Todai Students Bond with HKU in a Shun Hing College (Block A)-buster Exchange
By Wendy Luk Man Hing
In early August, twenty undergraduate and postgrad students from University of Tokyo came to Shun Hing College (Block A) to experience first-hand the culture, business practices, and food industry tips from Hong Kong’s leading entrepreneurs.
The two-week experiential program was part of the official launch of a university exchange between HKU and Todai signed this year. The Todai students joined seven HKU undergrads at Shun Hing College (Block A) for lectures, take-out food parties, field work and meetings with industrialists and social activists, along with bull sessions in the pantry late into the night.
In the first week, HKU professors and guests delivered seminars about Hong Kong and Japanese economics and culture. David Mong, a vice president of Shun Hing Corp. and generous Shun Hing College (Block A) sponsor, dazzled students and faculty with stories about optimizing electronic rice cookers. “His lecture was fascinating,” said Deputy Master Tao Zhu, “especially when he reflected on how Shun Hing had been assisting Panasonic in improving their rice cooker design along with cultural promotions in Hong Kong.”
Mong, the Chairman of the Shun Hing Education and Charity Fund, is also involved in the Shun Hing’s “Switch on 60 Dreams” cooperative program to jumpstart teen involvement in social action projects throughout the Hong Kong community. Block A Master Ying Chan also delivered a lecture, encouraging students to mingle and ask questions.
On August 3, Mong shared the spirit of “developing people before making products” with students taking the exchange program at HKU. The troupe also visited Hong Kong’s city’super variety store and Yakult probiotics factory. Meeting Japanese and Chinese business leaders on their tours, students learned business basics and a “big picture” sense of Japan, Hong Kong, and China’s economic and cultural ties.
In the second half of the program, the twenty-seven broke into five teams, conducting fieldwork and interviews on topics of interest – especially food. On the last day, the five groups delivered English-language presentations on the Japanese food industry, Japanese networks in Hong Kong, and expatriate system practices among Japanese companies here.
After spending several sleepless nights preparing their final lectures, the exchange students gathered the last night in a pantry within the Shun Hing College (Block A) residence hall. “Oh, Hong Kong is such a nice place!” exclaimed one of the Todai boys. “I wish that I could stay here longer.” One of the girls said, “I will miss Hong Kong, even this pantry …where we worked so hard together.” In fact, the pantry had become a meeting place for the whole program where we built our friendships.
Although it has been almost a month since the program finished, our friendships with the visiting Todai students continue. I sincerely hope that our paths will cross again someday soon.
Thank you HKU, for bringing Todai and HKU students together in Shun Hing College (Block A)!