As our first semester comes to a close, we welcome a group of English students from Wiltshire in the UK. This is a tradition started by one of my illustrious predecessors, and is a key feature of the college year.
This map shows where you can find the county of Wiltshire, in southern Britain. The students spend about a week with us, accompanied by two of their teachers. We select a group of junior KYUEM students to join them, and in many cases, friendships are forged which last for many years.
This year, the Wiltshire students arrive on Friday, November 21, and return a week later. While they are at the college, they will take part in a variety of activities and go on organised trips to different locations in Malaysia, culminating in a day spent in KL prior to their flight back to Europe. They will also be able to participate in several of our end-of-semester evening activities.
This kind of cultural exchange benefits everyone. For the British students, they get to see a new and exotic location in the Far East while their KY counterparts get to interact with people from the country where most of them eventually wish to study when they leave KYUEM.
Personally, I have a connection with Wiltshire that goes back to my teenage years. I lived there when my father's company relocated him to Trowbridge, the county town. We lived in the small, nearby town of Westbury, famous for its white horse which you see in the first picture. Figures such as the horse have been carved into chalk cliffs in many parts of Europe since Neolithic times, but the original reason for their creation is unknown. I could clearly see Westbury White Horse from my bedroom window all those years ago, and I assume it's still very much in evidence as a tourist attraction.
A packed week of activities is planned for our visitors and their hosts and I'm sure both sides will benefit greatly from learning about each other. I know everyone will want to join me in welcoming the Wiltshire students to Malaysia and to Lembah Beringin, particularly. I'm sure they will have a memorable time here.
This will probably be my last blog post of this semester as I am heavily involved next week with all the things that need to be done before a long holiday. The last official event of 2014 is Parents' Day on Friday, November 28, from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm. I look forward to meeting many of you on that day.
In case we don't get a chance to talk, I hope you have a pleasant time with your sons and daughters during December. Helen and I also offer you our very best wishes for 2015.