Freshman Experience Programme
The Freshman Experience Programme - Community Explorer is an initiative of the Leadership Qualities Centre, Office of Student Affairs, to provide a package of learning items delivered in both seminar and active learning approaches, aims to enhance freshmen’s sense of belonging to BU and positive mind-set as a university student, as well as readiness to learn, to lead and to serve through social support groups, forming the caring communities. It aligns with the University commitment to Whole Person Education to serve as one of the initial platforms for freshmen to nurture their development so as to attain the seven HKBU Graduate Attributes.
Upon completion of the programme, participants are expected to:
- Enhance their awareness to become a BUer, and understand their roles as citizens of the University, society and nation as a whole while gaining a sense of belonging to these local and global communities;
- Develop their service attitude and mutual support spirit by building caring communities;
- Comprehend the key concept of servant leadership and develop their serving and leading skills through experiential learning activities.
Be a BUer - Making meaningful choices and decisions
Commnuity Explorer welcomes all freshmen without selection and limitation. The feeling of inclusiveness by participants would bring a step forward to the success of building up their sense of belonging to the University.
Moreover, the group and individual reflection, after the common experiences, would help discovering one’s potential and abilities, and building up personal and team values, hence to establish the self-identity and to encourage self-actualization with attributes of a BUer : Be ready to serve and to lead.
Caring Communities - To lean, to lead and to serve through a social support group
The learning communities foster social engagement among first-year students and senior students in the university. It provided a supportive environment to develop peer relationship as well as achievement on a smooth adaptation to the university life. Freshmen also get useful information through peer interaction so that they can plan for achievable short term and long-term goals with peer support.
Moreover, freshmen have built up solid relationship with their community members studying in various faculties. Indeed, the social bonding would enhance an active learning culture and peer support throughout their entire university life.
Experiential Learning Activities - Amazing learning experience in different themes
Knowledge is continuously created through the transformation of experiences; learning occurs through actions. Community Explorer provided learning opportunities beyond lecture rooms to create new experiences for our freshmen.
The learning activities of Community Explorer are fun, interesting and meaningful. Students could be able to discover the self, community and society in different ways and view angle. Such new experiences must be integrated with past experiences through intermittent reflection for true learning to occur. The sharing of the common experience of individual community, which was facilitated by CAs, would definitely reinforce the self-reflection as well as the group-reflection, thus deepen learning of each participant.
Train the Trainers Approach - Sustainable development
“Train the Trainers” is not only a strategy for the leadership development, but it’s also vital for the programme sustainability. Community Explorer relies on volunteered senior students to perform as Community Advisors (CAs) in each community to ensure the caring atmosphere are well delivered. Most importantly, they perform as role models for freshmen and to make every community a purposeful and meaningful one. In fact, many CAs are past participants of previous years. They grew, and their leadership qualities and skills were developed from the programme, then they re-engaged to help the new comers. At the same time, they are under the coaching of the Centre staff where their skills would be sharpened and further developed. While the cycle encourages student engagement, it also helps the passing on of the programme spirit.
The programme consists of 3 parts:
I. Kick-off and Teambuilding 部落建立夜
2016-09-28, 18 : 45–21 : 45
II. Thematic Community Exploring Activities 主題 X 社區
From late September to November
Freshmen will be matched to form communities of 8-10 Community Members (CMs) to be led by 2 peer leaders - Community Advisors (CAs), to join in activities under the following themes:
A. LOW INCOME FAMILIES SERVICE @ KOWLOON CITY 童遊戲玩@九龍城
Bring fun and happiness to children from low income families in Kowloon City! Through caring and innovative games, we would release children’s potential as an individual, empower them to be ready for a better future, as well as to improving the family relationship.
Partner organisation：Kowloon City Family Support Centre, The Salvation Army
B. NIGHT MARKET @ SHUM SHUI PO 墟市經濟@深水埗
Visiting the night market and interacting directly with the sellers there. To get a deep understanding of the needs and difficulties faced by the Grassroots in Sham Shui Po.
Besides, the value of night market will be examined as a form of community economy.
C. VISUALLY IMPAIRED SERVICE @ SHEK KIP MEI 結伴瞳行@石硤尾
A series of direct services and workshops will be arranged for students to learn the needs and challenges of the visual-impaired. The issue of Social Harmony would be investigated also.
Partner organisation：Shek Kip Mei Lutheran Centre for the blind
D. CULTURAL RESERVATION @ TO KWA WAN 文化保育@土瓜灣
Apart from knowing the history and development, student would discuss the economic transition and railway development issue in To Kwa Wan.
E. URBAN DEVELOPMENT @ WANCHAI 社區發展@灣仔
To explore the characteristics of Wanchai, and to have a deep understanding of impacts brought to the community by the development and cultural preservation projects. Also, we are going to find out the role and influences made by some non-governmental organisations in these projects.
Partner organisation：St. James' Settlement Wanchai Integrated Family Service Centre
III. Communities Sharing Night 部落分享夜
2016-11-15, 18 : 45–21 : 45
Year 1 UGC-granted bachelor, or associate degree, or higher dipolma student
Late-Sept to Mid-Nov 2016
HKD 50 (Fee) + 200 (Deposit)
(From 1 Sep to 26 Sep 2016)
"Coming together is a beginning; Keeping together is progress; Working together is success." (Henry ford)
We believe young people who step in a new pathway in university is just like starting a sea journey. We welcome all interested freshmen to join. It certainly helps prepare freshmen to engage in BU community. It is our vision that LSC will become a common experience among freshmen and get them ready to embark on their fruitful journey of whole person education in the University.
Plesae contact us if you want to know more about the programme!
This programme is open to all Year-1 students to join. The fact that there were no screenings and short-lisitngs of members posed a new challenge for me. "Unless there are many people who want theor leader to be successful, he can hardly succeed"-- the golden rule of leadership. As the saying goes, the wise man learns from his own mistakes; the wiser man learns from others' mistakes; but the wisest man learns from others' success. Today I stand on the shoulders of followers who significatly increased the value of my life. Beacause of them, I am able to see my shortcomings and in turn be ablw to further perfect myself. I am grateful for having met such wonderful companions in my life, and the opportunities to learn from one another.YEUNG Ting-wai Victor, Community Advisor 2013
I cherish this opportunity that allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and find a breakthrough comes with the realization that we need courage to utilize our potentials. Quite unlike other programmes which are centred around physical activities and challenges, our Civic Concern Discussion Group offered a mental challenge. This mental challenge has nurtured our growth from a secondary school student to a university student.CHAN Michelle Vanessa Wang, Community Member (Discussion Group) 2013
I have grown a lot from the semester's activities. Not only shold we treasure our resources and living, conquer difficulties, but we should serve other people and society. The less fortunate needs help and attention from us and the society. The team needs more people to get involved.SHANG Yu, Community Member (Low Income Family Service) 2013
Because I entered HKBU via the 2nd round of Jupas, I was unable to participate in any of the New Student Orientation activities or camps. moreover, I did not have any friends that I knew well on campus. Therefore, before I joined this programme, I thought the coming 4 years of my university life would be filled with loneliness and helplessness. But when I met and began to talk with my community Advisors and fellow members, I slowly realize university life was not as boring as I once thought it would be. During our gathjerings, I was able to build trust and friendships. Moreover, I was able to understandmore about my own personality and thoughts, as well as those of my group mates.YEUNG Yee-mei, Community Member (Group Exploration) 2013
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