City University of Hong Kong?
I could almost always sense hints of a question mark underneath the widened eyes and curious tones. Undoubtedly, Hong Kong is well known for its palatable dim sum, its impeccable night view, and better yet — its diverse student body. Institutions such as The University of Hong Kong (HKU), The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) have all developed their distinct reputation, and such worldwide recognition has helped them attract a swelling number of international students. But City University of Hong Kong?
Yes, City University of Hong Kong!
After spending three years at this relatively young university, I can say so with absolute confidence. This article is in no way denunciating any other universities in Hong Kong. I simply ask you to see through my eyes and allow me to explain why CityU deserves an affirmative exclamation mark.
HKUST might have the magnificent sunrise, HKU might have the gorgeous Victorian architecture, CUHK might have the invigorating greenery, but nestled at the heart of Kowloon Tong, CityU is essentially at the center of all. With Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui, and Central being less than 45 minutes away by train (MTR), a step forward from your dormitory opens up an adventure.
Let me just introduce you to one of Hong Kong’s unspoken jewel: The One Dim Sum restaurant. If Tim Ho Wan has ever crossed your mind as the world’s best cheapest Michelin Star restaurant, One Dim Sum is even better. Why? More than just its heavenly siu maai and divine char siu bao, the fact that it’s only 2 MTR stations away from Kowloon Tong has given it an immense added value. You will soon enough find out that One Dim Sum is among one of the firsts on CityU’s international and exchange students to-go list.
- Out-of-classroom opportunities
Academics is unarguably one of the top priorities for students, but life in Asia’s very own melting pot should not revolve simply around lecture notes and problem sets. The University Grants Committee (UGC), for instance, was actively promoting internationalization at CityU during the 2013/14 – 2014/15 academic years. Outside of classrooms, not only was I able to brush up my long-lost acting skills through the Break-a-leg theatre club, I also gave back to my community through engaging in the “Musical Exchange Among Hong Kong Children and International CityU Students” program.
Knowing that hundreds of exchange students flock to CityU each semester, together with the numerous amount of existing international students, we initiated the idea on how to immerse these two sub-groups with the local community. With a final performance at the Kam Him Centre, we represented Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sweden, and Australia to nurture the relationship between the local and international community. We realized that understanding the city of Hong Kong requires one to touch upon the finite parts of its local communities, and CityU ensures that students have the opportunities to do so.
- Partake in Permisi’s development
Earlier this spring, the Indonesian students’ community at CityU put together its first Indonesian Night, following the successful initiations at other PPI-HK chapters (the remainder universities in Hong Kong). At the same time, we officially inaugurated Permisi (Persatuan Mahasiswa CityU), CityU’s very own Indonesian Students Association. Considering Permisi is still in its early developmental phase, you will definitely have ample opportunities to take part in its soon-to-be exponential development curve.
- A growing academic faculty
Within two years, CityU has quickly moved up from #21 (2014) to #7 (2016) according to QS Asian University Rankings. US News has also placed CityU as #187 in its Best Global Universities list, losing only 3.5 Global Score to HKUST on the scale of 100. For a university that has just celebrated its 32th anniversary, this is more than just a hallmark. President Way Kuo has put full throttle on CityU’s faculty quality (both teaching and research-wise), the campus’ internationalization, as well as campus expansion (CityU has recently launched the School of Veterinary Medicine). One thing for sure: this university is growing on the right path to glory.
CityU offers a wide range of academic programs, from associate degrees (equivalent to Indonesian D3, but only with a handful of internationals) to postgraduate studies in both research and taught programs. Whereas the undergraduate has a very strong reputation of its College of Business (as most of any Hong Kong higher education institutions), CityU is renowned for its Discovery-enriched Curriculum. This unique curriculum has provided students to be guided on a new discovery, and ensures that each student has the adequate funding and mentoring to procure those discoveries. Accordingly, students from the College of Science and Engineering (CSE), as well as the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS), are entitled to their very own discovery as students of CityU. CityU is also privileged to be one of the only three Hong Kong higher education institutions to have a School of Law, and the School of Creative Media has also been thriving with the numerous international faculty that it has.
Additionally, CityU has been very generous at giving out both financial aids and scholarships. For full details, please refer to http://www.cityu.edu.hk/international/udgadmission_scholarship.htm and http://www.cityu.edu.hk/sds/web/studentlife_scholarships_glance.shtml. CityU also does change its entrance requirements for international students on a yearly basis, meaning a student admitted in the 2013 academic year would have a different requirement from someone who was admitted in 2014. The conditional offer I received back in 2013 was an “average score of 8.5 or above in SMA Ujian Nasional”, with no further written or oral examination. However, be reminded that this requirement changes from time to time. For full details: http://www.admo.cityu.edu.hk/intl/international/entreq/.
If the four reasons above don’t seem convincing enough for you, worry not – please feel free to drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I would love to answer any other questions that you might have.
Hopefully this article has given you a new perspective: other than being a culinary heaven and a shopping mecca, Hong Kong offers a fast-rising quality of education, and CityU might just be the right fit for you.
Featured image taken from here.