Sunday January 20, 2008
SIX students and staff members from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the United States completed an inaugural winter intersession programme conducted by Curtin University of Technology Sarawak, entitled People and cultures of Borneo, recently.
After three weeks of the Borneo experience, the students and staff shared their experiences before leaving for the United States.
The programme co-ordinator and Pre-University Studies School director, Bibi Aminah, said the students visited different longhouses in Sarawak and the Bakun Dam.
”In Kuching, they visited the Sarawak Textile Museum, Sara Craft in Santubong and the Cultural Village,” Bibi added.
Anthropology and International Studies student Sarah Carr said she felt a sense of urgency when it came to studying another culture.
“The world is changing so quickly and it is so important to document the special things that distinguish each group,” she added.
VCU’s programme co-ordinator Associate Professor Dr Gregory Plunkett said there was a strong community bond among the different cultures, which led to everyone living in harmony.
“It is good to see this as I think that the sense of community is slowly disappearing in the United States because we tend to be individualistic rather than be part of a community or family,” Plunkett said.
Under the programme, students will be evaluated on their workshop performance, journals, oral presentation and a report on their experiences.
Curtin Sarawak pro vice-chancellor Prof John Evans said study abroad programmes were a good way to present and promote the many exciting attractions and facets of life in Sarawak.
This is the first programme introduced by Curtin Sarawak and both universities hope to have more in the future.