Stanford plans new Hong Kong overseas studies program

Hong Kong
Stanford will open a new overseas studies program in Hong Kong for the 2019-20 academic year. (Getty Images)

Stanford will begin offering a new overseas study experience in Hong Kong beginning in autumn quarter 2019-20.

“Given Hong Kong’s engaging political and cultural environment and its reputation as a dynamic center of global enterprise, we are thrilled to extend yet another enriching overseas option for Stanford students,” said Shawna Knauff, executive director of the Bing Overseas Studies Program (BOSP).

Hong Kong was selected as the next BOSP site after substantial research, according to Knauff. Hong Kong offers distinctive academic offerings, a highly engaged Stanford alumni community, diverse internships opportunities and the advantage of broad student appeal.

BOSP had committed to finding a new overseas opportunity for students in China after suspending its Beijing program in 2016 due to decreasing student interest. While the new program will take place in Hong Kong, Stanford students may also get the opportunity to pursue other academic and cultural offerings, including internships in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

BOSP is in negotiations – and anticipates establishing a formal partnership – with the residential Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). BOSP conducted two in-depth site visits to explore CUHK’s academic coursework offerings, residential education, extracurricular activities and support for students, including opportunities for service and civic engagement.

CUHK is known for its roots in Chinese culture, bilingualism, multiculturalism, contemporary China studies and its unique college system. There are nine distinctive colleges in the CUHK system. Like CUHK students, Stanford students will have the opportunity to affiliate with one of the colleges.

Classes are taught in English, but Mandarin language classes are also offered. The Hong Kong program will not have a foreign language prerequisite.

“Hong Kong is an ideal site for the next Stanford program in Asia and will offer Stanford students a vibrant learning experience,” said Ramón Saldívar, BOSP faculty director.

“With its compelling history in the postwar and postcolonial era, Hong Kong is a unique site for studying international finance and the emergence of global cities, investigating the development of regional economics, exploring the depth and breadth of Sinophone culture and history, literature and the arts, and analyzing the ongoing challenges to creating a new political system alongside that of the People’s Republic of China.”

The Stanford Program in Hong Kong, which is anticipated to accommodate 25 students, will complement and collaborate with the Stanford Center at Peking University (SCPKU). SCPKU, run by Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, is the headquarters for faculty and students engaged in research, teaching, training and outreach activities in China.

Students interested in the Stanford Program in Hong Kong may begin applying for the first Hong Kong offering in autumn 2019-20 as early as December 2018.

Meanwhile, Saldívar has formed a faculty advisory committee for the program to guide curricular choices at CUHK. BOSP also is conducting focus groups with students to further understand their preferences for the academic and operations aspects of the program.

With the addition of the Stanford Program in Hong Kong, BOSP will offer 12 overseas quarter-length programs. In addition, BOSP offers short-term Overseas Seminars and Faculty-Initiated Programs in various locations during summer quarter.