Have you ever been an exchange student? If yes, was that fun? I would like to talk about my trip to Penang, Malaysia in March. The program was jointly organized by JCI Hong Kong and the Well-Family Foundation. That was an amazing trip.

To join this program, I had to pass an interview, after which I received full sponsorship for the trip. After the interview, I did some preparation as we needed to introduce Hong Kong’s culture to people from other countries.

We had Malaysia Night as well as International Night on the first two days of the trip. People from different countries set up their own stalls, and we told others the history and culture of our country. After those two nights, we got closer and knew more about different culture.

We also had a Kungfu lesson every day. I was shocked when I knew that we had to practice Kungfu under the hot sun for 2 hours every day. However, after the training, I experienced the keys to success, which are patience and practice. I still remember the night before the KungFu exam, my roommates and I formed a circle and practiced it together. Because of our hardship, the Hong Kong Team won in the competition.

Besides, I went to Tropical Fruits Farm and Goat Farm. I was feeding the adorable goat and trying a kind of tropical fruit called Cardamom. That day was crazily hot. Some Malaysians told me that it was hotter than usual. However, I had a good time with my homestay family. They took me to different attractions, such as street art in George Town and Batu Ferringhi. They also discussed some political problems happening in their country, as well as their education system and the history of Penang. They are nice and friendly. We still often chat on the internet now.

On the fifth day, I went to Chung Ling Private High School. We did some team activities there and took lessons by following their original timetable. Their school starts at 7:40am, so we had to get myself ready before sunrise. I also did a presentation with my groupmates about Hong Kong. Their positive response impressed me! They were active in answering the teacher’s questions too! That is what we should learn from them.

Through this trip, I have made friends from all over the world, for example, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong! We often chat in our facebook chatroom.

Last but not least, I want to tell you the main message for this program, which is: peace is possible when people live together, when there is no discrimination, when all people have the chance to be educated despite their income level in society. I hope all of you can learn the true meaning of peace after my sharing.

Alisha Wong 1R