IMAGINE spending two whole weeks shopping in Paris, sipping cappuccino in the fashion capital's hip sidewalk cafés and visiting its world-renowned art galleries.
What sounds like the perfect holiday, is a new holiday-cum-study programme introduced by Limkokwing Institute of Creative Technology (LICT) for its students. It incorporates a self-research project.
Besides Paris, students can choose to spend two weeks in arty London, cultural Beijing or metropolitan Sydney.
The programme is available to Limkokwing students of all disciplines – business, design, architecture, etc. Says Limkokwing Institute vice-president Gail Phung: “The programme aims to provide a cross-cultural learning environment, especially for students who might not have the opportunity to go to these countries to study.
''For example, some of our students, due to cost constraints, opt to study fashion in Australia. With this unique programme, they can at least experience two weeks in the fashion capital of Paris without having to pay for a whole course there.”
Even Limkokwing students who plan to complete their whole course in Malaysia can still experience cultural Beijing in one year and cosmopolitan Sydney in the next. The contrasting experiences will certainly serve the students well as they venture into the workplace.
Phung is quick to add that while a holiday tour would only involve visits to famous places and landmarks, the Limkokwing programme is unique in that it allows students to learn and gain enriching experiences related to their course of study.
Programme itineraries are tailored to meet the students' needs and revolve around the subject matter of their research.
Although students will be given some freedom to complete their research projects, they will be guided by lecturers accompanying them on these trips.
The research subject gives students plenty of opportunities to experience foreign culture first-hand. Included in the programme are visits to museums, festivals, libraries, design galleries theatres and exhibitions, as well as, in some instances, the opportunity to spend time at Limkokwing’s partner universities in the particular city.
Phung encourages students to be creative in selecting their research project. She cites some examples:
Advertising students could research marketing and promotions preparations for the upcoming Olympics in Beijing; design students could study the evolution of aboriginal art in modern-day Sydney; while business students could learn about the operations of a fashion house in Paris.
Evenings are kept free for the students’ own plans, which could be a night out at a discotheque, fine-dining, or simply a stroll through the City of Lights.
Though the programme is unique, combining fun and studies is not something new to the creative institute. In previous years, Limkokwing students have had hands-on experience through holding exciting projects like fashion shows, competing in the Discovery Channel’s Junkyard Wars and participating in exhibitions.
Finding a balance between studies and enjoyment is important says Phung as “studying isn’t solely about books. It’s also learning about the people around you, appreciating the environment and the local culture and lifestyle. Through this programme, students will find not just knowledge, but new friends, new experiences and a whole new culture.”
At the end of the programme, students will be awarded certificates for their self-research project abroad and earn credits for the course they are taking.
Limkokwing Institute organises this programme several times a year with its counterparts in the various countries, such as the Paris Graduate School. Each programme consists of about 20 students accompanied by a lecturer.
The programme is perfect for students who do not wish to spend long periods of time overseas to finish their studies.
o MEANWHILE, the Limkokwing students continue to impress with their work. The latest effort saw students from three faculties – architecture, graphic design and communications – take two months to come up with a ''floating globe'' for the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Wisma Putra had commissioned the college to come up with the structure, which is now placed at its front entrance in Putrajaya.
The students chose to work on the theme Pribumi (native tribes). The globe, which seems to float on water, represents the Earth, nature and technology.
Some 27,000 metal studs are used to depict the different continents on the fibreglass structure measuring 4.8m in diameter.
At the base of the structure is an eight-petal Bunga Tanjung, a fragrant flower used to welcome visitors. In this case, the fragrance is synonymous with harmony.
The symmetrical red petals stand out against a blue background. Other details are also significant, including the pool of water under the globe which not only creates a sense of calm but also denotes cleansing. The structure is part of a bigger objective to create a sophisticated environment for Wisma Putra; one that reflects pride and love for culture and art.
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