New York (Fri, Jun 21, 2013) - It was a day of academic forays for CCIP Session A students, as the different groups made their way to the United Nations and Columbia University respectively on that sunny afternoon.
The United Nations Headquarters was located in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of Manhattan. As promised by previous participants, the picturesque view overlooking the East River had many students awestruck.
On the guided tour, students were introduced to the structural overview of the organization and the more prominent facilities. They were able to appreciate the global elements that made UN so distinct, from the sentry of National flags standing at the entrance, to the displayed art pieces reflecting numerous different cultures. At the Q and A session, students also had the chance to understand the workings of the UN through insightful questions and comprehensive responses.
FUNG, Yu Yan (CUHK) said "It was a humbling experience to stand in the General Assembly Hall, where so many momentous decisions that have altered the global fate have been made".
On Columbia University, the group visiting it found the experience no less enriching. As the only Ivy League in the city, the institution at Morningside has produced Nobel Prize winners for every field for which an award is given.
The campus's baroque style architecture was a pleasant contrast to the concrete jungle that is Manhattan. For LU, Binfeng (CUHK), The Low Memorial Library, which was coincidentally the starting point of the tour, struck him as the most memorable. He said “I now understand why this is described as a ‘purely classical architecture’. So much history is housed in just this one place!”
Students also thoroughly enjoyed the guide's animated explanation of the University's history. Founded in 1754 as King's College by the royal charter of King George II of England, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York and the fifth oldest in the United States.
All in all, it was truly a fruitful experience for all the attending participants.
New York (Mon, Jul 07, 2014) - After last week's visit to the United Nations to learn about climate change initiatives, CCIP students returned once again to the UN, but this time, to be part of a discussion that hits close to home for them. The students were invited to the UN to hear incumbent President of the UN General Assembly, John Ashe, speak at the event, "A China Story II: A New Model of Urbanization."
Organized by the China Energy Fund Committee, a think tank in Hong Kong with special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the event engaged students with a discussion led by experts, including Ashe, about how China, the world's largest developing country, prepares itself for urbanization.
"I appreciated the discussion because the issues are applicable to many of us in CCIP," said Chelsey Yip from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. "I feel more knowledgeable about China's development, so when I return home, I feel that I will have a better understanding of China and its growth in the global market."
Students felt invigorated by this event to become global leaders who are socially responsible and develop solutions that are economically viable, environmentally friendly, and culturally inclusive.
New York (Thu, Jun 25, 2015) - Forty-three exchange visitors embarked on a two-day trip to Washington DC, the capital of the United States.
After leaving Flushing at 4am for a 9am arrival in DC, CCIP's elite scholars immediately made use of their time by going to the Capitol to watch both the Senate and Congress as they conducted business in session.
"Seeing the American government operate first-hand was exciting," said Erwin Wan from the National University of Singapore. "It was amazing to see how smoothly and agreeably the government operates."
Immediately following the visit to the Senate and House, the group of students met with Congresswoman Grace Meng, the first Asian-American woman to serve in the Congress. After a photo-taking opportunity, the group had time to talk with Congresswoman Meng before taking a tour of the entire Capitol Hill area arranged by her office. After the tour, the scholarly group enjoyed an intellectual discussion focusing on global issues such as climate change at the office of Senator Charles Schumer, the ranking senator from New York. The discussion presented a thorough analysis of America's role in the global community as worldwide issues are confronted among nations.
"Senator Schumer's office was especially illuminating for me," said Daniel Chia, a student from Nanyang Technological University. "It was both informative and enjoyable. We listened and were able to ask questions about issues affecting the whole world, and we learned about the American role in taking on these things."
The elite group then hurried to Georgetown for a late lunch. Afterward, they were able to relax a bit and take in the sights of DC's eclectic and intellectual Georgetown neighborhood.
On the second day, the group visited the Department of State for a foreign policy discussion. The security line made for a long wait to enter, but it was very worth it. The discussion was catered to the exchange visitors’ unique background and was tailored to answer their specific questions.
"The foreign policy engagement at the DOS was a great use of time because it was informative and worldly. I liked thinking about how the world can work together to solve so many issues that affect not just America but everyone," said Claudia, a Hang Seng Management College student.
After two busy days of discussions, visits, and informative meetings with government officials, the scholars finally had some relaxing free time. The group strolled around the area museums and landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the National Mall. The Jefferson Memorial's lakeside location was an especially popular locale for the elite group who enjoyed its relaxing atmosphere after such a busy two-day schedule.
"The museums in DC are second to none. It is truly a world-class city for learning and studying," said Thomas, a Hong Kong University of Science and Technology student who was also a student leader of the DC trip and an intern at the Queens office of Congresswoman Grace Meng.
New York (Sun, Aug 09, 2015) - This weekend, CCIP exchange visitors took part in the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival (www.hkdbf-ny.org) held in Flushing Meadows' Corona Park in New York City. Started in 1990, the Dragon Boat Festival is an annual multicultural sporting event held to celebrate the fifth month of the lunar calendar. FUSIA Communications, the organizer of CCIP, supports the event as a creative sponsor. The festival also provides visitors with traditional Chinese foods and performances.
Team co-captain Yuhao, a student at Nanyang Technological University, said, "We worked hard to demonstrate teamwork and our commitment to showing that CCIP participants are team-oriented and full of can-do energy." The team made a strong showing considering their inexperience. "We had to come together quickly as a team and train as if we had experience," he added.
Each student wore a unique t-shirt featuring the slogan "We're all in the same boat," symbolizing the cultural diversity and cooperation needed to achieve the great things that the program inspires.
Team co-captain Dan, also a student at Nanyang Technological University, added, "We are in the same boat as participants in CCIP, and we are all very happy to have been a part of the program and the dragon boat team!"
The weekend was a success for all of the student-racers and student-volunteers as well as the CCIP program as a whole. Many students also helped to tend the booths at the festival. They took the opportunity to mingle with festival guests and make new friends as well as share elements of Asian culture.
"This was my first time to be part of such a large event. It took a lot of preparation, but the result was so enjoyable. Attendees loved stopping by our booth," said team manager Holly, a student at Hang Seng Management College.
Alice, the booth manager and a student at Hong Kong University, agreed, saying, "The booth was so much fun. We really got to know so many people from the community who were happy we were here."
CCIP participants are looking forward to staying busy for the remainder of August with planned trips to see Broadway's Les Miserables and an upcoming volunteering event at Cunningham Park.
New York (Sun, Jun 05, 2016) - There is no New York icon more recognizable than the Statue of Liberty. Donated to the US by the people of France and officially dedicated on October 28, 1886, Lady Liberty is located on an island in Upper New York Bay and attracts four million people each year.
On June 5th, after the second post-arrival orientation, the CCIP (www.theccip.com) exchange visitors headed to Liberty Island. They first gathered for lunch before taking the train to lower Manhattan to ferry over to the island.
"This was easily one of the activities the group was most excited for," said Yuhuan He (Thomas), one of the activity leaders. "Everyone wanted to take as many photos as possible in front of the famous statue. I thought the stories we heard were really interesting, especially how both New Jersey and New York fought to claim the statue as theirs."
More than just a great tourist site, the Statue of Liberty is an official national monument and a symbol of the United States' history as a home for people from all over the world. The group's visit also included Ellis Island, the historical first stop for over 12 million immigrants from the end of the 19th century to 1954.
"Being at the museum on Ellis Island was a really special experience," said fellow activity leader, Yang Le Lim, who is studying at Nanyang Technological University. "I immediately felt like I was part of history standing where so many people had entered the country. I can't even imagine what it must have been like for all those travelers."
New York (Sun, Jun 12, 2016) - This past weekend, the exchange visitors of the Cross Cultural Internship Program (www.theccip.com) took a bus to one of New York's best destination for shopping deals, Woodbury Commons. Opened in 1985, the sprawling outdoor outlet center covers more than 800,000 square feet and has 220 different stores offering discounts on some of the most famous brands in the world, including Armani, Burberry, Coach, and Gucci.
Helping to organize the day trip was Macau University of Science and Technology student, Yueran Yang (Jessie). "Manhattan is wonderful and lot of fun to explore, but everything is very expensive. I found a lot of great deals at Woodbury Commons, so I was able to buy gifts for my family and get things for myself. There were so many people there, it was like an amusement park."
Woodbury Commons is located roughly 60 miles northwest of Queens and takes about an hour and a half to reach by bus. Helping Jessie organize the event was Yinjie Hua (Joyce), a student from Nanyang Technological University. Serving as an activity leader involves a variety of tasks that include setting meet up times, ensuring transportation is arranged, and collecting any necessary fees.
"We've done some great things together," Joyce said of her time so far at CCIP. "We traveled to Princeton and went to the Empire State Building. Everything we do gives me a better appreciation of New York and America. I wanted to be on the Student Advisory Board so I could help plan the summer and see as much as possible while I was here. I'm learning a lot but also having so much fun."
Among the many activities planned for the CCIP exchange visitors this summer are three Broadway musicals and a trip to Washington DC to visit Capitol Hill. Each activity is led and planned by one or more of the students and many are optional for them to attend.
New York (Mon, Jul 17, 2017) - FUSIA/CCIP J-1 Exchange Visitor Program (The Cross Cultural Internship Program, CCIP, www.theccip.com) celebrated another year of accomplishment and brought together key supporters of its cultural initiative and exchange visitors themselves by holding the 2017 Recognition Ceremony at Citi Field, home of the Mets, on Monday, July 17.
That night, over 120 guests, including exchange visitors, local and foreign government representatives, university partners, and host representatives, attended the event to celebrate the joint efforts of the greater New York City community and exchange visitors from Asia and Pacific nations to promote cultural exchange through the CCIP exchange visitor program.
Government officials in attendance:
- NYS Assembly Member David Weprin (also one of the internship hosts)
- NYC Councilman Peter Koo
- Chris A. Halecki from the US Department of State
- Eugene Ng (Ng Chang Yang, Eugene) - Singapore Consul
- Claudia Yeung - Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, New York
Representatives from various government officials also presented certificates, citations, and proclamations recognizing the involved parties' efforts and achievements of the program in its cultural endeavors (www.theccip.com/award):
- US Senator for New York, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
- Congresswoman Grace Meng (also one of the internship hosts)
- Congressman Joseph Crowley
- NYS Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (a also one of the internship hosts)
- NYS Senator Tony Avella
- NYS Assemblyman Ron Kim (also one of the internship hosts)
- NYS Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (also one of the internship hosts)
- NYS Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou
- NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio
- NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
- NYC Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer
- NYC Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams
- NYC Queens Borough President Melinda Katz
- Public Advocate for the City of New York Latitia James
- NYC Councilmember Rory Lancman
- NYC Councilmember Barry S. Grodenchi
Representatives from host organizations and partner universities, along with community leaders, were presented handmade plaques as a token of appreciation to them for helping the exchange visitor internship program further its mission of promoting cultural exchange. Selected students and host organizations took the stage to describe the positive experience of collaborating with the program and its participants.
The ceremony commemorated the students' experiences in the program with a video presentation produced by the exchange visitors. The photos featured in the video offered a touching look at student life that also took students on a trip down memory lane.
Most remarkably for everyone in attendance, the stadium was filled with enthusiastic cheering and applause for the students, who had built meaningful relationships with each other and the community at large.
The event concluded with closing remarks from Marc A. Haken, the Youth, Education, and Library Committee Chair of Community Board 8 in Queens (CB 8Q) and President of Friends of Cunningham Park and a program advisor, who thanked all parties' collaborative efforts, which contributed immensely to the success of CCIP in its goodwill initiative.
A baseball game between the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals followed the close of the ceremony, providing students with a beloved and classic American experience to end the night. While the ceremony marked the end of the first wave of the 2017 CCIP participation, it also marked the beginning for Session B students, who have seven exciting weeks in the US to look forward to.
Most remarkably for everyone in attendance, the stadium was filled with enthusiastic cheering and applause for the students, who had built meaningful relationships with each other and the community at large:
"The CCIP brings together a range of students from top universities across Asia-Pacific and connects us with meaningful host organization from different industries in New York City. Working at Fusia has helped to nurture important inter and intra organization communication skills as well as many software related skills. What I did not expect was making close friends from such a variety of backgrounds. I can safely say I have gained a sense of professionalism and global mindedness thanks to this amazing program," said Julian Chang, Nanyang Technological University.
"Not only do I gain an internship experience but I also meet lifelong friends and build a professional mind set throughout the program. During the seven weeks, I've worked with colleagues from different countries, visited famous places over New York City, and had a dialogue with different government officers. One of the great benefits I obtained, other than knowledge, is that the mind set and attitude a professional should have. I do believe that these valuable things I learnt bring me closer to the road to success," said Gutz Hui, City University of Hong Kong.
"CCIP is definitely worth the effort. The whole package of the internship experience and cultural exchange makes the program a golden opportunity. After joining, students learn more about themselves by taking different leader roles. I became more mature and confident about myself, which will be beneficial to my future career, " said Basil Kwan, the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology.
"My first internship is a valuable and memorable experience for me. Over the past two months, I appreciated the guidance and help I gained, and for the first time I have experienced working life outside campus. I lived with students from different backgrounds and experienced the diverse of the United States in this immigrant city. Living a life outside the campus makes me think more about the life after graduation. Now I'm looking forward to the challenges and gains coming next month," said Grace Ye, the University of Macau.
"I've never had such a fruitful internship before. CCIP allows me to experience working in a multicultural city without fear of the uncertainties that we might encounter during interning in a foreign country. I’ve met so many friends here and also learnt the differences of cultures. I feel myself becoming a professional team player who can work with people from different countries," said Jamie Lo, the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
New York (Tue, Jul 11, 2017) - The CCIP J-1 interns (www.theccip.com) were given a unique opportunity to meet with Councilman Peter Koo last Monday evening. The group met at the councilman's office to discuss government in New York.
Councilman Koo was elected to the New York City Council in 2009 to represent District 20, which includes parts of Flushing. Prior to joining the city council, he founded Starside Pharmacy, which has multiple locations in Queens. Due to his numerous community activities and philanthropic works, Councilman Koo has been called the "Mayor of Flushing."
The councilman shared his years of experience with the exchange visitors and introduced them to the complex political relationship between city and state governments. Originally immigrating to the United States from Hong Kong in 1971, he has a perspective on what it takes to succeed in America that was of particular interest to the group of interns.
"I admire how much Councilman Koo has accomplished in his life," a student leader stated. "He worked hard and took advantage of opportunities here in America. He's had a career that I would like to have."
The exchange visitors are in New York City to intern in a variety of career fields, including engineering, marketing, and journalism. In addition to developing professional skills, the group participates in numerous activities, such as meeting with government officials and visiting museums where they learn more about American culture, art, and politics.
After having spent the evening with the councilman, the exchange visitors expressed their appreciation for his time. One student commented, "The fact that such a busy man would take the time to meet with us really shows how much he cares about his community."
New York (Sat, Jul 29, 2017) - After a day of volunteering in Queens' Cunningham Park, CCIP's J-1 interns enjoyed a group BBQ.
The CCIP exchange visitors came to Queens' 358-acre Cunningham Park this past Saturday to do their part as volunteers by raking leaves, picking up trash, and helping with the care of the lawns. This was an opportunity to learn about the spirit of volunteerism, a central tenet of American culture, while also gaining a greater appreciation for the community that they are living among.
When their work was done, the interns enjoyed a BBQ together as they relaxed after their day of volunteering and had a conversation about what they have learned and experienced while interning in New York City.
Marc Haken, and Harbachan Singh, both members of Community Board 8 in Queens and advisers for CCIP, joined in the activity. Marc Haken is also president of the Friends of Cunningham Park, and helped the students apply for the necessary BBQ permit.
"Volunteering is a wonderful addition to my growing experiences interning and living in New York City," Hayley, a student at the University of Hong Kong, remarked of the event.
"This opportunity was especially fruitful. Both the volunteering and our BBQ in this beautiful park were great chances to interact with other participants and gain insights from the senior advisors," said Cathy Li from Macau. "I have to express my thanks to the student leaders for putting this event together and also my thanks to Mr. Haken and Singh for helping us get the BBQ permit."
New York (Thu, Aug 24, 2017) - As 2017 comes to a close, CCIP wishes the very best for its departing participants. This past year has been a special time as participants worked hard as greatly appreciated professionals in their internships and with shared cultural experiences like the Mermaid Parade led by American rock stars Debbie Harry and Chris Stein from the band Blondie, a visit to the United Nations to learn about US government, and classical music performances by the distinguished New York Philharmonic in Cunningham Park.
But, like all good things come they end as the interns leave New York with cherished cultural and work experiences to hold as they become international professionals.
Marilyn, a Chinese University of Hong Kong student, commented "It has been a fantastic experience being in this internship program where I have strengthened my cosmopolitan character in New York! In this time I've learned a lot about American etiquette with my new friends and colleagues, and our shared experience has made a great lasting impression as I continue my professional journey."
CCIP is happy that the participants have had positive cultural experiences while collaborating with working professionals in each of their fields to gain new types of etiquette. Julian, a NTU student, shared "This internship has given me amazing opportunities to work and bond with professional colleagues who share interests in engineering. I've learned so much while sharing happy moments that will stay with me forever."
As our participants have grown, the program has encouraged that the interns balance their skills and strengths to better navigate the professional world to fully realize their potential.
Hayley, a University of Hong Kong student, added "While interning in New York I've had an amazing time working with bright, professional colleagues who have shared encouraging ideas about the cultural differences of the US and Hong Kong. Coming here has been a wonderful experience to balance my skills in teamwork and leadership."
This year the program has successfully guided our interns to build their confidence to continue communication with their new internship colleagues and to further prepare themselves in their promising futures. As Grace, a University of Macau student, aptly stated "It's amazing how much we have all grown in the short but everlasting time in this program. I look forward to continuing my studies with greater confidence in becoming a contributing leader of the global economy!"
As 2017 is coming to a close, the CCIP is already preparing for its 2018 program. Applications will begin to be accepted on October 1st, and CCIP is already arranging a meaningful and informative recruitment process.
As Gutz, a City University of Hong Kong, College of Business student, said "This experience has given me a lot of joyful moments shared with new friends as we learned about American culture. Coming together in this program, discovering new lifestyles, and excelling as international individuals -- what a blast it's been! I am sure that next year's participants will have an outstanding experience!"