Category Archives: Admissions Tips

Preparing for Interviews

Very soon a lot of you will be called for interviews telephonic or physical (since the HKU admissions team has already left for India). I am sure everyone who has applied is excited about them but there are always some questions that keep one awake at night especially the night before one’s interview. To help you better prepare for your interview, here are some tips:

The interviews will be held in a format of group discussion. Six to eight students applying for the same faculty will be put into a group to discuss a wide array of topics. Usually, the questions will be non-technical so all you engineers, you can put your tables, calculators and geometry boxes to rest. The aim of the discussion is for the professors to understand your thinking process and how well you will fit in the HKU environment.

It is important how you present yourself; dressing well (and appropriately) will always set a good impression. However, wearing a nice suit and conducting inappropriately will not get you anywhere. As Indians, we have a habit of talking and not listening, it is important that you listen to ideas put forward by other peers and build on them and not only ramble on the entire time.

I had a telephonic interview when I applied to HKU, with hindsight, I feel like an idiot when I as all prepared with formula sheets, calculators, a paper and pencil hoping the professors would ask me mathematical questions. After a brief introduction and greetings, I was flabbergasted when the professors asked me what my hobbies are. It was really difficult to answer normal questions about my life when I was preparing myself for a purely technical interview. Therefore, my suggestion to everyone is to prepare for questions that are not solely related to what you are planning to study but also for general questions an uncle or aunt might ask you when you meet them after a long time.

I am sure everyone who has gotten so far is an interesting person, now it is time you show the interviewers that you are interesting enough to be in HKU. Good Luck and See you in HONG KONG U!

Exchange in Focus

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Recently my friend and colleague at the Film Society who wanted to go on exchange during his second year at HKU asked me when is the application period for the session 2015-16 and I had to tell him that unfortunately he missed the deadline for the application submission which was during last winter. Just a simple question like that made me reflect on my tryst with this process that is almost similar to choosing a University for your degree programme, the only differences that I observe is that here we plan either for one semester or an entire year and in order to guide and help you through the entire process you got a lot of mentors and staff at the OISE!

OISE= Look above!

OISE= Look above!

Since I just completed my first year at HKU and I intend to go on exchange during the second semester of my second year so at this point I can simply share with you how to prepare oneself for the long, stressful and anxiety-ridden period that await you once you plan to go on exchange. Of course the exchange experience will be enriching but it’s a fact in order to gain something priceless you must lose something precious and in my case precious refers to my well-being coz there is an aggravated risk when you choose a University, as your exchange spot, which is highly selective and in fact way beyond the scope of choices available to an average student (now I am being so modest! :P) and probably that’s the reason such questions, as the one mentioned in the beginning, are put out to me even when I have never been on exchange; anyway for an Indian studying at HKU is definitely an extended period of exchange! :P

Isn't that we all look at! Calculate!

Isn’t that we all look at! Calculate!

So first thing first, remember you need to take the effort to do the research about which University suits you best for your exchange before you set out your preferences and if your preferences run something like this- UC, Columbia, Toronto blah blah blah (well in fact that was my order of preferences! So silly!) then you need to understand that in this case CGPA matters a lot, a lot more that you could ever imagine and that’s why my precious wellbeing is on a downhill trail since my application got accepted because even if I try and plan a lot to spend all my waking hours studying and making notes in the library I am never able to do that, partly I think it’s because the air con inside the library is set at a very low threshold or I think the scenario inside the library, especially on the second and fourth floor, is itself so depressing that I lose interest in studies! Take home point is I am not a geek! :D

I love this book! So handy and so informative!

I love this book! So handy and so informative!

Once you glance through the Study Abroad guidebook, available at the Global Lounge (that’s where you can find the OISE staff as well!), you will be definitely spoilt for choice coz it seems HKU has networks virtually with all the countries in the world and on top of that most partner Universities are claimed to be best in their country so do make an informed choice while selecting the University. I don’t why I am repeating this point again and again, probably I doubt my own decision therefore do something unlike me and never follow such a bad example; just kidding la!

Besides doing an intense research on what courses does the University offer, make sure that the ones you plan to take at your exchange spot and the credits you get on completion are transferrable to your home university, although I am really skeptic about my situation but that’s a different story, coz at last credits are what matters the most for your degree requirement; you don’t want to lag behind, at least not me! So make sure with your Faculty that credits obtained on courses you take on exchange are transferrable and for all of it you need planning, in depth planning for a long timeframe! So it’s not as easy as you expect it to be but feasible if you are up for it!

In terms of accommodation and food or even places to visit during your exchange period, do a lot of research before embarking on the journey, that applies to me as well, I will do that during summer vacation! In fact preparing for exchange basically involves a hell lot of research and planning so be ready to at least spend an entire semester at HKU doing these kind of things along with your studies, if you are up for the challenge.east inflatables

I must say the application system is relatively simple, just be prepared to write essays on what makes you eligible to go on exchange or choose that particular University, why should they accept you for a semester of for an year and so on; basically you need to be good at writing personal statements. Besides that you are expected to prepare an in-depth schedule or plan of the courses that you wish to take while on exchange and find similar courses at HKU (describe what they share in common!) co this proposal is what will help you get your credits back to your home University and which I guess all of us will be able to do once we are done with all the research! That’s all for now!

Best of luck for all your future endeavors and have a really great summer!