The Learning Without Boundaries Grant has been established since last year (2020/21) to provide financial support for IPO undergraduate students to acquire new skills or enhance their existing abilities through participation in various activities. Last year, three successful applicants made use of the grant to explore in different extracurricular activities, including learning French, attaining a diving certification and completing a coding bootcamp.
Jacky LO, current Year 3 student from Dual Degree Program in Technology & Management (T&M-DDP), applied the grant to attend French online classes in preparation for the Diploma of French Language Studies (DELF) A1 level examination. Jacky first made contact with the French language when he was still in primary school. Hoping that he will be able to complete exchange programs in French speaking countries, he picks up the language again. Learning a new language has enabled him to step out of his comfort zone and embark on a learning journey outside of school. Unlike his engineering major in Computer Science, learning French is not mechanical which involves communicating with others and understanding a new culture. Through this process, he has gained new inspirations on how he could learn more effectively and he is now able to communicate with French speakers and answer questions about himself. He looks forward to reach B2 level before graduating university and will make use of the grant to continue his language learning journey.
Inika KANDWAL, current Year 3 student from Environmental Management and Technology (EVMT), applied the grant to complete the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Open Water Diving Certification. By taking part in this activity, not only did Inika learn how to dive but also understood the local Hong Kong diving topography as well as the local marine life and its conservation. This certification has broadened her scope of possibilities into the field of ocean conservation, and in additional enabled her a greater appreciation towards a realm of the environment she had never seen in person. Hong Kong is a collection of islands and heavily relies on the ocean for weather control, energy sources, and ecological balance. Inika hopes to use her certification to take part in ocean cleaning dives, exploration, and coral reef studies in Hong Kong. In long term, she plans to acquire her own gear and participate more frequently in eco-dives in Hong Kong as well as bringing back her experiences to motivate others to join her in HKUST or beyond.
Natalie CHEUNG, current Year 4 student from Environmental Management and Technology, applied the grant to attend a coding bootcamp called “Web Development for Absolute Beginners”. Natalie thinks that garnering an understanding of software engineering is becoming an increasingly important skill as more companies are transitioning over to technology platforms. Moreover, sustainability often comes with new technology nowadays, so knowing the basics of IT languages could help her better communicate with programmers at workplace. The intensive coding bootcamp has provided Natalie both theorectical and practical training in basic coding and the fundamentals of creating an app or a web. As a student from EVMT, Natalie wishes to combine the “hard skills” she acquired from class lectures, with the “soft skills” she learned from IT field such as programming, web developing, software engineering and artificial intelligence, so that she can open up more opportunities not only in environmental protection field, but also the sustainability and technology sector.
The Learning Without Boundaries Grant for IPO Students is open again for application in 2021/22 academic year. To find out more about the application procedures, please visit the IPO intranet at https://ipo.ust.hk/ipo-intranet-ug.