An artist explains his paintings to USP IEP students.
For the first time since the inception of Intensive English Programme (IEP) at The University of the South Pacific (USP), students were given the opportunity to visit Suva Corrections Services Tagimoucia Art Gallery as part of their curriculum on 29 May 2015.
IEP coordinator, Ms Asela Tuisawau said that such excursions are an integral part of IEP.
“Evidently, IEP students are international students who choose USP and Fiji as an ideal place to come to learn English and in addition to giving them an environment conducive to learning English, IEP also bears in mind USP’s Strategic Plan (2013-2018) Priority Areas, in particular Priority Area 2; Objective 8: Promote Pacific Consciousness and Cohesiveness, Priority Area 3; Objective 12: Increase international student recruitment and internationalisation of the student experience, and Priority Area 5; Objective 18: To extend the reach of USP through the inclusion of other countries,” she said.
Ms Tuisawau said the visit was quite an eye-opener for both teachers and students.
IEP student Hana Choi said that it was a different experience to visit the gallery as opposed to their opinion of the prisoners.
“Before visiting the gallery, I called my mum to ask if I could really go as I was scared to visit the prisoners but when I visited them at the gallery, it was a totally different experience,” she said.
“They were different from the prisoners in my country,” she added.
“Artists explained their drawings in a very emotional way which made us emotional as well.”
Another student, Naoyuki Yamamoto said that visiting the gallery was a learning experience for him.
“Interacting with people from different backgrounds, especially outside of USP was a very good learning experience for me,” he said.
Mr Yamamoto thanked USP and IEP coordinator for organising such excursions for the students.
“I came to Fiji to study English and I am thankful to USP for allowing us to learn about the Fijian culture and its people, outside the University as well,” he said.
“I am sure my friends and I have a lot of stories to tell once we get back home,” he added.
IEP teacher Keith Giblin and New Caledonian student, Elvina looks at a painting displayed at the Tagimoucia Art Gallery.
Former USP lecturer and an art teacher at the Tagimoucia Art Gallery, Mrs Jane Rickets said that it was a privilege to have USP students visit the gallery.
“I have spent 22 years of my working life at USP so I am always happy to see students, especially from USP to come here,” she said.
While introducing the artists, Mrs Rickets talked about the role of teachers and parents in discovering people’s talents.
“The role of the teachers and the parents is to help discover a person’s talent so that they can develop it, not just to make a living but to make a fulfilled person,” she said.
IEP students have visited places like the Fiji Museum, Colo-i-Suva, forest park, Homes of Hope, Pacific Arts Village, Factory and Industry Tour as part of their learning excursions.
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