Hong Kong: Colonizations

Photo of Spring 2015 group at the Center in Hong Kong
Final App Deadline: 
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Language Requirement: 
Lauren Schneider

The College’s Spring Colonizations in Hong Kong program meets the general education requirement in civilization studies by providing credit for a full three-course sequence (Colonizations I, II, III), taught in English. This program approaches the concept of “civilization” from an emphasis on cross-cultural/societal connection and exchange. Participants explore the dynamics of conquest, slavery, colonialism, and their reciprocal relationships with concepts such as resistance, freedom, and independence, with an eye toward understanding their interlocking role in the making of the modern world. Participants will also take a language course, which runs at a normal pace throughout the quarter and is designed to help students connect with Chinese culture.

In addition to classroom instruction, the program features a number of excursions to sites of historic and cultural interest both within and in the vicinity of Hong Kong. Long considered one of the most important crossroads of the Asia Pacific region, this modern mega-metropolis is a flourishing cultural, economic, and geopolitical nexus for people and populations from across the world. As a city known for its “East meets West” cosmopolitanism, Hong Kong offers numerous opportunities to engage with otherwise abstract ideas about colonialism and its effects, making them alive in the present. It is assumed that students will use their free time to explore this diverse city apart from program-organized outings.

Center in Hong Kong

The College’s study abroad program in Hong Kong will eventually be housed at the University of Chicago Center in Hong Kong, located on Mount Davis. While the permanent Center is under construction, University of Chicago programming will be based at the Cyberport facility, located on the southwestern side of Hong Kong Island in the Pok Fu Lam area near Telegraph Bay. The Cyberport facility features classrooms, offices for faculty and graduate students, study spaces, a copier and printer, and a small library. For participants in Chicago’s programs, the provisional Center in Hong Kong at the Cyberport facility will provide a focus for academic activities and a central meeting place, while the permanent Center, once constructed, will serve as a continuing Chicago “presence” within one of the most dynamic cities in Asia and the world.


Students in the Hong Kong: Colonizations program will be housed in the Caritas Oswald Cheung International House, a guesthouse/hostel located in the Aberdeen area on the southern side of Hong Kong Island. The location is convenient to downtown and historic Aberdeen and the Cyberport facility. Students will be housed in double rooms with a bathroom, and they will also have access to the Caritas “tuck shop” cafeteria, laundry, and other on-site facilities. Breakfast is provided daily.

Credits and Registration

Participants in the Hong Kong: Colonizations program remain registered as full-time students in the College. They take and receive credit for four courses: the three courses in the Colonizations sequence and the language class. The Colonizations sequence meets the College’s general education civilization requirement. If a student has already met this requirement, he or she may use these courses as electives. Their use, partial or total, in a program of study (major) must be approved by the undergraduate chair of the respective department. The language course will normally count as an elective. Course titles, units of credit and grades are placed on the College transcript.


Study abroad students pay regular College tuition, a program fee and a non-refundable study abroad administrative fee. The tuition and program fee are paid in conformity with the home campus payment schedule, and the non-refundable study abroad administrative fee is submitted when accepting a place in a program. Precise figures for the Hong Kong: Colonizations program during the 2018-19 year are listed below:

Spring tuition: as set by the Bursar’s Office

Study abroad administrative fee: $675

Hong Kong program fee: $4,800


Program fee includes: Out-of-pocket expenses include:
Accommodation (including breakfast) Round-trip airfare to and from the program site
Instruction Transportation on site
Student support Meals
Program excursions Course materials
Cell phone (device only) Personal entertainment and travel
  Communications (including cell phone usage)
emergency travel insurance (ISOS) Health insurance and upfront payments for care
  Other miscellaneous expenses

We estimate that program participants can spend in the range of $200 to $250 per week on meals and incidentals while on the program, though frugal students may spend less, and others could spend much more. Bear in mind that cost of living in Hong Kong can be relatively high and is substantially higher than the cost of living in Mainland China. While it is possible to live frugally, it is also possible to run short of money if you are unwary. It is therefore essential that you budget your funds prudently, apportioning your resources so that they may last for the duration of the program. If you are planning to travel before or after the program or on weekends, you should budget accordingly.

Study abroad students retain their financial aid eligibility. For more information about financial aid resources, please see our Tuition, Fees, and Funding section.

Eligibility and Application

The Hong Kong: Colonizations program is open to University of Chicago undergraduate students only. Applications from outside the University are not accepted.

The program is designed for undergraduates in good standing who are beyond their first year in the College. While the program stipulates no minimum grade-point average, an applicant’s transcript should demonstrate that they are a serious student who will make the most of this opportunity. Because the civilization sequence is taught in English, there is no language prerequisite.

Because of the considerable demand for the Chicago civilization programs abroad, no student may participate in more than one of these programs. Each application is examined on the basis of the student’s scholastic record, personal statement and academic recommendation. If you are interested in applying for this program please fill out the online application.

Further Information

Students who are accepted into the Hong Kong: Colonizations program will apply in advance for a student visa in order to legally enter Hong Kong for the purpose of study. The Hong Kong Immigration Department retains sole control of the visa application process, and according to its guidelines for entry under the student visa scheme, “This entry arrangement does not apply to: […] nationals of Afghanistan, Cambodia, Cuba, Laos, Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of), Nepal and Vietnam.”

Students who are citizens of these countries and interested in studying in Hong Kong should contact the Program Coordinator prior to application.

To discuss the Hong Kong: Colonizations program and the possibility of participating in it, please contact Lauren Schneider.

Learn more about the
Center in Hong Kong.

What you’ll see: 

Photo of Hong Kong at daybreakPhoto of Spring 2015 group at the Center in Hong Kong