Living Through Hong Kong’s Protests: The International Student Perspective

Pro-democracy protests have gripped Hong Kong since June. These protests initially began in opposition against a bill which proposed extradition to mainland China. While this bill was withdrawn in September, protests have continued with broader calls for democracy and police accountability. These protests fall within Hong Kong’s complex history, formerly a British colony until 1997 and now technically part of China. Hong Kong operates within the “one country, two systems” structure, meaning that Hong Kong’s people experience greater rights and freedoms than in China. Last week, following months of increasingly violent protests and clashes with police, local council elections in Hong Kong showed overwhelming support for pro-democracy movements, with the election of pro-democracy councillors in 17 out of the 18 districts. Continue reading Living Through Hong Kong’s Protests: The International Student Perspective

Rich Rewards: The Effect of Private Schooling on Your Future

How much does having attended – or not – private school affect your life at the University of Exeter? The University has been named in the top ten universities in the UK with the lowest state school intake by The Telegraph, with 69.1%. How does this impact building a sense of community at university between students? How do students feel about each other? A quick browse through Exehonestly reveals a sense of annoyance towards private school students; while this is frequently expressed towards their mannerisms, it actually stems from their privilege. Indeed, private schooling provides so much more than state schools usually can; private schools have more funds to spend per student, smaller class sizes (linked to higher chances of success, and understanding of the material), and guide students much more throughout their uni applications. Brochures for these schools also emphasize their “open-mindedness”, and boast about the extracurriculars they offer. Interestingly, students who have actively joined extracurriculars in their time at school – a sports team, for example – are more likely to pursue this once at uni, and subsequently integrate a thriving social scene. It is worth noting sports team memberships are expensive, and it is generally easier for private school students to afford one without worry. Continue reading Rich Rewards: The Effect of Private Schooling on Your Future

An International Student in Exeter

Being an international student from the United States, everyone assumes I had no problems transitioning to my new lifestyle here in Exeter, but that’s not true! Even though we speak the same language, there are still some differences that I’ve been getting used to. I had a great first impression when I arrived and realized how friendly and accommodating people are. I was walking down … Continue reading An International Student in Exeter