Talking Points: where is the best destination for a student exchange trip?

Compiled by Sam Gusway

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Compiled by Sam Gusway |

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Kwan Cheuk-lun, 17, Rhenish Church Pang Hok Ko Memorial College

I would like to go to Japan for an exchange programme, because it has a diverse culture. For example, the food there is very unique, as people eat sushi and sashimi. Also, Japanese people hold a lot of different festivals throughout the year.

It would also be a convenient trip, because students could use English to communicate with the local people. I believe that a trip to Japan would give students remarkable memories and great cultural exchange.

Agnes Choi Wing-yan, 15, Ma On Shan Tsung Tsin Secondary School

The best place to go on a student exchange trip is the beautiful mainland province of Hunan (Hunan). Hunan University has a long history of Chinese teaching, and it would let Hong Kong students see how the local students study. The scenery in Hunan, especially the Phoenix Ancient Town is marvellous. There are many magnificent mountains, and students will enjoy themselves in such a delightful place.

Frederick Cheung, 13, Sheng Kung Hui Tsang Shiu Tim school

We should go to Finland to learn more about Finnish teaching styles and culture, and we could share our culture with the Finnish students. It is a special place with a special education system: there are no exams or homework, and students enjoy studying as they have more time to play after school than we do in Hong Kong. It would be good to go there so we could find out the advantages and disadvantages about this teaching style for ourselves.

Matthew Ho,14, SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School

I think the best place would be the Arctic. Global warming has increased the of the ice melting in polar regions, and a trip here would give students a deeper understanding of how important it is to protect the environment, as they will have seen endangered animals such as polar bears.

Asif Kainaat, 17, HKTA The Yuen Yuen Institute No 3 Secondary School

Albania is the definite choice. It is a cheap alternative to Greece and Italy, and still features a gorgeous Mediterranean coastline. In the capital, Tirana, students could see Albanian culture and architecture, and how it has been influenced by their relationships with different empires throughout history. You could also go on hikes up Mount Dajti to get a bird’s-eye view of the city. And unlike other European destinations, Albania hotels are much cheaper and have equally affordable food, so students would save money and still have a spectacular journey.

Rachel Wong, 16, St Stephen’s Girls’ College

Nowhere would beat South Korea for a student exchange trip. Ranked as the best education system in the world by many reports, South Korea’s teaching style is extremely intensive but also very extensive. Students get double shifts of school, every day of the week, and are constantly bombarded with work. It would be interesting to see their determination and learn to be grateful for what we have in Hong Kong.

Ady Lam, 11, Island School

Somewhere you’ve never been before and truly, TRULY want to go. After all, even though you are there to learn, having fun is also important. And, if you go to a foreign country without any enthusiasm, what’s the point? Just stay in Hong Kong! Which brings me to my next point. If you decide to stay in here, well, Hong Kong’s a pretty small place but I can safely bet that you haven’t seen everything in the SAR. You’ll definitely have a fun time in HK even if your school is the most boring one on earth.

Eunice Yung Po-yiu, 15, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

Beijing would be the best place to go for a student exchange trip, because a lot of Chinese history has happened there. If students go there for an exchange trip, they could see the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and more. The trip would teach them more about Chinese history and our place as a part of China. And after the trip, students would be able to speak fluent Putonghua!

Marriam Naveed, 17, True Light Middle School Of Hong Kong

I believe the best place to do a student exchange trip is actually Hong Kong. Our city has long been regarded as a meeting point for different cultures, with a truly global outlook and atmosphere.

Moreover, Hong Kong owes has many high-ranking universities, and a relatively diverse student community, so those who choose to study here will be in good company. Hong Kong can provide a students with everything they need in an exchange trip: new experiences abroad, friends from different cultures, and a clear perspective about their future.

Mark Cheung, 13, SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School

I‘d like to do an exchange trip to Finland. The education system is brilliant there, as students do not have much pressure at school. The teachers do not just pay attention to the top students, they also take care of the other students. Also, students in Finland have shorter school days than we do in Hong Kong. Furthermore, they are not just focused on academic results. I think Hong Kong teachers might change their teaching methods if they had a chance to go to the schools in Finland.

George Ng Kei-chun, 16, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

China and Singapore are two best places to go for a student exchange trip. These places are famous for their education. Plus, both of them are convenient for us to travel to, because they are in Asia.

Johnny Mak,13, Sheng Kung Hui Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School

Taiwan would be the best place to go so we could learn more about democracy. We can also have lessons that are taught in a different style. The way the nation handles its environmental protection is a good example for Hong Kong, too. Moreover, we can stay in the host families to experience the living style of Taiwanese. It will be a fun time to us.

Oscar Cheung Yu-kiu, 15, Ma On Shan Tsung Tsin Secondary School

Melbourne, in Australia, would be a smart choice because people there are friendly. If you have any problem, they will be glad to help you. It would also be a great place for students to practise their spoken English.

Students could also learn a lot about nature, as Melbourne is home to a lot of special animals, such as kangaroos, koalas, and platypuses. And students could visit Melbourne University, and attend lessons about drama skills and survival tips. If any student wants to study abroad later, they may go there to see if it is the university for them.

Bobo Cheung Hok-yu, 14, Ma On Shan Tsung Tsin Secondary School

Australia is the best place to go on a trip because it has a lot of natural resources and wild animals. Students can learn how to protect our beautiful environment and animals. Moreover, Hong Kong students can learn how to slow down their pace of life, as students will enjoy themselves and relax from their busy school life in Hong Kong.

Calvin Fong Chun-wang, 17, Rhenish Church Pang Hok Ko Memorial College

I would go to One Belt One Road region. The government offers subsidies to go to these countries, which would reduce the financial burden on my family. Also, I can learn and experience life in other Asian countries. Although many of these places are developing countries, I can expand my social network by meeting people from all walks of life. They have different customs than we do, so I would learn a lot through cultural exchange, and the more experience I gain, the more job opportunities I will have.

Minerva Ma Wan-ning, 17, Rhenish Church Pang Hok Ko Memorial College

England is the best option for exchange trips. First, students can practise their English. Fluency in English is very important in terms of further study and future career. Second, England is a historical wonderland. It is full of attractions,such as castles, palaces and the cathedrals. Third, it can be a chance to learn about royal manners. We can all be ladies and gentlemen, even though we are not royal family members. All in all, it’s worth spending some time weeks there.

Kayleigh Lee Oi Yung, 16 Rhenish Church Pang Hok Ko Memorial College

England is the best place to go on a student exchange trip, because it is a part of our Hong Kong heritage. By going there, students can learn more about British culture, which would help them have better understanding of Hong Kong culture, as well. Of course, the trip would also help enhance students’ English speaking abilities and widen their horizons. Students could apply what they have learned in school to the real world – an English speaking environment. It would be good for them.

Hania Umer Humayun Mir, 15, True Light Middle School of Hong Kong

The United States would be the best place to do a student exchange trip. Some research says that seven out of 10 people would like to live in the US. A student exchange trip there would help students experience a new culture, as well as meet and make new friends.

Hillary Lo, 11, Sha Tin College

A third world country would be great place to go because it would let us switch to a totally opposite lifestyle and learn how to adapt. Everything would be different, including the cultures. Students would then understand the lives that poor people live, and it would make us value our time in Hong Kong.

Saba Iftkhar, 15, St Margaret’s Girls’ College, Hong Kong

Finland is every student’s ideal place to go for an exchange trip. No, it’s not just the picturesque landscapes, but also its out of the box, flexible education system! Finland’s education system was ranked 5th in the world in 2015/16. There, it’s believed that just having intellectual knowledge is not enough, so the country provides students with a vast majority of options like sewing and cooking, and trains them with essential life skills. It’s remarkable how they prioritise students’ mental health just as much as education and balance it efficiently. That’s what makes Finland’s education system so successful and attractive to students: it will let us explore new subjects and be able to learn in a more relaxed environment!

Esther Ma Xin-tao, 14, Ma On Shan Tsung Tsin Secondary School

Japan is really a good place which is very different from Hong Kong. As it is nearby, the cost of an air ticket there is lower than for any European countries. Japanese culture is unique, and students can have a great time learning about it including things like the tea culture of matcha.

For our next issue, we’ll discuss:

If you could vote in next week’s US elections, who would you vote for?

We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to [email protected] by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.