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Posted: 17th July 2020

Student stood next to a row of tote bags

Annie Chan from Hong Kong speaks to our Marketing and Admissions Director, Henrietta Lightwood, about her time at Cardiff Sixth Form College:

“I wanted to study in the UK and so we enrolled with Academic Asia – one of the educational agencies in Hong Kong and saw that Cardiff Sixth Form College was the top school in the UK.  I thought it would be worth trying to get in and so took the exams and managed to get a place.  At first I was a bit sceptical, thinking that it would only be a purely academic school, and felt a little insecure about leaving my friends in Hong Kong.  However, I couldn’t have been more wrong!   It was much better than I thought and there were loads of extra-curricular activities I could join.  The teachers were incredibly supportive and much more open and approachable than those in Hong Kong and I received lots of individual help so I soon felt really at home and easily made friends.

I studied biology, chemistry, maths, English Literature and Chinese and am hoping for five A*s when the A Level results come out.  I have offers to study medicine at Hong Kong University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong and also an offer to do Architecture at HKU as I have so many interests and am a real mixture of the arts and sciences.

The decision to study medicine came out of personal experiences.  I watched an inspiring documentary about a doctor in Nepal who have developed a cheap lens substitute for cataract surgery. I also really enjoyed the International Citizenship Experience at Cardiff where I volunteered at a hospital in Tanzania and worked with an amazing Romanian paediatrician who was not only an excellent doctor but also was very involved in educating parents on HIV/AIDS and preventing domestic abuse.  I can see myself involved in humanitarian work in the future as I love travelling, don’t mind getting my hands dirty and feel a duty to help take care of those less fortunate.

During my first year at Cardiff I really focused on my studies as I knew that getting good AS grades would really take the pressure off.  I am very keen on music and play the cello and found another student from the UK who also was at Diploma level.  We performed together on many occasions and we started a music club and archive in my second year as lots of the new AS students were excellent musicians and we put together a string quartet, rehearsing every Friday.  We also played in a Children for Wales charity concert, in assemblies and at the Cardiff Sixth Form College Talent Show which is held at the Millennium Theatre – a professional theatre and home to Welsh National Opera.

I also joined the debating team and medical ethics society and was shortlisted in a national competition for Flash Fiction essay writing.  I was President of the Photography Club where we went on photo walks around Cardiff and showed documentaries on famous photographers such as Albert Watson for the other students.  I was a member of the Art Club and sketch a lot in my spare time and have ambitions to do a Masters in Music, inspired by my cello teacher in Hong Kong, who is a member of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

For me, learning is for personal enrichment and should not just be focused on developing a career as so many things can change and you never know when opportunities arise where you can put your interests into good use. I am an inherently curious person, and I believe that every moment in life is a lesson for us to learn how to be a better person.

During lockdown I have been playing lots of cello and have decided to do my second diploma.  I have also been reading a lot about democracy and politics, world religions such as Hinduism and Islam inspired by my friend Shakir from Pakistan whom I met at Cardiff and with whom I explored Sufi poetry.  I am now taking photos of Hong Kong instead of Cardiff and planning on making a website and a short film with my neighbour as this third wave has meant we all need to try harder to stay home.

However, I am looking forward to the next stage in my career and hopefully joining Hong Kong University or the Chinese University of Hong Kong in September.

Categories: Student Blog