With roots tracing back to 1937, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is a veteran in education, which is backed by a long-established research culture supporting each of its programmes. PolyU’s aim is to develop graduates who can think critically, communicate effectively, and lead ethically to effect positive change in the future.
To achieve this, the university prides itself in being closely connected to businesses and industries, both locally and globally. This network helps to enhance its academic and cultural exchange so that it may provide the fullest experience for each student who walks through its campus.
We speak to third year undergraduates, design student Salla Aaltonen, and hotel management student, Pavithra Senevirathne, to learn more about their experiences studying in this prestigious university. They share about life in Hong Kong and how their perspectives have grown - not just academically, but also culturally in their time overseas.
What motivated you to partner with PolyU for your academic and professional future?
Salla: I first became interested in Hong Kong when a studentexchange company gave a talk at my high school. Having visited Hong Kong before, I liked the country a lot, and began to consider going there for my tertiary education. However, it was only when I learned about the School of Design at PolyU that I made up my mind. As the School of Design is highly ranked and one of the top design schools in the world, I bought my flight ticket immediately and the rest was history.
Pavithra: I grew up in Sri Lanka, where my parents own a hotel business. This influenced me to want to pursue an education in hospitality in order to help my family. My brother studies in Hong Kong and told me about PolyU. I was so impressed that the school owns and runs a hotel so that it can better educate its hotel and tourism management students! As an aspiring hotel management student, I knew this was the perfect and ideal place to fulfil my aspirations.
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Environment and Interior Design
PolyU Entry Scholarship
You have been at PolyU for three years now. Share with us the culture at the university.
Salla: I love being an international student here! As there are many other international students, everyone I meet imparts a fresh perspective on different cultures and lifestyles to me. Each interaction I have is a chance for me to not only make friends, but also to learn something and develop new and inspiring mentalities.
Pavithra: The culture at PolyU has a great mix of academic work and extra-curricular activities. This well-rounded and holistic education system has helped bring out the best in me. The school also has great facilities and the student halls are safe and convenient. It is a place that I have gladly made my second home.
How has it been living and studying in Hong Kong?
Salla: There are so many good words to describe Hong Kong. If I were to go with one, I will choose “layered”. The city is an exciting one and there is always something happening: places to go to, and people to meet. In addition, because there are people from all over the world, you can also find international food, fashion and music!
Pavithra: Living and studying in Hong Kong has helped me grow as an individual and develop my sense of independence. I also love that Hong Kong is incredibly safe, and that there is a wide variety of restaurants that are open round the clock.
Bachelor of Science in Hotel Management
What would you say to others who are considering enrolling into PolyU?
Salla: I advise everyone to take part in a student-exchange programme or study abroad at least once in your lifetime. No one I have come across has regretted such a decision.
Pavithra: I secured an 11-month internship as an Elite Management Trainee at Hotel ICON. It is the greatest achievement in my life so far, and I am excited to take the lessons I have learned back home to help develop my parents’ business. It is only because of PolyU that I have been afforded this opportunity. Therefore, I would recommend PolyU to anyone who is interested in studying overseas and attaining a world-class education. It is without a doubt the best decision I have made in my life.