The Faculty of Education, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), has successfully carried out a 15-day summer program involving 25 participants from Shandong Xiehe University, People’s Republic of China. The program focused on immersive learning experience through a series of workshops and activities developed to inculcate the appreciation towards Malaysian multicultural uniqueness and diversity. The Language and Artistic Journey offered by the Faculty of Education consists of three main components: English for communication; arts; as well as recreation and leisure.
The English language workshops aimed at enhancing the participants’ communication skills through an array of activities which effectively showcased the country’s cultural richness. The art workshops, on the other hand, engaged the participants with hands-on product-oriented activities served as memorabilia to be brought back to their home country. Among others, the participants were involved in batik making, tie-and-dye, Malay embroidery, drawing and painting-related activities which revolved on cultural themes.
The recreation and leisure component was structured around destinations and activities which provided for a more holistic summer program experience. The participants had visited eight different destinations throughout the program. The trip to Bandar Hilir, Malacca enabled the participants to stroll through the historical trail and gained an understanding of the glorious era of Malay sultanates. Spending an evening at the Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park, the cruise on a traditional sampan along Selangor River presented the participants with mesmerizing views of ‘light’ shows.
The participants were also involved in jungle trekking and treasure hunt at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) Kepong, and climbed the 272 steps to get to the top of Batu Caves! In addition to Shah Alam and Kuala Lumpur city tours as well as the Genting Highlands trip, outings to major shopping destinations was also organized and these included Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), Pavilion, Central Market and Petaling Street.
The program received positive feedback from all the participants. The analysis of responses gathered from the program evaluation form indicated that the participants were extremely satisfied with the program. They believed that the English workshops had improved their communication skills and were really satisfied with the art workshops. Most of the respondents wished to join future international programs offered at the faculty with 60 percent would like to join the faculty as exchange students.
The summer program at the Faculty of Education had achieved its objectives and provided numerous and meaningful experience to both the participants and organizers. The program does not only strengthen the ties between the two institutions but also served as a catalyst for more exciting collaborations in the future.