Australia-China Student Forum

ACSF 2016

The Australia-China Student Forum (ACSF) is an exchange forum to Chongqing University, which aims to create a vibrant, intercultural platform for the youth of Australia and China. Together, we will enhance cultural diversity awareness and to develop cohesive understanding through a series of academic and cultural activities.

This forum is jointly organised by La Trobe University (Confucius Institute and School of Social Sciences), and Chongqing University, China. It is funded by the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) who are an organisation affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education.

It was developed following the success of the ACSF – Beijing, which was previously organised by La Trobe University (via the Centre for China Studies), Peking University and Beijing Foreign Studies University.

The Objectives of the ACSF

The objectives of the ACSF are as follows:

  • To advance knowledge and enhance interest in international study through a deep exploration of a wide range of significant issues affecting both Australia and China
  • to facilitate communication among the future leaders of Australia and China
  • to enrich the learning experience and encourage students to undertake in-country studies, both in learning another language and gaining greater intercultural understanding.

ACSF 2020

Forum Statement

Life amid Covid-19 Pandemic in Chongqing and Melbourne

Theme and Sub-Themes


A Tale of Two Cities amid A Critical Time: The Post Covid-19 Pandemic Life in Chongqing and Melbourne

The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic has been wreaking havoc across the globe since late of 2019. Being a megacity in China and Australia, both Chongqing and Melbourne also unavoidably fell into the victim of the pandemic. Nevertheless, both Chongqingren (Chongqing people) and Melburnians have been demonstrating incredible resilience to survive and thrive in fighting against the pandemic.

For this reason, the 2020 Australia-China Student Forum will be aiming to explore people’s everyday life experiences in both cities amid the post (or during) pandemic time. Given the constraint of the ongoing international travel ban, the two-week Forum this year will feature a virtual online exchange program between students of La Trobe University and Chongqing University. Technologies such as Tik Tok (抖音) and Zoom etc. will be employed by both sides to facilitate the program activities. They comprise, namely, online lectures on cultures and histories of Chongqing and Melbourne, students-led discussions on lifestyles, sports and entertainment, live broadcast events in both cities, as well as field trips touring unique local communities from both sides.

On the one side, the global spread of the virus has forced every nation-state today to adopt strict social distancing policy. On the other hand, our human being’s craving for a closer people-to-people’s bond has never been unabated.  By exchanging the experiences between Chongqing and Melbourne, this tailor-made virtual program aims to stimulate an insightful reflection on global citizens’ perceptions about the unprecedented world public health crisis. It also will enhance the idea exchanges and mutual cultural and societal understandings between young people in Australia and China. In a nutshell, we anticipate the program will showcase a valuable and innovative event to foster La Trobe University students’ global citizenship in a difficult time.

Sub-themes (for both sides):
  • What is the city of Chongqing; what is the city of Melbourne?
  • What is the food culture in Chongqing; what is the food culture in Melbourne? Please introduce the typical food in both cities.
  • How do Chongqingren and Melburnians move around every day? Please introduce their traffic and communication styles.
  • What are the characteristics of residence and housing in both cities? How do they live?
  • What do both people do in their leisure time, such as sports and recreational activities?
  • How did both people cope with the Covid-19 pandemic?
  • What are the impacts of the Pandemic on Chongqingren and Melburnians? What has changed and not changed since the pandemic?

Forum Details


The ACSF 2020 will be different from previous tours. Activities will be carried out via Virtual Tours, classes/activities via Zoom and tours/activities in Melbourne.

  • Learning and Experiencing: This comprises 'topic-focused' seminars delivered by academics or professionals via Zoom or via face-to-face teaching, student discussions, virtual tours to key cultural sites in Chongqing, visits to cultural sites in Melbourne, and language classes.
  • Exchange and Dialogue: This comprises keynote sessions by high profile speakers, student presentations and a dialogue on a key topic.
  • Interaction: This includes interactive activities with Chinese students in Chongqing.

All participants will receive a certificate from the hosting university upon successful completion of the forum.


Tentative dates: Monday, 30 Nov to Friday, 11 Dec 2020

Number of Participants

The number of participants in this forum is up to 20 students from La Trobe University.


All currently enrolled students of La Trobe University are eligible to apply.

Successful applicants are expected to:

  • Demonstrate strong interest in intercultural and educational exchange,
  • Be willing to share ideas, experience and learning with others,
  • Be willing to commit to the activities of the program.

All participants are required to sign a Confirmation of Acceptance Form before the start of the program.

How to Apply

There are two options to enrol in ACSF:

1. Enrol in subject HUS2ISB or HUS3ISB

The School of Social Sciences may offer 15 credit points upon successful completion of the following:

  • Participation and a reflective journal of 2000 words (to be submitted within four weeks after returning from China)

2. Direct application through Confucius Institute

Apply Now


As ACSF 2020 will be held in Melbourne and some of the activities will be conducted online, students are not expected to pay extra fees to participate in this program.


La Trobe University and the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban) will provide funding to program-related costs, including:

  • Cultural activities
  • meals for activities conducted on campus
  • Seminars,
  • language  classes,
  • Site visits
  • Local tours

Mobility Grants

If a student (both domestic and international) receives prior agreement for the assignment of 15 credit points (equivalent to one unit) exemption from their school upon successful completion of the 2020 Program, students may be eligible to receive a $500 Mobility Grant. Written approval from the course coordinator will be required to access this grant.

For more information regarding grants, please visit the La Trobe overseas short programs website, or send direct inquiries to

Asia Postgraduate Scholarship Programme

Two PG Master’s students in Business or Humanities study areas may be eligible to receive $2,000 scholarships (instead of $500) if they complete the standard short program process and meet the following criteria:

  • Postgraduate Masters-level students at La Trobe University (in Business or Humanities area)
  • Australian citizens or permanent residents
  • Confirmed to be receiving academic credit or completing a mandatory component of your course upon completion of the ACSF.

For more information regarding funding, please send direct queries to If more than two eligible applications are received, a selection process may occur.

OS-Help Loan

Students may apply for OS-Help loan for their study overseas in formal exchanging programs. For further detailed information, please visit: Loans for overseas study.


If you have any questions regarding the ACSF, please email to or call 03 9479 6507