Pre-departure Session June 2014
A lot of people have their first study-abroad or even travelling in their undergraduate time. An increasing number of students in Hong Kong choose to experience this in France each year. On 18 June 2014, over 80 outgoing students, international office staff, guest speakers and alumni joined the Pre-departure Session hosted by the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau.
Ms Anne Denis-Blanchardon, Consul for Culture, Education & Science, started off the event by extending her warm welcome to all the out-going students, assuring them that they can expect a very unique experience at school and in life while they are in France, and that it will be a great opportunity to learn French and meet other international students.
Ms Johanne Théfaine, Head of Studies of Alliance Française de Hong Kong, suggested to the students the summer intensive French courses and cultural activities offered by the Alliance which would help them settle down in France better and earlier.
Ms Jessica Chan, Representative of Campus France Hong Kong, invited 5 alumni and 3 current students to come to share their experiences of studying in France which may inspire those who are ‘following their footsteps’. The alumni and current students studied in different cities like Paris, Strasbourg, Bordeaux and Le Havre, in subjects like political science, engineering, MBA and wine marketing. Jessica went on with a presentation on the points to note before departure and after arrival, from finding accommodation, applying for visa, to estimating saving daily expenses and searching for assistance. She talked about the diversity of the country without going in depth, leaving the part of travelling and discovery for the guest speaker who is a travel expert.
Mr Andrew Leung (小驢), invited by Atout France the France Travel Development Agency, often gives travel talks and had been one of the hosts of a radio programme on travelling. His fun and dynamic presentation on travelling in France which grasped students’ due attention was full of cultural and historical insights. Travelling around in France and learning about its culture is one of the main motivations behind these outgoing students, according to Campus France Hong Kong’s questionnaire.
Mr Maël Le Bail, the Scientific Officer of the Consulate, introduced the upcoming 2nd edition of Virtual Education Fair which will be open for a longer period of time and in a few more Asian Cities, accessible on smart phone and tablet. He invited the students to discuss on the open forum of the fair.
Digging in French finger food such as cannelé, mini quiches and croque monsieur during the cocktail session, the participants got busy exchanging with the alumni, guests and consulate staff trying to solve their questions, and networking with fellow companions who are excited about their departure as well.