While applying for universities in my home country of Serbia, I never imagined that I would study in Hong Kong. However, when the opportunity presented itself, I knew it was meant to be. Living in Hong Kong for almost 4 years now, I have experienced this place from many different angles. The most interesting thing about Hong Kong is its unique heritage and rich history and culture. As a former British colony, you can still see a lot of influence from British culture, merged and blended with Asian culture which creates a truly unique heritage.

Apart from this, what I love about Hong Kong the most is the diversity, both in landscape and people. Hong Kong is often called “Concrete Jungle” for a reason. It has the most skyscrapers in the world, but that is not the whole story. This city has lots of beautiful nature, hikes, and beaches where you can escape the fast-paced city and decompress from your study. My favorite place to visit would be Lamma Island, a small island located a half hour ferry ride from Central. Here you can hit the beach, do some light hiking or even ride bicycles along the shore.

Not only are the landscapes diverse but the people also. Hong Kong is truly a multinational city with people from all over the world. Here you will have a chance to explore many different cultures and talk to people from all over the globe.

I chose City University of Hong Kong because of the culture and vision of this institution. Climbing up the world's university rankings, and constantly striving for excellence seemed like a great next step for me. After four years of studying Computer Science, I can say it was challenging and interesting but most importantly rewarding. I am really grateful to be able to study at CityU.

The most interesting thing I have done as a CityU student was being a part of the City University Volleyball team in my first year. That year we finished second in the University competition, just shy of the gold medal. This experience was great, unfortunately COVID-19 limited us playing volleyball for two seasons and we didn't have a chance to secure gold. Hopefully this year we can win it all and bring glory to our university.


Place of origin: Serbia
Programme: BSc Computer Science

Meet City University of Hong Kong’s second year Computer Science student Sergen Gönenç, originally from Turkey and co-founder of the start-up OLLA.

An outstanding high school student in Turkey, Sergen exceled in both his academic and personal achievements. He joined CityU in 2020 as an international full-time student on a merit-based entrance scholarship.

Before joining CityU, Sergen developed a deep passion for tech-development and entrepreneurship. He developed his first start-up project in Turkey by creating a map mobile application and his app was eventually made available to the public through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Sergen and a few of his fellow international students in CityU recently decided to turn their passion into reality through a new CityU initiative called HK Tech 300, which is an innovation and entrepreneurship programme for aspiring entrepreneurs among CityU students, alumni, and research staff. The programme aims to create 300 start-ups in three years, providing educational and growth opportunities for CityU students, and translating CityU research results and intellectual properties into practical applications. After a few rounds of screening and selection, Sergen and his teammates’ project, named OLLA, has been officially greenlit for development and is backed by the HK Tech 300 programme with a seed fund of HKD $100,000.

OLLA is a web and mobile responsive application that aims to promote fitness and wellbeing by gamifying a user’s dietary process, and rewarding them for maintaining healthy dietary habits. It also allows users to compete and interact with one another and provide commentary on current diet choices and sports routines.

Forming OLLA has, nonetheless, not been an easy task due the circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Until very recently, the members of the team had not met one another in person since most of them studied remotely in their home countries. To ensure balance between teammates’ studies, personal time and development of OLLA, they have effectively divided their workload among themselves. They have also recruited a number volunteers to assist who are equally passionate about their ideas.

Sergen is greatly appreciative of the support and opportunities offered by the HK Tech 300 programme. He was surprised and delighted to realize that CityU, in addition to offering a quality international education, also has a strong focus on student entrepreneurship empowerment. Looking to the future, Sergen eagerly awaits the start of his Computer Science year-long internship placement and he believes that it will be a challenging yet exciting experience to balance his time between work and OLLA.

Sergen Gönenç

Place of origin: Turkey
Programme: BSc Computer Science

When deciding upon a university, a destination in Asia was my priority. Hong Kong stood out among other Asian cities due to its unique combination of being a modern advanced city surrounded by breath-taking nature that still retained an essence of the past through its ancient temples. For me, “hustle” is the best word to describe Hong Kong because of all the energy in this city. Life here is fast and ever-changing; this type of lifestyle has challenged and equipped me to develop skills of multifunctionality, determination, and persistence, which would require much more time and effort to acquire back in my home country, Kyrgyzstan.

City University of Hong Kong was my first choice because of its high worldwide rankings and, specifically, its distinction in the Biomedical Engineering field. Such a high collection of standards has met all of my expectations. The Biomedical Engineering programme provides excellent practice and lab work in many areas and well-equipped facilities. Throughout the COVID-19 period, the Biomedical Engineering Department has been really supportive and flexible by providing different kinds of arrangements in support of the students.

One of the best things about life in CityU is developing international friendships. You can meet the most creative and smart people from all kinds of areas and nationalities here. I now have international friends from India, Korea, South Africa, Germany, and many other places. With fun events and activities organised by the Global Engagement Office and the Student Residence, such as kayaking, hiking, and cultural event nights, everyone gets to know each other and our individual cultures really well, exchange ideas, and create long-lasting bonds. City University of Hong Kong is one of the best choices I have ever made and I am extremely excited for more amazing moments here!


Place of origin: Kyrgyzstan
Programme: BEng Biomedical Engineering

Choosing CityU and Hong Kong was one of the major decisions that I made in my life and I don’t regret making this decision. During my time here, I have become more independent, brave, and confident in making decisions and trying out new things. I have made friends from many different countries, tried different types of cuisine from different cultures, learned how to cook, and had many memorable experiences.

I still remember the first day when my parents left me at the student residence and returned to Malaysia, I felt so sad and insecure that I thought I wouldn’t be able to walk down this path on my own. However, here I am already in my third year! The precious friends that I made in CityU have been the biggest motivation for me on this path. The thing I like most about Hong Kong is that there are many types of delicious food and cuisine here. Malaysian food, Chinese food, Japanese cuisine, Korean cuisine, the list goes on. Any dish that you would like to try, you can find in Hong Kong! I like getting together with my friends to try new dishes, especially in times that are stressful.

One of the most memorable times in Hong Kong is the time my friends and I went to Hong Kong Disneyland. It was a lot of fun to hear Mickey, Minnie, and all the Disney characters speaking in Cantonese. The scene there was very pretty, which makes it a great photo-taking spot if you like to take pictures! A small tip from me would be to go there closer to winter times weather and temperature will be more comfortable than summer. However, the weather did not affect our happy mood when we visited.

In CityU, you can feel that there are many opportunities available to you! As a Business Economics student in the College of Business there are always different recruitment emails sent to your mailbox every day, and different business competitions for you to participate in. People in CityU always look to the future with dreams of success, which gives you the motivation to keep on going and not fall behind.

CityU and Hong Kong as a whole, has enriched my experience and made me grow to become a better person. Coming here is a decision that I am glad that I’ve made.

Wong Ying Jie

Place of origin: Malaysia
Programme: BBA Business Economics

From a small Russian city Blagoveshchensk, which borders China in the north, Arina Dovzhenko has chosen to study at CityU through the information she found on Google – her goal was to identify an Asian university that offers an English education in Creative Media, and CityU appeared to have the perfect package. When asked whether she made the right choice, she exclaimed, “I love everything about Hong Kong – the food, the city itself, the people, the multicultural environment, and the museums!”

Arina’s biggest passion is video editing, and she runs her IG account sharing her daily life in Hong Kong with her friends and family back in Russia. She is amazed by CityU’s international and renowned faculty members, and is looking for an internship this coming summer in Hong Kong. She is also considering going on student exchange to Japan with financial aid provided by the University next year, as Japan is famous for its animation productions.

Because of CityU’s international environment, Arina has befriended not just local students, but also many other international students. “Hong Kong is where east meets west. I don’t need to learn Chinese at all.” She furthered explained, “I have crossed the Chinese border many times and been to Shanghai, but Hong Kong is definitely more diverse. English is widely used here.”

When it comes to advice for prospective students, Arina recommends students join as many student activities as possible, so that they can make more friends. They should also apply to CityU early, so that they can arrive on the campus on time to join all the orientation activities. “The CityU application process was very straight forward for me. Prospective students should act quickly!” Arina concluded.

Arina Dovzhenko

Place of origin: Russia
Programme: BA Creative Media

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I decided to come to CityU all the way from New Delhi, India and it was a big change for me. The place, culture, people everything surprised me when I first landed in Hong Kong. Studying at CityU and living alone all by myself has given me a lot of self-confidence and made me very independent. Living in this megacity has been phenomenal as I have been able to network with people from all over the world which would have not happened if I were studying in India. Hong Kong has made me a very global citizen and I am proud that I chose to come to City University of Hong Kong.

Arnav Ghosh

Place of origin: India
Programme: BEng Mechatronic Engineering

One of the most beneficial things I have done at CityU is joining the English Debate Team. It has given me so many opportunities to meet fascinating people here at CityU, in other universities in Hong Kong and all around the world. Also, it has made a big impact on my public speaking skills and ability to use logic and reason. I was lucky enough to go to a debate tournament with our CityU team in Tokyo, which allowed me to see a new city and bond with my teammates. So my advice would be get involved on campus, there are so many great societies, clubs and teams!

When I first came to Hong Kong it was love at first sight. Everything about this bustling mega-city enticed me. I think it's one of the few places in the world where you have such a highly developed urban life and nature side-by-side. Within 30 minutes of Central there are so many islands, beaches and hiking trails it's hard to imagine the chaos of the city center is so nearby. It's this duality that brought me here and continues to amaze me.

Bryce Hartley

Place of origin: Laguna Beach, California USA
Programme: BA Linguistics and Language Technology with Korean minor

"CityU has offered a lot of opportunities for internships and participation in large-scale competitions, through which you may be able to meet with potential employers and future partners. I found these experiences helpful for my professional development."

"With all business attention moving from the West to the East, I can see very good job opportunities in Hong Kong. My plan is to become a public certified accountant in Hong Kong within a few years after graduation. Since the qualification is globally recognized, I could then consider pursuing my career in different parts of the world."

Ashtar Ali Bangash

Place of origin: Pakistan
Programme: BBA Accountancy

My first visit to Hong Kong left an impression, which during couple of years grew into some real feelings towards the city. The Ocean, landmark, people, food, beaches, mountains around, - everything is so different from the "world" I am from, and yet so exciting. Hong Kong provides its citizens with plenty of life-enjoyment opportunities; in the free of studies time I have learned how to Kite-surf and paraglide, and that would never be possible in the city where I am from. Hong Kong is an amazing place to start career and live a happy life for a young energetic and ambitious people.

Hong Kong provides students with a variety of different universities. However, my choice was City University of Hong Kong. I loved the concept of it from the first time I have visited the campus. The location of campus may explain a lot about this fast growing and innovation-oriented university. Located not far away from the city center it is also close to the nature. CityU is in the middle between the busy inspiring city landmark and calm and relaxing beauties of nature. In my opinion City University combines comfort and opportunities providing a learning hub and a home to people from all over the world.

Vladimir A. Baskov

Place of origin: Russia
Programme: BSS Asian and International Studies

"I think Hong Kong offers more opportunities for Indonesians than, say, Singapore or Australia, because those places are already packed with other Indonesians. I think we have a chance in Hong Kong for future career and personal growth."

"I like the Gateway Education very much as we get to take courses outside our major studies. I took a visual literacy class last semester and learned to appreciate different kinds of arts and media such as paintings, photography and movies. It's really fun and inspiring!"

Originally, I was hesitating whether or not to continue my study in Hong Kong due to communication and language barrier. However, choosing Hong Kong and City University had been proven to be the best decision of my life. The food, weather, environment and culture are great. I got to experience many new things and made new friends. Classes are very fun and interactive. The GE courses offered allow me to diversify my skill and learn subjects outside my major courses. Being in CityU is truly a life-changing experience!

Jessica Kurnia

Place of origin: Indonesia
Programme: BBA Accountancy

While international students increased year by year, there are lots of chances to meet people from everywhere in CityU. I am so pleased to get alone with classmates from other cultures. By doing projects and activities with different backgrounds of students, I am always inspired by the ideas that I have never thought of.

The crash of different mindsets and lifestyles pour new and surprising experiences to all students in CityU. For the time being, the best thing I get from CityU is probably the opportunity to exchange to Netherlands. It would be great to understand a brand new life that differs from my own country. In a word, you will never feel regret getting into CityU!

Chou Ying Chun, Ingrid

Place of origin: Taiwan
Programme: BBA Accountancy and Management Information Systems

During my time at CityU I had the opportunity of working with MEAO, SRO and College of Business through the OSS schemes, all of which gave me the experience needed to kick-start my career. My ventures with the International Student Society also built up my stress resistance, negotiation skills and multi-tasking abilities.

Working with and around all the cultural differences and stereotypes was definitely one of the challenging and memorable experiences in CityU. I walked away knowing more about myself and the kind of role I can play in Hong Kong. Plus, where else can you get a group of good friends all from different parts of the world.

Yu Cher Chan, Jack

Place of origin: Malaysia
Programme: BBA Marketing (Current Alumni)
Company: Financial Times (HK) Ltd