【明報專訊】Studying at a UK secondary school doesn't mean that you can only apply to universities in the UK. You can apply to the US, Europe, or even come back to Hong Kong. You could also go on an exchange programme and spend a year abroad. The world is your oyster!
Going to a university in another country is obviously a great way to experience and immerse yourself in another culture, and makes you more employable in today's increasingly globalised economy. But why would you want to go to university in the US if you're already in the UK? The biggest difference is possibly the course structure. The US is perfect for you if you still don't know what you want to specialise in even after choosing your A-levels, and if you want to spend more time exploring other options. For the first year or two, undergraduates in the US study liberal arts and take a number of introductory courses, anything from Literature to Maths to Politics, giving you a wide knowledge of a variety of subjects, before you decide which subject to major in for the rest of your degree. In contrast, in the UK system, you have to choose your four (or three) A-levels when you're 16, which will hugely narrow down the courses you can apply for at university. Personally, I've had a very rough time deciding what I want to do. Ever since I realised that languages were my forte, I had thought that I would study them. However, recently I discovered that my true passion might lie in PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics). Unfortunately, it is too late to change my subjects now, therefore if I still want to study PPE, I would have to do a great deal of extra studying in my free time. The UK system is not for me. In my view, it's unreasonable to ask a 16-year-old what they would like to do or study for the rest of their life when they have never had a proper job before. "Follow your heart" is exactly not helpful guidance either: what if you liked all your subjects? What if you had really uninspiring and dull teachers in the subjects that you're supposed to love and really engaging teachers in subjects that you're supposed to hate?
Alice Sze is 17 and has been boarding in the UK for four years. She loves languages. Apart from Chinese and English, she studies Italian, French, Spanish, Japanese, Latin and Ancient Greek.