Students & Alumni

The Bridge Leading to
Columbia University

When we walked over the "3M" Bridge to enter City University of Hong Kong on our first school day, neither of us in our wildest dreams could have imagined that someday later we would be treading on one of the busy streets in New York. Nor had we ever dreamed that the final two years of our undergraduate studies would be spent at Columbia University in New York City under the Joint Bachelor's Degree Program between City University of Hong Kong and Columbia University* (the Joint Degree Program).

CityU and Columbia University partnered a couple of years ago to launch the Joint Degree Program for undergraduate students. The Joint Degree Program began to admit students from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences in 2015. The procedure included a preliminary interview, an English writing test, and a final interview with Mr. Curtis Rodgers, Vice Dean of the School of General Studies at Columbia University.

When we learned that both of us were admitted to the Joint Degree Program, we ran out of words for joy and excitement. We were anxious, however, about the uncertainty that we would have to face in the following two years. Another concern was the financial burden and the living expenses in New York.

What relieved our anxiety was the scholarship made possible by a donation from Chow Sang Sang Holdings International Ltd. It covers half of the required fees for two years. The scholarship helped us stay focused on our studies without worrying too much about financial matters. Before our departure, we met with our fellow students in CityU who were going to Columbia with us this year, and after arriving at Columbia we met with our seniors in the Joint Degree Program in an orientation organised by the University. The first ever CityU Alumni Dinner in New York was recently held, in which we met some CityU alumni either working or continuing their education in New York.

The learning environment of Columbia University is quite different from that of CityU. We now have two class sessions for each course every week, each lasts around 65 minutes. Students here are a lot more eager to ask questions in class and share their opinions on topics that are being taught. Extra help is available, such as the walk-in office hours given by the professors, the teaching assistants whom we can go and talk to, and the tutoring sessions for various subjects. All we need to do is go find them and get help. The pre-class preparations and afterclass revisions take us a lot more effort and time than at CityU, but the results are definitely fruitful. The Department of Psychology here has over 20 labs for various fields of psychology studies, and the faculty includes world-renowned professors such as Dr Walter Mischel and Dr E. Tory Higgins.

The Joint Degree Program offers us an international educational experience and expands our global vision. The anxiety we had earlier has now given way to curiosity about everything new that happens around us. We truly encourage our fellow students at CityU to join this Joint Degree Program in the coming year. Don't miss the chance to get on your path to the world of success!

* Formal name of the programme