Learning @ PolyU

PolyU FH experience - Ms. Viola WIEGAND

Hello, my name is Viola and I was a full-time PolyU student from 2010 until 2013, majoring in 'English Studies for the Professions'. As an international student (from Germany), I was delighted about the warm welcoming that I received from the Department of English, the Faculty of Humanities and the International Affairs Office.

As soon as I had submitted my application, I received encouraging emails from these departments, as the staff knew that moving to another continent is not an easy step to take for a student. Looking back at the wonderful experience, I am glad to say that the decision was well worth any difficulties that I encountered along the way (such as administrative procedures or cultural differences).

I very much enjoyed my life at PolyU. My programme was very flexible, so that I could focus on the subjects that really interested me. Moreover, the lecturers and staff in the faculty were very kind and supportive. The option of a minor allowed me to take some classes in Cantonese and Putonghua, so that I could gain some cultural insights as well, since I had already travelled so far. Indeed, I was actually involved in a Chinese festival; another international student and I were the Masters of Ceremony. It was also PolyU where I first got engaged with the Confucius Institute of Hong Kong; and currently I am taking further Mandarin classes at the Confucius institute at the University of Nottingham in England. I have to admit that I am really struggling to learn Chinese, but I do enjoy the challenge!

The focus of my studies, however, was definitely English linguistics and my experience at PolyU was strongly enriched by the lecturers there with their strong expertise in various areas of the field, including corpus linguistics, discourse analysis and systemic functional linguistics. As I am currently pursuing the MA degree in Applied Linguistics at the University of Nottingham, I notice how strongly I can benefit from the foundation of knowledge that I gained at PolyU. I often refer back to the books and notes that I have kept from that time. More importantly, I still feel very connected to PolyU, because of the various students and staff members that I met there. I try to keep in touch with them as many as possible and I was very happy to meet many of them when I returned to Hong Kong for the graduation ceremony last November. Some of my classmates at PolyU have become my best friends. Many hours of work in the computer labs for corpus assignments and essays or preparation for group presentations have closely connected us. Of course, we undertook many leisure activities together, as Hong Kong is a great place to have fun as well. It is also great to still be kept in touch with my PolyU teachers. There are a lot to learn from them as my role models, as I am pursuing an academic career path.

Viola WIEGAND
Alumnus 2012
BA in English Studies for the Professions