Workshops set to give students lessons in life

Benson Chao

IN an effort to enhance students' communication skills, the University of Hong Kong's personal development and counselling centre is to run a summer programme aimed at encouraging students to 'know more about themselves and their own feelings' and how to communicate those feelings to others.

The centre's director, Ada Wong Man-pui, said students were often unable to communicate in a constructive manner and faced major obstacles when it came to interacting with the older generation, particularly parents, bosses and teachers.

'It is already a demanding job for students to adapt to the working environment [after graduation], and figuring out their employers' demands adds to their worries.' The programme, starting in mid-July, aims to address these issues and will include four workshops on themes including creativity, interpersonal communication, sensitivity and sexuality.

'Through the various workshops we aim to help participants to understand the process of communication and the subtle norms that govern cross-cultural interactions,' Ms Wong said.

She said students were keen to develop better interactive skills that would help them in their future relationships, be they work or personal relationships.

'Students are keen to find out how they can deal honestly with other people, rather than just on a superficial level,' Ms Wong said.

The two-day creativity workshop will accommodate 20 students who will be taught how to explore and nurture their creativity in various activities, including work, learning, interpersonal relationships, personal development and leisure.

Participants in the interpersonal communication workshop will be taught about the key principles of interpersonal communication, including the function of verbal and non-verbal skills and the factor of age and gender differences.

At the two-day sensitivity training group workshop students will be encouraged to mingle and interact with other participants to find out how their feelings affect their behaviour.

The passionate self: a workshop on sexuality will take a broader view of sexuality as a 'life force' that touches all aspects of our lives.

Some of the aspects of sexuality that will be explored include societal roles for men and women, sexuality in romantic relationships and using one's determination towards fulfilling life ambitions.