Hong Kong for post-graduate degree

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First of all, I'd like to thank Mr B and Mr T for the excellent resources they've provided here, both the boards and the main site.

I am about to finish my bachelor's degree at a state university in Florida, USA, and I'm very interested in going to HKU to get my post-grad degree. I've wanted to go to HK for a very long time and I figure that continuing my education there might be a wise avenue to pursue.

Could anybody provide some hints as to how hard it would be for an international student to be accepted into a university in HK, and possible challenges an international student might face (visas, housing, classes, etc.)? If it helps, I'm interested in pursuing HKU's Master of Arts in Literary and Cultural Studies, and I'll be graduating from here with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Film.

Thanks!

-Matt

Re:Hong Kong for post-graduate degree

I haven't met anyone that's done that, so I can't be a whole lot of help. Maybe try asking HKU to put you in touch with current or recent international students of their masters courses, so you could hear their experiences firsthand? eg http://www.hku.hk/daao/ab.htm

Good luck,

MrB

Re:Hong Kong for post-graduate degree

This should not be too difficult.

HKU has a number of postgraduate students from overseas.

Money

In fact, getting into a postgrad program in HK shouldn't be too difficult if you come with a decent first degree in hand -- oh, and if you're willing to pay for it yourself. HK undergrads are heavily subsidized by the government, but this drops off, understandably, for postgrad students. Also, coming from overseas, you'd likely receive no funding at all, unless you could get a scholarship. Teaching assistantships exist, but are much less common than in the USA, and would likely not be available for MA students, although of course it never hurts to ask.

I think getting a visa would also be not too hard, but it's likely you'd get a student visa and be prohibited from working.

Housing -- I don't know. Most graduate-level students in HK don't get on-campus housing; many undergrads don't, either. But you might get somewhat different treatment coming from overseas. Again, you'd have to enquire carefully with the department you'd be applying to.

Good luck!

Re:Hong Kong for post-graduate degree

Matt, i am thinking about doing the same too, but i think i am at least a few years behind you so could you let me know how things turn out for you? thankasssssss!! my email addy is muhgel@hotmail.com best of luck to you ;)

Re:Hong Kong for post-graduate degree

Thanks to everyone who replied.

Muhgel, it'll be a long time for me too - I won't graduate until the end of next year - but I want to get an early start on things. I'll let you know how it turns out though.

The biggest concerns are obviously getting accepted and then paying for it since I can't work. I suppose I'll just rack up even more student loans. I believe HKU is a university that will accept American Stafford Loans. If anybody knows any more about this, let me know.

Also, what are everyone's thoughts on Discovery Bay? How long to get to HKU from there? Is is stupid for a group of students to live there?

Again, many thanks!

-Matt

Re:Hong Kong for post-graduate degree

Hmmmm. I don't usually come right out and agree with someone who's characterizing one of his own ideas as 'stupid', but this time I just might.

Discovery Bay has its advantages, but it is really not a grad student kind of place, unless you're looking to have a very quiet experience here. I think the areas right around HKU itself (i.e. the western part of HK Island) would be a much better choice for student accommodations. You're close to the University, to downtown areas for entertainment, etc, and it's just much more 'into' life in Hong Kong than Discovery Bay would be.

Oh, and housing in Discovery Bay isn't cheap, and you'd be paying for the ferry back and forth every day, which really adds up. If you're taking out loans to study here, I'd suggest finding somewhere cheap in Western district and trying to minimize incidental expenses such as travel/transport. It really adds up over the long run!

Re:Hong Kong for post-graduate degree

hey matt, i've contacted a prof of my intended program and he said as far as enrollment goes they have a limited space for graduate students but i guess that is also because there are only three professors in my program of studies (nutritional sciences) so i guess it really varies from programs to programs. What I'll advice you is to directly contact the professor of your interest and ask him to break it down for you.

matt, have u decided which uni are you interested in??

anyways, best of luck!!

Re:Hong Kong for post-graduate degree

Great advice, Mr. Tall. The thought of a quiet place to return to each evening after a busy day in the hustle and bustle of HK Island does honestly does sound appealing though. Perhaps contrary to many college students, I don't really have an interest in the singles scene or nightlife.

BUT, the expenses and the distance from the university are definately major concerns. And you're right about the loans - I've already racked up plenty of them, and I really should spend as little money as possible on optionals.

Muhgel, I'm mostly interested in the MA in Literary and Cultural Studies. That program is only offered part time, though, and I've read conflicting things about if they'll give you a visa if you're only part time. HKU says:

"1 All non-local students are required to obtain a student visa to study in HKSAR.
2 The Hong Kong Immigration Department (HKID) normally only issues student visas to applicants enrolling in a FULL-TIME course in the University."

(http://www.hku.hk/osa/nonlocal_students/Visa%20procedure.pdf)

But HK Immigration Department says:

" In addition:

1. students other than from the Mainland may apply to take up part-time studies in locally accredited taught post-graduate programmes;"

(http://www.immd.gov.hk/ehtml/hkvisas_1.htm)

Any thoughts?

-Matt

Re:Hong Kong for post-graduate degree

Hi Matt,

maybe I can be of any help. I am a Postgraduate student from Germany currently conducting research at the CUHK.

One possibility to slip into a Postgrad programme is to start your Postgrad degree back at your home university and then try to get one of the exchange places. You could even apply for a scholarship in your home country.

As soon as you are here you can try to arrange it that you stay here for the rest of your Postgrad studies - basically I was offered this after only five weeks of work at the CUHK.

As a student at the CUHK you are not supposed to work, but you could still apply for a scholarship. Are you American? There are a lot of nice scholarships even for studying abroad.

Another possibility to finance yourself is to teach Chinese children English. A friend of mine does this and she is able to pay her rent on-campus with this money.

At the CUHK there are various Postgrad dorms, prices range between 2000 and 3000 HK$. I live in one of them myself and it is really ok. Not luxurious, but nice and tidy.

Being a student here is completely different from being a student back home, the whole system ist just...different. But as soon as you get accustomed to it, it is really, really great. So all the best for you and good luck.