New Student Orientation
Your HKUST Journey Starts Here
University life at HKUST for new students starts with various orientation programs on campus. Read what our student writers have to say about their leadership involvement in new student orientation and the impact of orientation programs for the newcomers as well as student leaders themselves.
The True Rewards for Being a Student Leader in Student Halls
Terry Leung (SUG Mentor in UG Hall V)
Perhaps some might perceive that being a student leader in halls, for example by joining the Senior Undergraduate (SUG) Mentors Program, is a way for students to get a hall place. However, I believe the rewards are much bigger than that.
As SUG mentors, we serve as role models for junior students to help them get familiar with residential life in HKUST, create bonding with different people in the hall and cultivate a warm atmosphere among hall mates. The program is a platform for both mentors and mentees to enjoy residential life.
The SUG mentors are tasked to plan, organize and execute an array of hall orientation activities to facilitate freshmen’s transition to life in HKUST. I personally treat this as a “hobby” more than a “job duty”, as organizing hall activities bring me much fun and joy. I was able to integrate my past experience as house excos with the vision of the Residence Master to bring participants a unique experience during those hall activities.
Nothing is more satisfying than seeing freshmen had a great time in the activities you organize for them. It is a meaningful and memorable experience not only for the freshmen but also for student leaders too.
On top of that, all these orientation activities help freshmen to build friendship and network with different people in the hall. We are like one big family living together under the same roof.
Yes, you might get a hall place as reward by being a student leader in halls. But the joy, experience and life-long friendship are the bigger rewards that you cannot neglect.
Parenting a Group for Orientation Camp is a Self-Learning Process
Tony Liu (Hall Tutor in UG Hall V)
How time flies. Six years ago, I was the one who fresh off the boat of my university life. During the years, my role in the orientation camps changed and changed again, from helper to organizer, and then to spy. However, my first time of becoming a group parent turned out to happen six years later, when I moved to undergraduate halls again, but as a hall tutor this time.
A group parent is still a learner and parenting a group is never an easy job. Different from other roles in an orientation camp, a group parent not only help conducting the camp smoothly but also needs to take care each group member and make them feel like in a family. I have to learn on how to be an icebreaker, and how to enliven the atmosphere among a group full of freshmen. A process to familiarize the freshmen with the university is also a process for senior students to meet a better self.
When it goes to the freshmen, the stories are always heartening. When colourful camp tees assembled in the sports hall, I saw inclusiveness. No matter red, yellow, blue, or green, they are all modest and prudent heads who are looking forward to the coming days and nights. When hundreds of vibrant youth gathered in the same place, I saw vitality and inclusiveness.
Even though they may be tired after a whole day of activities, the tiredness cannot cover the vibrant hearts. All kinds of orientation camp are no doubt a great beginning of a new era of life for freshmen. I hope freshmen learned a lot from the camp like myself, and I wish them a prosperous campus life ahead.
The Benefit of Orientation Program for Freshmen & HKUST Community
Pwint Phyu Win (SUG Mentor in UG Hall IX)
First day of university life is a nerve-rackling experience for all the students. Apart from our own expectations, we often have no clue to solve or overcome the issues in a totally new environment. As an international student, I faced so many challenges from language barrier to culture shock. I had to settle down all by myself in a new environment without anyone helping me nor understanding the problems faced. Initially, it was hard to adapt in a place where I cannot relate at all. The only impression I had was a fast-paced city full of cold-blooded robot-like human beings. However, I am fortunate enough to get to know some good local friends who treat me so warmly that my perspective changes to lively and colorful one. My first-year experience in HKUST was not as perfect as I thought it would be. In fact, it was much better than my expectations all thanks to my lovely local and non-local friends.
I would like to make my subsequent years in the university as fruitful as possible. One of my ways of giving back to the HKUST community is being a SUG mentor for UG Hall IX. Being a SUG mentor, I am able to provide my genuine help to the freshmen with any difficulties they are facing. By putting myself in their shoes, I am also obliged to help them, guide them, and support them to make their first-year experience meaningful and memorable.
I believe the SUG mentors can enrich university life of our mentees with “fitness” such as physical, mental, intellectual, spiritual fitness. We have organized orientation camp which allowed the freshmen to bond with each other as well as SUG mentors, hall tutors, and even the Residence Master. There are also weekly fitness trainings such as Wing Chun martial arts practice, running, weight lifting, dancing which provide freshmen opportunities to try out different sports, at the same time strengthen their bodies and calm down their mind. Workshops such as Uni Must Do, Goal Setting open up their eyes with various learning platforms and give them an opportunity to apply the knowledge they learnt into reality.
We also have coaching sections with our mentees to make sure of their well-being not only for the university life but also for their future goals. SUG mentors support the freshmen to adapt well in the new environment at the same time we develop ourselves into better person while embracing the diversity of HKUST.
To the freshmen, orientation programs give not only an excellent support but also life-long mentors who can be their brothers or sisters or friends to walk their lives with them. To the student leaders, it provides the best learning platform to grow, understand, serve, and practice humanity – which, in turns, makes the university life much fulfilling. Therefore, orientation programs play a crucial role not only for the freshmen but also for the whole HKUST community.