Why study in Hong Kong?
After years of British Imperialism, Hong Kong is now a Special Administrative Region of China; so while technically under Chinese rule, it is left to its own devices and autonomous for the most part. As a result, it is entirely unique in its make-up, simultaneously showcasing eastern and western influences at every turn. As a result, word is quickly spreading about how quickly students from abroad can assimilate into the environment and feel comfortable to explore on their own.
English is one of the primary languages spoken in the country, and is the language of instruction in the country’s eight universities. This is often a massive relief for international students; it means they can quickly integrate into the student community and keep up with the course content without taking a pre-sessional language course or language tests. It also means that students are more comfortable to explore the city on their own sooner, as they can read the signage and directions easily. You still have the option to learn Cantonese at your own pace which you may find enjoyable, practical and a good life skill to retain for the future.
History and Culture
Because of the region’s varied history, tradition and innovation are constantly in tune with each other, whether it be in the architecture, layout, commerce or entertainment. Some find countries like Japan somewhat difficult to adjust too because everything is so different from what they know of at home, but this isn’t so much the case with Hong Kong. You’re likely to find all the brands and shops you know (as well as a few new ones you might not have). Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s skyline combines both urban skyscrapers and mountaintops, with greenery pervading too; so you can very quickly move between different backdrops with minimal effort depending on what you’re looking to do that day.
Hong Kong may only have eight (public) universities, but they perform very well in rankings, both internationally and specific to Asia. QS recently ranked the University of Hong as the 23rd best university in the world (the Hong Kong University of Technology and Science and the Chinese University of Hong Kong ranked at thirty three and forty respectively). Meanwhile, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology came first in their competitive Asia rankings (the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong also making the top ten). When Times Higher Education published their Asia rankings, the University of Hong Kong came third, having ranked 35th in the world previously. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Chinese University of Hong Kong came in 9th and 12th respectively.
Pace of life
Hong Kong is quite densely-populated with a population of 7 million people. Life is considered very fast-paced even for those who come to the region from large towns and cities. Meanwhile on campus, students receive a lot of contact time with their tutors, while attendance at social events (like High Table at the University of Hong Kong) is often compulsory; so learning good time management skills is imperative to both achieving strong grades and making the most of your time in a new country.
Proximity to China and other destinations
Located on the southern border of China, Hong Kong provides western students a gateway to a country which has been heavily discussed in terms of censorship, secrecy and isolation. Some may be reluctant to actually enter China based on the way it has been depicted in the media, but you’d be missing out; plus, by studying in Hong Kong, you can get a unique perspective by living in one of China’s two Special Administrative Regions. You may choose to learn to speak Cantonese while studying to give you an extra advantage in the future, and there may even be some opportunities to enter China and experience the country first-hand. After all, it has been making waves in the last few years as a political and economical heavyweight, as well as hosting key sporting events like the Olympics.
Hong Kong is also central to most of Asia; so if you have some time free, you can travel to a few other countries to see how these countries vary in terms of culture, landscape etc. This is a wonderful opportunity as you won’t always live in the middle of this continent.
Now that you're convinced about how amazing Hong Kong is, find a course there today!
Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.