A group of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) science and engineering students have returned from their overseas internships saying it was a valuable experience. The 28 students went to seven countries and three mainland cities under the Internship Programme for Exchange Students (IPES), organised by CityU's Co-operative Education Centre in collaboration with its overseas partners. The centre also arranges internship opportunities in Hong Kong for exchange students sent here by its partners. Kam Hoi-yi, from the department of biology and chemistry, spent two months in Australia working for the Goulburn-Murray Rural Water Authority. She said the experience gave her a new understanding of environmental conservation. 'My job was to assess and research ecologies near river channels and dams in order to maintain and protect the quality of the water source as well as the surroundings,' she said. 'I was impressed by how the locals treasured their land and how the concept of environmental conservation was applied in their daily lives. 'Hopefully I can apply what I've learned to raise awareness of conservation in Hong Kong.' Carmen Chow Yin-man, Cyrus Ho Sze-wai and Harry Tang Ngai-hong joined a field study organised by the department of zoology at Michigan State University. Camping in the wild, hiking through woods and crossing rivers to collect research data was challenging but also a valuable learning experience for the trio. Electronic engineering student Lawrence Yeung Sze-yi helped in the development of a Global Heart Rate system during his internship at the Banff New Media Institute in Canada. 'The system makes use of global positioning technology for electronic device users to receive messages in various media, for example music, video images or photos,' he said. 'The internship showed me how computer technology can be combined with art.' Lilian Vrijmoed, dean of student learning at CityU, said: 'I believe the internship programme has given our students some new experience and inspiration. It will pave the way for further development in their studies and career.' Apart from the IPES, the centre organises two other internship programmes: the Industrial Attachment Scheme, which is designed for Year Two students to do their summer internships in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta, and the Co-operative Education Scheme, which targets final-year students who will do a nine- to 12-month internship in Hong Kong in their final academic year.