Hong Kong: Human Rights in Asia (September Course)

Group photo from the final day of our September program in Hong Kong
Final App Deadline: 
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Language Requirement: 
Lauren Schneider

The Francis and Rose Yuen Hong Kong: Human Rights in Asia Program

The College’s new September course in Hong Kong provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to earn a History course credit in an intensive, three-week course (also cross-listed with EALC and Human Rights). In September 2019, “HIST 24311/EALC 24311/HMRT 25203 Hong Kong and Human Rights in Asia” will be led by Johanna Ransmeier, Associate Professor of History and the College, and Mark Bradley, Bernadotte E. Schmitt Distinguished Service Professor of International History and the College.

The dynamic city of Hong Kong, a multicultural special economic zone and contested democracy with a vibrant popular press and a long history of support for regional grassroots politics, provides the setting for three weeks of investigation of human rights locally and across Asia. Students will become familiar with the human rights challenges facing Hong Kong and the region today. Topics as diverse as labor rights, gender and sexuality, democracy, access to healthcare and education, and freedom of expression will command our attention. We will also explore the relationship between art, exhibition practices, the media, and human rights. The University’s new Hong Kong campus will service as the home base for the course, but much of our time will be spent undertaking short field excursions to dialogue with human rights actors, journalists, curators and artists in Hong Kong along with a tentative short trip to southern China. As the capstone of this intensive course, students will create digital multimedia documentary projects to showcase their engagement with a particular regional or local human rights problem. These projects may combine gathering interviews, taking photographs and videos, and producing original text or even artwork.

The September 2019 program dates will be: August 30 – September 21, 2019

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 History course (100 units), which is also cross-listed in EALC and Human Rights. This course is considered part of students’ Autumn Quarter course load and is recorded as a course enrollment on their Autumn Quarter registration. For History majors or minors, this course will count as an upper level elective. The use of the course credit in a program of study (major or minor) other than History 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 four (4) 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 then also 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 2019-20 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. Need-based scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 may be available to assist with the program fee. In order to determine your eligibility for a need-based grant, students should complete their regular university Financial Aid application (through the office of Financial Aid) with all supporting documentation by April 15th.

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 and Human Rights in Asia program and the possibility of participating, please contact Lauren Schneider.

Learn more about the
Campus in Hong Kong.

What you’ll see: 

Domestic workers cooking on their day offDomestic workers cooking on their day offGroup photo from the final day of our September program in Hong Kong