City University of Hong Kong Summer Programme

18 March 2019

Through our Tuition Fee Free Summer School Scheme, MSci Astrophysics student Armin joined the summer programme at CityU. Read about his research project and experiences in Hong Kong.

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Armin Ziadlourad, Astrophysics

My name is Armin Ziadlourad and during the summer of 2018 I undertook a 10 week summer research programme in the college of science and engineering at City University Hong Kong. This was an exhilarating, interesting, challenging and enlightening experience for me, and I learned a great deal in many different areas of my life. During the programme, I participated in both cultural and industrial visits, as well as conducting a research project in Computational Intelligence and dimensionality reduction. 

During my time in Hong Kong I was taken on many informative and fascinating cultural exploration trips, to broaden my knowledge of the city and understand Chinese traditions. My most enjoyed cultural trip was to the Nan Lian Garden, a must visit for any travelers in Hong Kong. This specific trip was a very enlightening for me, as I was able to experience the combination of urban city life with the peaceful tranquility and natural beauty of historical Hong Kong/China. Aside from the cultural trips, I also found the industrial visits to be extremely interesting, especially our visit to the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, an enthralling blissful blend of innovative technology companies, and green open spaced work environments. The “park” itself was meticulously designed to be environmentally friendly and sustainable, and demonstrated how modern companies working in scientific fields operate in Hong Kong. 

Apart from the cultural and industrial visits during my time in Hong Kong, I also learned many useful and transferable skills in undertaking the research project for CityU. I learned how to write scientific papers, work in a laboratory, conduct high quality research and much more. Overall the programme enlightened me and expanded my knowledge in the importance of research, as well as peer review and scientific collaboration. I also experienced the importance of correct scientific research, and how important it is to do as much research as possible to formulate clear and coherent ideas. This is a skill that will be very useful for me in all aspects of my future academic life. 


Overall this experience has greatly benefitted my degree experience, and my personal aspirations in my career path. I have learnt a great deal in both academic and cultural areas during the time I spent in Hong Kong, and I come out of the experience extremely happy I was involved.  I learned a multitude of skills, met new people, and expanded my horizons to new levels that I could not have previously imagined. The benefits of this trip in teaching me how to adapt and deal with new cultures, explore new surroundings and network internationally have been endlessly invaluable. This experience has also helped me understand more about the role of an academic researcher, and has helped me in my ideas and decisions regarding my future career choices. Personally I have also developed greatly during this trip, as I have learnt how to live independently in new countries, deal with language barriers, culture differences and language differences. The first few weeks proved to be an interesting adjustment, and overcoming the culture shock was a very big learning experience for, and will most Definity help and my future endeavors. 

I would recommend to any other students in any degree subject to definitely apply for a short term global opportunity abroad. This experience has taught me a multitude of academic and life skills, that I will transfer to all scenarios and situations of my life. I would not have had the opportunity to experience so many new places, and discover new people had It not been for Study Abroad UCL and the short term global opportunity. The application process is simple and easy, and the benefits you will take from participating are life changing. Overall, this has been one of the best and most fulfilling experiences I have ever had, and I urge all students to apply so they too can access the knowledge and wealth of opportunities that I had in Hong Kong!

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