Broadening knowledge and sharing new perspectives at the ACU Summer School

Wong Jia Han is a student at University Tunku Abdul Rahman in Malaysia, where he studies Civil Engineering. After attending the ACU Summer School 2017 at Bath Spa University in the UK, we caught up with him to see whether the experience has had a positive impact on his studies. 

Wong Jia Han

Wong Jian Han receiving his certificate of attendance from Bath Spa University's (now retired) vice-chancellor, Professor Christina Slade 

What made you decide to attend the Summer School?

I decided to attend the Summer School to broaden my knowledge and to engage with more people at an international level. The Summer School was the perfect platform, as besides from congregating fellows from around the world, a bursary was provided for students that are financially constrained – such as in my case, this bursary made it possible for me to be able to attend the Summer School.

Why do you think it's important for students to take advantage of international opportunities during their studies?

It is during study time that we have the luxury to take time to learn and explore knowledge beyond our normal boundaries, both at home and via international opportunities, such as this Summer School.

What did you learn from travelling to a new country and meeting delegates of different nationalities?

Travelling to the UK was my first time being in a western country, and first time being outside of Asia. This enabled me to see and learn how western cities work, from the city planning layout and management, to the design of the buildings around the UK. As I am from the discipline of civil engineering these are the sorts of things I look out for in a foreign country.

Meeting delegates of different nationalities was of course a great experience. Listening to opinions of great perspective beyond the usual thinking of a Malaysian was a culture shock for me, despite coming from a multi-racial country.

How will you share the knowledge and skills gained at the Summer School now you're back in your home country?

The application of arts and humanities to create greener narratives is a foreign issue back in Malaysia, as most people usually relate issues regarding saving the earth to science, rather than arts and humanities. Hence, I am now able to provide and share a new perspective on the issue back at my university.

Has the Summer School had an effect on your future plans – and if so, how?

As a final year degree student, this Summer School has made rethink my plan of going off to work upon completion of my studies. Now, I am considering pursuing my studies to do a Masters instead, as I believe there is a lot of more to be learned in this world!

ACU Internationalisation CommunityThe ACU Summer School is just one way in which the ACU supports academic mobility across the Commonwealth and beyond. Each year, it brings together around 40 students – who are either final year undergraduates or postgraduates – for a week of interactive study, including workshops, field trips and group project work.

The Summer School is hosted by a different ACU member institution each year, selected through a competitive tendering process, and based around a different theme. Next year's Summer School will take place at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, centred on 'Designing and creating sustainable communites'. Read more or email

Last modified on 23/11/2017
Tags: students, scholarships, ACU Internationalisation Community, Internationalisation