Hong Kong: The Global Urban (September Course)

Final App Deadline: 
Monday, March 15, 2021
Language Requirement: 
Lauren Schneider

The Francis and Rose Yuen Hong Kong: Global Urban September Program

The College’s September 2020 program in Hong Kong provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to earn a Global Studies course credit in an intensive, three-week course. In September 2020, “The Global Urban” will be led by Marco Garrido, Assistant Professor of Sociology.

This course was conceived with the aim of “globalizing” urban scholarship. To this end, we will highlight different urban trajectories and forms and different ways of being urban around the world. We will focus on urban experiences in the Global South and in Southeast Asia particularly. We will spend the first week of the course discussing how and why Southern cities are different. We will talk about their explosive growth in the twentieth century, the precarious nature of urban employment, informal settlement as a major urban form, the housing divide as a social structure distinct to such cities, class formation, economic and spatial restructuring under neoliberalism, and the nature of urban citizenship. We will spend the second week examining two very different cases: Manila and Phnom Penh. In the third week, we will focus exclusively on Hong Kong, and students will be tasked with conducting their own urban fieldwork.

The September 2020 program dates will be: August 28 – September 19, 2020

Campus in Hong Kong

The College’s study abroad programs in Hong Kong are based at The Hong Kong Jockey Club University of Chicago Academic Complex | The University of Chicago Francis and Rose Yuen Campus in Hong Kong. Located on Mount Davis, the campus in Hong Kong features classrooms, offices for faculty, student gathering spaces, computer facilities, and conference areas. For participants in Chicago’s programs, the campus in Hong Kong provides a focus for academic activities, a central meeting place, and a continuing Chicago “presence” within one of the most dynamic cities in Asia and the world.


Students in the course will be housed in the Robert Black College guest house on the campus of the University of Hong Kong. Living on the campus of the University of Hong Kong enables students to take advantage of the campus’s resources and live alongside local students and faculty. The location is convenient to Hong Kong’s Central District, and students will be proximate to the HKU MTR station and other public transportation options. Students will normally be housed in double rooms with a bathroom, and they will also have access to the Robert Black College lounge, library, and other on-site facilities. Breakfast is provided daily in the Robert Black College dining room.

Credits and Registration

Participants in the Hong Kong program will take and receive credit for one Global Studies course (100 units). This course is considered part of students’ Autumn Quarter course load and is recorded as a course enrollment on their Autumn Quarter registration. The use of the course credit in a program of study (major or minor) other than Global Studies must be approved by the undergraduate chair of the student’s respective department. The course title, unit of credit, and grade is placed on the College transcript.


Provided students enroll in no more than three (3) additional 100-unit courses in the Autumn Quarter after the Hong Kong program, the tuition cost of the Hong Kong course will be part of students’ regular College tuition for the quarter. Students participating in an Autumn Study Abroad program following the Hong Kong September course will be permitted to use the Hong Kong course as a fifth course with no tuition surcharge.

In addition to Autumn tuition, students pay a Hong Kong program fee and a nonrefundable study abroad administrative fee. The tuition and Hong Kong program fee are paid via myUChicago in conformity with the home campus payment schedule, and the nonrefundable study abroad administrative fee is submitted when accepting a place in the program. Precise figures for the 2020-21 academic year are listed below:

Autumn tuition: as set by the Bursar’s Office

Study abroad administrative fee: $675

Hong Kong program fee: $3,500

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
Emergency travel insurance (ISOS) Personal entertainment and travel
  Communications (including cell phone usage)
  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.

Since participants remain fully registered in the College, they retain financial aid eligibility for Autumn Quarter tuition while participating in this course.

Eligibility and Application

The Hong Kong 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 course is taught in English, there is no language prerequisite.

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

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

Learn more about the
Campus in Hong Kong.

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