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TF-SCALE 2022: Strengthening relationship among Asian countries
Upon completion of the two incredible weeks (2 - 15 Oct, 2022) in the Temasek Foundation Specialists' Community Action and Leadership Exchange (TF SCALE) programme of 2022, 120 students from 4 universities: Temasek Polytechnic - TP (Singapore), Hanoi University of Science and Technology - HUST (Vietnam, Hanoi), Chiang Mai Rajabhat University - CMRU (Thailand, Chiang Mai) and King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang - KMITL (Thailand, Bangkok) have fostered a much greater understanding and appreciation of the challenges facing Asia with a central focus on global leadership, technology, and enterprise. TF- Scale also encouraged students to take definitive actions, build global leadership capabilities and develop sincere friendships among youth leaders.
As in a strategic partnership, the 4 universities demonstrated a strong collaboration and huge efforts in successfully implementing the program. During 14 days, students have had the opportunity to attend thought-provoking speeches by experts, discuss and debate about diversity, inclusion, and cultural topics in their home countries and present their proposed solutions based on solid research.
TF SCALE students are excited, looking forward to new experiences
With a central objective to promote cross-cultural understanding, the programme included a plethora of engaging workshops where students of both home and visiting nations got a chance to attain a profound understanding of multiple cultural aspects. Three workshops conducted on 3 separate days took on 3 of the most crucial cultural topics, namely “Diversity in Culture & Heritage”, “Diversity & Inclusion Through Theatre”, and “Diversity & Inclusion in Singapore”. With the wonderful guidance of teachers who are experts in their respective fields, participants of the workshops were given deep yet concise lectures about the development, reality, as well as problems of such topics in Singapore. This helps to facilitate the cultural-exchange process that came after, where students from Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore gave detailed demonstrations of what they believe are the similarities, differences, and key points of the topic at hand in their own cultures. The workshops are then concluded with comments from teachers as well as students of other groups.
All of these went a long way towards building a solid grasp of cultural distinctions for students, which is depicted through the projects that they, who were divided among different groups, built and perfected in a period of 10 days, during which the teachers also acted as helpful consultants. The projects took a variety of forms, from verbal presentations to exciting dramas, and the topics were at the discretion of students.
In the first week, all students had an outing to the Marina Barrage Sustainable Singapore Gallery to gain insights into the development and maintenance of the nation’s environment. Sustainability has always been crucial to Singapore's development since its independence, and the government has been constantly handling challenges to ensure that everyone continues to enjoy a clean and green environment. Students can navigate through the Sustainable Singapore Gallery to learn more about how a liveable and sustainable Singapore was brought to life.
Singapore model - a "green, clean and sustainable" country
Students also got to visit Joo Chiat and Katong. Joo Chiat Road is an arterial road and a residential conservation area in the eastern part of Singapore, and is located between Geylang Serai and the Marine Parade Road. It is mainly bounded on both sides by conserved shophouses painted colorfully.
Simple painting on the corner of Katong/Joo Chiat street
Students also had a chance to immerse themselves in Chinatown, a destination famous for its colorful heritage buildings with old Chinese shophouses blended into them. The architecture hearkens back to a bygone era in Singapore's history. Students got to explore, while going on foot, a plethora of mesmerizing places, most notably the intriguing architectural landmark of Thian Hock Keng Temple, Singapore’s oldest Hokkien temple.
Students in Chinatown - bustling neighborhood
The Singapore Botanic Gardens (the Gardens) was the only tropical garden to be inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This garden is also lauded as the world's largest orchid display featuring over 60,000 plants and orchids. The Unesco World Heritage Site nomination marks the gardens as a site of great cultural and physical significance. Students wandered around the garden, explored, and took striking pictures there.
Students pay great attention to the presentation about the abundance of the Singapore Botanic Gardens
To new beginnings…
The TF SCALE programme culminated with a gala performance by local and foreign participants and was capped off with Vietnamese and Thai students sharing their thoughts and gratitude in the format of videos and photos. Memories saved HERE.
Lots of laughter, smiles, and pleasantries were exchanged and tears were shed as students bid farewell to their new, but loving friends. This incredible finale marked the beginning of new life-long friendships, new ideas, and possibly new future collaborations.
Although the 14-day journey has come to an end, sincere friendships, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and golden opportunities have blossomed, and they are here to stay. Such amazing things shall be further enhanced in Singaporean students’ 2-week outbound trip to Vietnam on March 2023.
EAO - HUST