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International Education for Life:

Two HU students are first to participate in Singaporean exchange


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Two Hampton University students became the first to travel to Singapore this summer as part of an exchange partnership with Nanyang Polytechnic. Sean Bynoe of Atlanta, Ga., and James Berry of West Chester, Penn., both sport management majors, also interned at the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games hosted in Singapore.

“Sean and James’ exchange experience in Singapore at Nanyang Polytechnic and an internship with the Youth Olympics allowed them to see the world and connect with international students in their arena, an opportunity few student experience during their college years or ever in life,” said Marcia Jackson, director of the HU International Office.

In 2008, HU began the early stages of developing an international student exchange program with institutions in Singapore and other parts of the world. Nanyang Polytechnic is one of two institutions in Singapore that HU signed a memorandum of understanding to exchange students between the two institutions in 2009. The other Singaporean institution involved is Temasek Polytechnic.

In fall 2009, HU welcomed the first two students from Nanyang Polytechnic, Chor Hoon and Peng Xin, to campus. This summer, Bynoe and Berry became the first HU students to participate in the exchange.

“The exchange was great because I got a chance to interact with and learn from my fellow students … I have made lifelong friends whom I will never forget,” said Berry upon his return.

Over the course of the four-month exchange, Bynoe traveled to Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau. “My time in Singapore has opened my eyes to a whole wider view of the world and has made me realize that there are many more opportunities out there besides working in the U.S.,” he explained.

From Aug. 14-26, Bynoe and Berry interned at the inaugural 2010 Youth Olympic Games hosted in Singapore. The Games received approximately 3,600 athletes ages 14-18 and offices from the 204 National Olympic Committees. Bynoe served as a liaison between the Jamaican National Olympic Committee and the Singapore Olympic Committee. Berry served as a liaison for the USA National Olympic Committee. Their duties included organizing team schedules, providing coaches and athletes with all the necessary resources for competition, and escorting US ambassadors, parents and former Olympians through the Olympic village.


Sean Bynoe and James Berry enjoyed
Singaporean food, which highlights Malaysian,
Chinese and Indian influences.

Both students agreed that their favorite part of the experience was meeting new people from around the world. The internship served as an a opportunity to make contacts in the International Olympic Committee, and therefore increase both men’s chances at becoming a part of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“Their timing was impeccable,” said assistant professor Dr. Ralph Charlton who serves as the students’ advisor. Charlton citied that according to Bloomberg Business Week, Singapore has the world’s fastest growing economy. “James and Sean have truly differentiated themselves in career skills and experience in a very competitive sport management industry here in the U.S.”

“They have been internationalized for life and have returned home to Hampton University all the better for it,” said Jackson proudly.

“My experience at [Nanyang Polytechnic] has helped me better understand the international sports industry from a different perspective,” said Berry.

While there, Berry also interned with the Football Association of Singapore, where he worked closely with Singaporean athletes and markets. “I was able to experience the passion Singapore has for sports,” he said.

Charlton could not be more proud of the two men. He calls Bynoe and Berry “true trailblazers” for HU and for sports management majors.

“Being the first students to participate in our partnership with Nanyang Polytechnic opens the door for our other students. James and Sean will be great ambassadors to encourage more students to take advantage of the opportunity,” said Charlton.

“I would recommend this program to anyone who is willing to learn about a new cultural and see the world from a different point of view,” said Bynoe.

The exchange continues as HU hosts three students from Nanyang Polytechnic this fall.

- Alison L. Phillips