the time is up, you will automatically get zero points if you don’t upload a report. This can be said to be another kind of “self-discipline education.”
Through this kind of “self-discipline education”, I learned more about how to allocate time effectively, such as “when should I complete this report”, “before going out for fun, the progress of the report should be done so that it will miss the deadline.”
Highlight 2 —Experiencing a different education system
I have two courses in the UK: one is a large-scale lecture course with more than 50 people, and the other is a discussion class with 8-10 people after the large-scale lecture. In my understanding of the large-scale lecture, the teacher first began to “forcibly pass on knowledge”, and immediately answered questions in this class if there were any questions. The small discussion class after the lecture is more like “What do you think of this class” or after reading the extended material, the teacher asks you: “Do you have anything you want to say?”Group discussions can allow the teacher to better take care of everyone and provide more opportunities for interaction and communication.
Highlight 3 —Learn to adopt to an unfamiliar environment / take care of yourself
Since this exchange program is a 6-month course study and a 6-month off-campus internship, you need to find your favorite internship location after finishing the courses. During this period, you need to find the internship location and prepare in advance during the course so that you will not be caught off guard after the course is over. When looking for an internship location, you need to write a formal E-mail to ask interested companies, you need to decide where you want to intern, you need to prepare your own interview, prepare your resume and you need to be prepared to where you can temporarily settle after you can’t live in the school dormitory. There are many things you need to do on your own. At this time, all the school can provide is to make an appointment for internship discussion, help you look at your resume and give you some internship suggestions. If you are in Taiwan where it is the all-Chinese environment, it may be easier to adapt to. However, you are in the United Kingdom, where you are not familiar with, and they have to speak in English. Therefore, during this period, I learned more about how to slowly adapt to this society, how to go door-to-door and face the intern company to introduce myself, and how to refuse.