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7-15 July 2018 -- Outbound Visit to Singapore's CHIJ


This summer, I was fortunate to have a chance to visit the Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus Secondary School along with four other Diocesans. We had an awesome time on this exchange programme and built life-long friendships with our CHIJ buddies.

Not only did I have a lot of fun during that week, but I also learnt a lot more about the Singaporean education system, lifestyle, culture and more, which was the aim of the exchange.

Photo - Outbound Visit to Singapore's CHIJ (1)   Photo - Outbound Visit to Singapore's CHIJ (2)

What made this experience even more meaningful was that we were not passive participants. We took responsibility for contacting our buddies for their daily schedules and timetables in order to know what to prepare for the trip. All of us were so excited to meet our CHIJ peers that we were rather fidgety on the plane. At Changi Airport, our host families gave us a warm welcome and spent the day with us.

The exchange programme also showed us how different cities could be. Singapore is ethnically less homogenous than Hong Kong, so their culture and lifestyle took some getting used to initially. While my host family was similar to mine, my friend, Jane, had an exotic immersion experience because her buddy’s family is Indian. Nachu's family loves spicy food, so every meal that Jane had during our stay in Singapore was spicy, including breakfast. They also sat on the floor for their meals, which was quite an eye-opening experience for us.

Photo - Outbound Visit to Singapore's CHIJ (3)

School is rather different from DGS. For one thing, the CHIJ school day starts earlier with assembly at 7:30 am and lessons at 8. However, usually before that, choir members run around the field for ten to fifteen minutes at least twice a week while athletes train and other girls have study periods. Therefore, most students will have arrived by 7. But as their homes are usually within walking distance or no more than a fifteen minute drive away, six o’clock would be just about the time to wake up.

There were more surprises: the assembly was in the open courtyard, not indoors, and there was no air-conditioning in the classrooms. Yet, no students seemed to mind. Another difference was that they had a choice between cooking and crafts in their Technology and Living lessons.

Photo - Outbound Visit to Singapore's CHIJ (4)  Photo - Outbound Visit to Singapore's CHIJ (5)

A refreshing change from Hong Kong were the trees. Although Singapore is as built-up a city as ours, air pollution did not seem to affect the residents as much. There was also less littering, with more recycling bins around the neighbourhood but fewer trashcans.

There was a variety of leisure facilities too. We went to Universal Studios, and had fun shopping, swimming and singing karaoke. That is why we had an awesome time. For us, the trip ended too soon.

Now back in Hong Kong, we cannot wait to see our buddies again when they visit DGS. We had a wonderful time bonding with them and believe our friendship will be forever.

Thanks must be given to Mrs. Lau and Mrs. Tay, headmistresses of both schools, Mrs. R.L. Wong, teacher-in-charge, and Mrs. V. Ma, our chaperon, for making this trip possible. We are also very thankful for our buddies' hospitality.


Reported by: Katrina Ho Yue Kiu




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