IBC New Student Orientation Program (NSOP), 2019

International Buddhist College (IBC) organized a three-day New Student Orientation Program from July 17 to July 19 before starting of the academic year 2019/20. IBC started planning for the NSOP, 2019 a month earlier. As you know, the first impression is the best impression. Therefore, an NSOP committee was created a month before NSOP. Ven. Aggadhamma played the role of Coordination of NSOP, 2019. We had several meetings where we reviewed the previous NSOP to improve present one. When we reviewed our last NSOP, we found some aspects to improve. Therefore, this time all the committee members of NSOP tried their best to welcome our new students warmly. We chose our venue for NSOP as Ksitigarbha Classroom and decorated it with colorful balloons, flowers etc.

Our first day activity of NSOP started in the morning 8:15am on July 17 with new students’ registration. At 8:45am, Ven. Satyajit welcomed the audience and introduced and invited our IBC founder and Council Chairman, the Most Venerable Dr. Wei Wu for the opening of the NSOP, 2019. Opening ceremony began with the lamp lighting, IBC video presentation, and welcoming speech by the Most Venerable Dr. Wei Wu, the Founder of IBC. Venerable spoke on “An Introduction of IBC, IBC Motto, Philosophy, Vision, Mission, and Objectives”. At 10:00am, Ven. Aggadhamma and Ven. Satyajit introduced the IBC staff and NSOP committee member to the new students. At 10:30am Ven. Anandajoti Bhikkhu delivered his speech of “Encouragement” in order to encourage our students to study, practice and live harmoniously. At 11:00am, in front of the IBC administration office, we had a group photo together with Venerable Dr. Wei Wu, Professors, Lecturers, IBC staff, NSOP Committee members, and new students. Ven. Doung Bun Tan rang the bell at 11:15am for the lunch. We had various traditional dishes and sweets prepared by students from various countries for the lunch.

At 1:00pm, we began our afternoon session with the introduction of the new students. All the students came forward and introduced themselves one by one. Ven. Dr. Zhen Yuan and Sis. Gaik Yen introduced the Malaysian KM Group to the new students at 1:30pm and they had an interaction with new students. At 2:00pm, we organized the Ice-breaking session led by Ven. Aggadhamma and Ven. Chinh together with new students, Malaysian Kalyana Mitra Group and NSOP committee members. We had a short tea break at 3:00pm led by Sis. Phyo Pyae before we proceeded to our next program. At 3:20pm, Bro. Jaroon gave a speech on “Educational Quality Assurance (QA)”. Subsequently, at 3:50pm, we had ICT Briefing by Dr. Fa Qing, Director for ICT & IBC Library. In this session students came to know about IBC website, how to explore IBC Online Library and Wi-Fi system. At 4:20pm Bro. Khoo Ban Tong did Library Briefing by showing how to find, borrow and renew books from the library as well as how to use printer and so on. At 5:00pm, our first day program closed and Ven. Aggadhamma invited all students to join us on July 17, 2019 for our second day program.

We started our NSOP second day program on July 18, 2019 at 8:30am with the registration of the new students. Then Ven. Neloy Chowdhury began the second day first session by inviting our Prof. Tilak Kariyawasam, Dean of Graduate School to deliver his speech on the topic “Value of Buddhist Education for Adapting Different Culture & Environment.” He gave many valuable ideas about learning Buddhism and described the significance of adapting different cultures and environment. The talk continued from 8:40am to 9:25am. Then we had a session of sharing from the senior students by Ven. Narong (Thailand), Sayalay Iddhibala (Myanmar), Ven. Weng Nee (Malaysia), Ven. Chinh (Laos) and Ven. Rony Barua (Bangladesh). Then we had academic briefing by Ven. Rahula to BA students and by Sister Fong Seong Soo to MA English and Chinese Students from 10:00am to 11:00am. They talked about the IBC grading system, compulsory, elective, and remedial courses, course enrollment, and academic advising service and so on. At 11:15am, we all gone for lunch.

We came back for our afternoon season at 1:00pm in Ksitigarbha Classroom. From 1:00pm to 1.30pm session conducted by Sis. Fong Seong Soo and Sis. Kankamon Siripunyaporn. They did the briefing on passport, visa matters and transportation facilities. Ven. Dr. Zhen Yuan did the briefing on educational assistance (bursary/scholarship) and conduct for residential student: KM community job scope & attendance at 1:30pm for 30 minutes. Then Bro. Jaroon and Sis. Rudeeduan shared about Thai culture and explained about Thai society at 2:00pm. From 2.30 pm - 3.00 pm, we had IBC Tour with Ven. Zhen Yuan and she talked about implementation, recycle items: paper, plastic, bottle/glass, aluminum can, reuse item: kitchen waste, garbage, how to keep our environment clean & tidy. Like first day, from 3.00 pm to 3.20 pm we had Coffee/Tea Break prepared by Sayalay Iddhibala, Sis. Phyo Pyae Sis. Su Mon Aung Sis. Su Mon Kyaw in classrooms Corridor. After the tea break from 3.20 pm to 3.40 pm, Ven. Zhen Yuan delivered a speech on the “IBC Temple Introduction, Organization: Abbot, Director, Superintendent, and Warden, Student Guide (Do & Don’t plus Daily routine)”. From 3:40pm to 5:00pm, we had our last and final session in campus with new students. We organized the “Cultural Exchange” for all students to share about their cultures, traditions, and customs. Therefore, all students could know each other better and can learn about each other’s’ cultures. Ven. Rony led this session together with fellow committee members like Ven. Buddhamkura and Ven. Doung Bun Tan. Finally, we let our new students know about our Orientation Trip planning and adjourn our NSOP second day’s activities with group photo of all NSOP committee members.

The last day was the most interesting and enjoyable day for all new students. IBC organized a trip for all new students including NSOP committee members and Malaysian KM group. We all divided into four groups and at 7:30am on July 19, 2019, we began our orientation trip. The places for trip were the Stainless-Steel Temple, Hat Yai Municipal Park, Sky 33 Buffet Restaurant, Shopping at Top Supermarket, and Ton Nga Chang Waterfall. At first, we went to the Stainless-Steel Temple. New comers were very much excited and amazed after they reached there and took photos in various postures. Then we moved to Hat Yai Municipal Park. After we reached there, students were more excited by seeing the big standing Buddha statue and as it is a very high place, they could enjoy a very good sight of Hatyai City and Samila Beach etc. Next was the interesting and beautiful place Sky 33 Buffet Restaurant. It is located in Hatyai City and one of the tallest buildings there. We had lunch there and all of us took many photos and enjoyed the delicious foods. Later on, we went for shopping at Top Supermarket. After shopping, we went to our last but most attractive place Ton Nga Chang Waterfall. It is a very beautiful place to visit because it has seven separate waterfalls as well as it a sanctuary for wild animals. It has various fishes, trees, bamboo bushes, wild animals, and birds. All the students enjoyed it so much. Finally, we headed on towards IBC around 3:30 pm and we reached IBC at 6:30pm in the evening. And we successfully completed our three days NSOP program with the co-operation of IBC office, staff, students, teachers and new students.

So, finally we would like to say not only NSOP but also any other events like NSOP are very important for the students from various nations to know, to learn and to experience other traditions, cultures, environments and personality.

By Ven. Rony Barua, MA 2 student