Joseph Lee: Danish students seem very eager to learn
Students at Aarhus School of Marine and Technical Engineering are having STCW-classes in English these days. The teacher is Joseph Lee, a high end Chief Engineer, Senior Lecturer and Course Chair of the Diploma in Marine Engineering at Singapore Maritime Academy.
Joseph Lee's visit to Denmark is a part of our exchange co-operation with Singapore Maritime Academy. While he is here, our Preben Steffensen is in Singapore, teaching Josephs’ academy classes.
During his stay in Denmark Joseph lives at Flemming Hauge Pedersens place. He has plenty of room for him and they also know each other from Flemming’s frequent visits to Singapore. He has been teaching at the STCW elective since late October. Now Joseph has been here for a little over a month. With another app. three weeks to go we asked him how he liked the school, the town and the Danes so far.
Danes are friendly but private
“The Danes are definitely friendly and helpful, but also rather private,” Joseph says. He adds: “They might give you a smile and will definitely help you if you ask, but will rush on immediately after. I don’t think people mean to be impolite, I just think that they cherish their privacy.”
Having said that, Joseph stresses that he feels very comfortable at AAMS. The colleagues are nice and the place has a good atmosphere to it. Of course the weather is different from what he is used to in Singapore, but he was prepared for that. He does, however, find Denmark rather expensive:
“We went to the movies the other night to watch Captain Phillips, and I must say that the price of a single ticket choked me. It was way above double up the price for a movie ticket in Singapore. Also I think that food is expensive, and that Danes tend to eat a lot of bread,” Joseph adds, admitting that he misses the food of his home country.
More small machinery and a library
Asked if he might give AAMS any advice, Joseph points out a need for more hands on machinery exercises, so that theory and the operational reality mix better. Also he has noticed the absence of a technical library at the school. At the Singapore Maritime Academy, Joseph says, they have a very large library of thousands of books about all sorts of relevant subjects.
“At AAMS the students are also encouraged to search for information, but because there is no library available they seem to use the internet as the main platform for research. Therefore I think there might be a need of a course in how to do reliable research on the internet – a lot of the information out there is just not reliable enough,” he says.
AAMS-students and Singaporians are much alike
Joseph’s predecessor Teo Hai Heng, who was exchanged to AAMS last year, had prior to Joseph’s departure prepared him for classes where the students would be extremely curious and ask a lot of questions.
“But I don’t think they do, though. They may ask very technical questions but not much more than what I am used to in Singapore. Danish students do seem very eager to learn and are older and therefore more mature than my students in Singapore. But in general the students are pretty much alike.”
Joseph Lee will be returning to Singapore on December 8. The big question still remains: Will he be lucky enough to catch the first snow before then? The temperature in Singapore today, on Thursday November 14, is just about 28 degrees Celsius, with heavy rain, though, and a high humidity.