Sisters from CUHK English Department Receive Prestigious Scholarships to Further Studies at Cambridge and Oxford
Two sisters who graduated from the Department of English of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Miss Chan Tsz Yan, Evelyn, and Miss Chan Tsz Mei, May, have respectively been awarded the prestigious Sir Edward Youde Memorial Overseas Fellowship and the Esther Yewpick Lee Millennium Scholarship. Evelyn will do a Ph.D. in Modernist English Literature at Cambridge University while May has already completed the first year of her M.Phil. in Linguistics at Oxford University.
Both Evelyn (United College) and May (Chung Chi College) majored in English at CUHK and were awarded First Class Honours in 2005 and 2006 respectively. The sisters had emigrated to the Netherlands in their childhood with their family and had returned to Hong Kong to continue secondary studies. They are intelligent and gifted in languages, having mastery of Chinese, English and Dutch. Their command of English is particularly remarkable given they only started learning the language in secondary school. Through reading widely and participating in language training and exchange programmes organized by CUHK, the sisters were able to take their English standard to an exceptional level. Their experience sheds light on language acquisition of youth, especially new immigrants to Hong Kong. Evelyn and May are determined to pursue an academic career in Hong Kong after graduation with an aim to contributing to youth language development.
“My motto is to work hard. There is no substitute for diligence! I also like to challenge myself and read progressively difficult books in order to constantly improve my English,” Evelyn remarks. “I would describe my English learning curve as being steepest after I entered CUHK, because it was only then that I had the opportunity to actively use the language. When writing an essay, I always start off by doing a substantial amount of reading in order to acquire different perspectives on the subject matter. I would then assimilate these ideas and present my own views in a coherent manner,” says May.
Both sisters appreciate the learning environment and opportunities provided by CUHK for developing their potential and forming life goals. For instance, their passion for English and literature were further ignited by a summer cultural exchange programme to the U.K., where they had the chance to visit famous museums, galleries and historical sites, and conduct exchange with local tertiary students.
The sisters are especially grateful to their professors at CUHK for being extremely friendly and helpful. Not only did they help them to feel at home soon after entering university, their excellent teaching also helped broaden their horizons and enrich their experiences.