Scholarship for Excellence Recipients

Every year the British Council gives around 10 students studying in England a scholarship worth up to GBP4,000 to study in Hong Kong. The scholarship is the product of agreements by both the British government and Hong Kong government to promote mutual education opportunities. By offering scholarships the governments hope people from both Hong Kong and England can learn more about each other’s culture and enhance student’s educational experience.

This year CityU is lucky to host two of the recipients of this award, Katharine Horgan and Luke Douglas. Katharine is studying sociology at the University of Sheffield and Luke is studying politics at Lancaster University. Both Luke and Katharine said a key reason for choosing Hong Kong as their study abroad location is that they wanted something completely different from home, a challenge. This is as opposed to many of their classmates at their home universities, who primarily chose to study in other Western countries. Their adventurous spirit has certainly paid off as both students expressed how fun and interesting their experience in Asia has been thus far. CityU specifically proved to be a good match, as the university offers a variety of courses related to their majors. Academically they believe the workload can be quite a lot at times but did not present too big of a problem for them.

Outside of classes Katharine and Luke had a variety of unique experiences based on the activities they joined and where they live. Luke was able to join the fencing club in CityU and said his teammates are very skilled. Although the training is mostly in Cantonese he has been able to get by, which is a testament to the power of non-verbal communication. Katharine on the other hand joined a running club off-campus called Hash House Harriers (H3). A colleague of her father introduced her to this club and she originally joined because she arrived to Hong Kong earlier than most other students and H3 provided her a chance to meet new people and see different parts of Hong Kong.

Regarding housing, Luke stays off-campus around Tai Kok Tsui of Kowloon in a building that gives CityU students a discount and as a result many other CityU students live in the same building. Luke said aside from the cost, he really enjoys living off-campus because it gives him a different perspective of Hong Kong. He enhanced his social network by not only getting to know his roommates but many of the other CityU students living off-campus. Next semester he is hoping to live on-campus so that he can experience both settings while in Hong Kong.

Katharine chose to live on campus for both semesters and had many good things to report on. She said the convenience of the student residence makes studying and meeting up with other students very easy. A unique aspect of her hall life is that she lives in one of the few triple rooms in Hall 7, which gives her the opportunity to get to know two roommates. With one roommate from Taiwan and the other from Hong Kong, Katharine was able to both enhance her local knowledge and expand her insight of Taiwan.

Meeting Katharine and Luke it is easy to see why the British Council choose these positive, hard working students for the scholarship for excellence.