Engineering students from Singapore and Hong Kong are taking part in an exchange scheme to gain insight into each other's industrial training programmes. The University of Hong Kong (HKU) and National University of Singapore (NUS) have been running the NUS-HKU Engineering Student Exchange Scheme since 1974. Every year, eight third-year engineering students from NUS and eight second-year engineering students from HKU take part in work placements in each other's cities. Now its 24th year, 330 students from both universities have taken part in the scheme so far. Mandy Tham Tze Minn, 22, who heads the NUS team, hopes the scheme can act like a bridge between Singapore and Hong Kong. 'We have a similar culture,' Ms Tham said, adding that she has heard so much about Hong Kong. Fellow Lion City student Sim Yueh Ting, 21, said: 'It is challenging to work aboard, particularly in a place with a different language system.' Ng Piak Hoon, 21, another NUS student, agreed. 'In Hong Kong, most people speak Cantonese. It's quite difficult because I can't speak Cantonese.' Herny Ho Pak-hong, 20, who led the Hong Kong group, was amazed that Singaporean students could speak at least three languages - English, Putonghua, Cantonese or Malay. He believed Singapore was more advanced in developing computer technology than the SAR. Besides having an opportunity of gaining real work experience in Singapore, the Hong Kong students will study the Singaporean transport system with its airport, port facilities, highways and Electronic Road Pricing System. On arrival, the Singapore students presented a Merlion - the symbol of Singapore - to their Hong Kong counterparts. In return, the NUS students received from their hosts a souvenir pack including a map of Hong Kong, a special MTR ticket and a CD-ROM introducing HKU's Department of Engineering.