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Study Abroad - Emily Hitchen

Name: Emily Hitchen

Course: Finance and Investment Management

Study Abroad Location: One semester at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Why did you decide to do study abroad?

I decided to study abroad for many reasons. Firstly, to experience a brand-new culture and be able to travel whilst at university and to make more friends worldwide. Secondly, because to go and study abroad entails no extra costs, meaning your tuition fees stay the same (if you go as part of a taught year) and the host university do not require any more money. Another reason, because it looks amazing on your CV to have gone abroad and studied in a new place whether it be for a semester or a year. And finally, to take every opportunity given to me. 

Why did you decide to go to the university you went to?

I selected the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) as my first choice not only because Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading finance centres, but also because I have always wanted to visit Hong Kong. I felt like this was the best opportunity to fully experience the Chinese Culture. I believe the HKUST offered an amazing finance course and it was well suited for the career path I am waiting to follow. In addition to this, HKUST is renowned across the globe for being one of the best universities worldwide, so to be give the opportunity to attend there was incredible and I had to apply. 

What was your stand out moment during study abroad?

I have many stand out moments of studying abroad, for example, for the six months I was there I travelled 11 different countries throughout Asia. But my main stand out moment was when me and all the friends I met there went on a hike to an infinity pool in Hong Kong three days before the exchange ended. We hiked for two hours and once we got there, we swam and watched the sunset. I remember thinking how lucky I was to have experienced what I was experiencing. 

Was it expensive to study abroad?

No its not expensive to study abroad. You get your student finance just like you would here in the UK. You don’t pay any tuition fees to the host university, and you can also claim for travel grants from student finance, making it actually an easy way to go abroad. Yes things vary in prices, but I did not find myself out of pocket or struggling any more living in Hong Kong compared to Newcastle. 

Why do you think this will help you in your future studies at Northumbria and future career?

Anyone who studies abroad always say it changes you. Whether that’s the way you study or even your confidence. I now study completely differently and its actually made me have so much more confidence. It also is a major thing for your CV. It landed me my graduate job in Dubai having studied abroad, showing I am more than capable to go work in a completely new place.

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of going on study abroad what would you say?

I would say ‘DO IT DO IT DO IT’. I do not have one single regret from studying abroad, I have made friends for life and everyday find myself thinking about it. Its’ such an amazing opportunity that you should take! It’s the most amazing time of your life and changes your life. Go explore new places, go study in a new country and most importantly go have fun. Take every chance thrown at you at university whilst you have the opportunity. 

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