JONG, Serena Pik Wun - from Malaysia (Year 3)

Being raised in a multilingual family has made me develop a huge interest in the field of language. I tend to be more aware of the different languages around me. I like to observe how people speak and have always wondered why people use language differently and what is going on inside our head when we speak. Therefore, in order to find the answer to these questions, I have decided to enrol on the linguistics programme offered by CUHK.

I have many great experiences while studying this programme. I remember taking my very first linguistics course, Phonetics and I was already so overwhelmed. Before taking this course, I never knew so many processes are involved when we speak. By studying phonetics, I learned how different sounds are combined to make words and this has made me appreciate the complexity of human languages.

Besides that, I am really glad to have chosen this programme because I get to meet like-minded people. I made many new friends from this programme. My classmates and I are able to learn from each other by sharing and exchanging our opinions and views on different linguistics-related issues. The professors are extremely knowledgeable and always ready to share their expertise. They are approachable and willing to help and give good academic advice.

What I find most valuable about the linguistics programme offered by CUHK is that the programme enables students to build good foundation in linguistics as students are required to take core courses such as phonetics, syntax, and semantics. Besides, I really love how this programme offers wide variety of linguistics courses and students have the option to choose other elective courses based on their interest. I think this allows me to focus on my area of interest and it is a great opportunity for me to explore in other fields of linguistics I have never been exposed to. This programme is interdisciplinary as is not solely focusing on the study of language but it also overlaps with many other academic disciplines such as social sciences and humanities. This programme is a perfect fit for me because I am interested in linguistics and other fields such as psychology and sociology. This allows me to take courses such as psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics. Another thing I find valuable about the programme is that I have the chance to study other languages such as German and French. I am sure learning new languages would better prepare me for my future career and definitely open doors for new opportunities.

Besides acquiring linguistics knowledge, I also learned how to apply the knowledge in practice as the professors often train us to analyse speech data from other languages. Other than that, I love how the professors are always keeping an open mind and embrace new ideas. The professors always encourage students to participate actively through discussion sessions. Discussion sessions have helped me to be more engaged in class as well as improve my critical thinking skills.

If you are curious about how languages actually work or simply passionate about linguistics and love languages, I would definitely recommend this programme to you. If you would like to work in the field of linguistics or pursue any career that involves language, this programme would certainly be the right one for you.