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Fellowship IR, International Relations

The worth of a subject, among most of the people I know, is measured only in terms of its income-creating potential. My choice of History was met with incredulity, among family and friends who could see no way of capitalizing on knowledge of the past. Bright people are expected to study such subjects as business, medicine or the law; they are definitely not expected to study something as apparently useless as History. Consequently my choice was made only after much thought and some obstruction and so demonstrates, I believe, a genuine passion for History grounded in my identity as a young woman from Hong Kong, and also Chinese.

 My long term goal is to become involved in the administration of Hong Kong at a senior level; and perhaps teaching International Relations in major universities as a visiting lecturer. I am especially intrigued with reunification processes, particularly Chinese, and hope very much to have the honor of having Dr. XXXX as my academic advisor. One China has many challenges ahead and I wish to prepare myself academically at XXXX because I see it as the world’s premier institution for the study of international relations.

 My love of history fired a deep interest in politics and in international relations, especially China’s relationships with the rest of the world. Perhaps a Hong Kong Chinese is more attuned to the nuances of the behavior of the Chinese government than many of those who, whether they know it or not, will become more and more affected by its policies and attitudes in the future.  I also believe that Hong Kong’s people have a potentially vital role in helping the Chinese to understand other societies and vice versa, and in seeking roles that will benignly influence China’s stance in its external relations. I want to be involved in those processes. Seeking a deeper understanding of China ought to be a major occupation of any student of international relations. I would hope to be involved in research relating to contemporary Sino-US relations and the changing nature of the relationship and the implications to the direction of diplomatic policy.

 I am familiar with the work of Professor XXXX. I have read her books ‘Hong Kong’s Transitions 1842-1997’ and ‘Revision and Adaptation of Low-Profile Policy: Sino-US Relations Since 2010’. I hope that it might be possible for her to supervise my work as my research interests coincide with her area of expertise.

 I was educated in the medium of English throughout my academic career. I was a member of the Social Service Club organized by my secondary school; I participated in visiting the elderly and organizing activities for them.  I also served as Head Librarian at my secondary school. I led a team of librarians in restructuring the previous system to one which could be more easily used. I learned the basics of librarianship and this has been of great value in using libraries more profitably when researching the many primary and secondary sources required in my history studies.

 After entering university, I was invited to return to assist in the teaching of pupils at my old school. I helped Form 1 students with their homework and revision. I also helped in counseling students who had anxieties about personal or academic problems, the fact that I had so recently shared so many of the feelings expressed, made me more empathetic than someone older might have been and also gave the students more confidence in my guidance. These activities were both extremely rewarding and educative.

 In order to prepare myself for this application, I have completed several relevant courses provided for those taking Master’s degrees at CUHK. I took available courses in Sociology, Government and Public Administration and was awarded ‘A’ grades in each, being in the top 5% of students. I feel that these successes demonstrate a facility for multi-disciplinary in multi-cultural contexts and I hope to excel in your program.

 I cannot claim to be widely traveled but I am very interested in non-Chinese cultures. I very much look forward to being exposed to British culture and in studying and socializing with people from a wide variety of cultural and social backgrounds and educating them about my own. In 2008, I participated in an exchange program run by the National Education Services Center of Hong Kong. I went to the Pearl River Delta to explore the economic interaction between Hong Kong and that part of China. The formal training was very interesting but I also learned something outside the program that was even more enlightening, I learned that anyone and everyone can be the source of interesting and useful information. For instance, the waiter or taxi driver who boasts about his brother’s growing trucking business and provides details of the change in the kind of goods he transports for export can provide information that is more useful and current than a 6 month old official report on local economic conditions.

 I am aware that there will be other very well qualified applicants. However I do consider myself to be an exceptional candidate. I have an excellent academic record; I have a good grounding in history, modern politics, sociology, government and public administration especially well-suited to the interdisciplinary study of International Relations with a special focus on Chinese issues and the way that our globalizing economy continues to serve as a motor for increasing levels of collaboration between most of its major players, most notably, at least from my perspective, China and the United States.

 I have clear goals as to how I wish to apply the knowledge and skills that I shall acquire in the program.

 Thank you for considering my application.

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