Dear Students and Parents,
Studying abroad means self-reliance - especially when it comes to personal well-being. The EduCurae Group and SCMP Young Post are pleased to jointly host the International Student Safety Seminar to share a wealth of knowledge on staying mentally fit and physically safe in this new life-phase.

Many Hong Kong students who go overseas to study are often unprepared for some of the mental health and physical safety issues they might encounter. Let’s face it, the first time away from home is a big deal. For some people, it’s a complete change in lifestyle. It also means taking on more responsibility.

Parents and students are usually so overwhelmed with the academic side of this new life that they leave little time to consider the challenges this change in circumstance poses. The effects of leaving home, having to deal with higher academic expectations, and a whole new circle of friends and a new culture can be overwhelming.

All students will experience some stress and they need to know how to handle it. Furthermore, it’s easy to believe they will be physically safe as universities are well protected, but the facts show that this is only true if students behave responsibly and learn about risk management and situational awareness.

The International Student Safety Seminar will enhance your experience and achieve a positive outcome while studying abroad.

Key takeaways from the featured session on mental health:

  • Optimism can be learned
  • Why you need gratitude
  • How to practice mindfulness and acceptance
  • How to build a strong social support system
  • Using your strengths daily
  • How to build positive relationships with roommates, fellow students and within the university community
  • Where to get assistance for wellbeing needs
  • How to deal with living in a new culture and possible culture shock
  • What parents can do to prepare their children to study overseas
  • Why emotional well-being is so important and how to avoid mental health problems
  • How to deal with loneliness, isolation, academic challenges and parental pressure
  • Learn strategies to cope
  • What you need to know about Positive Psychology (defined as the science of well-being)
  • Learn about the six resilience competencies
  • Explore the three tools needed to build resilience

Key takeaways from the session on student safety:

  • Know the common types of safety issues on campuses or out in the city
  • Learn how to enhance personal safety
  • Most crimes on campus occur between people who know each other. Learn what sort of behaviour increases the chances of being involved in a crime
  • Learn to identify the warning signs that someone is in a mental health crisis, and what to do about them
  • Find out what systems and facilities universities have in place to keep students safe and how to make the most of them
  • Learn about new trends in campus crime and what improvements universities are making in campus security
  • Know the limitations of campus safety and security, and what to do in case of emergency before help arrives
  • Find out why it’s so important to talk about sexual violence, learn how minimise the risk of being involved in a sexual crime, and know what to do if you are being harassed or stalked
  • Learn from an FBI agent trainer how to develop “situational awareness" to minimise risk in common situations
  • Learn how to manage risk in an unfriendly or unsafe environment
  • For those attending universities in the United States, learn about firearms and the best way to survive a campus shooting

Key takeaways for the bonus session on US Immigration:

  • Self-empowerment comes from knowledge
  • Know your immigration options to best take advantage of the immigration changes in the Trump administration


(click photo for bio)

Al Malinchak

Claire Ong

David Bousquet

David Carter

Ricky Chung

Susan Ramsay

Victoria Duong

Alan Malinchak was a former associate university professor who became an FBI Special Agent and Instructor at FBI Academy. During his 20 years at the FBI, Alan trained more than 26,000 employees and was also the onsite crisis commander for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics. After retiring, Alan continued to conduct training in the private sector, and is currently CEO of career consulting firm Eclat Transitions LLC.

Claire Ong is passionate about helping students flourish. She is a specialist in Positive Education, Social-Emotional Learning (SEL), and Character Development for both students and educators. She is an associate faculty at Singapore University of Social Sciences (previously known as UniSIM), and a specialist in student well-being. Claire is currently Adjunct Lecturer and Consultant Psychologist, at The School of Positive Psychology, Singapore University of Social Sciences, and Co-Founder of Groundworks Pte Ltd.

David Bousquet is the President of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) which represents 3,400 campus security leaders from 1,200 colleges and universities across 15 countries. In addition to his leadership at IACLEA, David is also the Chief of Police and Executive Director of Public Safety, Becker College, Massachusetts.

David Carter is a highly decorated Chief of Police for University of Texas at Austin. He is responsible for protecting 51,000 students, and 24,000 staff on a 350-acre campus along with several satellite campuses. In 2017 David was recognised as the Police Chief of the Year by the University of Texas System.

Ricky Chung is the Managing Director for EduCurae Asia Ltd. and provides leadership for the development, marketing, management and operations of services the company provides to students and their parents. This includes a range of educational conferences and training workshops as well as a subscriber based emergency response service. Before joining EduCurae, Mr Chung held a number of key managerial positions at IBM Greater China Group and IBM headquarters in Armonk, New York. In his most recent posts, Mr Chung was Director, The Weather Company Greater China, IBM and Director, Analytics Group, Greater China, IBM. Mr Chung’s career at IBM started in 2006 and prior to that he was Marketing Director, Hong Kong and Taiwan for EMC. Mr Chung holds an honor degree in management science with computing from the University of Kent, Canterbury, U.K.

Susan Ramsay has been the Young Post Editor since 2008. She says it’s the best job ever, as she gets to deal with Hong Kong’s brightest, most interesting young people. As a journalist she knows first-hand the risks in other countries that students from Hong Kong might not consider. As the seminar’s moderator, Susan will be facilitating the presentations, lively panel discussions, and Q&A sessions.

Victoria Duong is a graduate of Brandeis University and UCLA School of Law. She has more than 20 years of experience as a US immigration attorney. Her experience includes managing the US immigration team at a Fortune 500 company with more 90,000 employees in more than 70 countries. The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialisation has certified Victoria as an immigration law specialist, and The American Society of Legal Advocates recognised her as a “Top 100” immigration lawyer in California in 2013, 2014, and 2015.



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