Study abroad: University of toronto vs university of hong kong

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Lorenzo.S
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Hi guys!

I'm a first-year undergraduate student reading Business Management at King's College London.

I plan to spend my whole second year abroad but I am unsure which university to pick up as my first choice (out of four) - whether University of Toronto (UofT) or The University of Hong Kong (HKU).

I attended the study abroad fair and spoke to the study abroad tutor but still haven't been able to make a decision.

As far as I know Toronto is a better uni (consistently ranked among the world's top 20 universities, its Joseph L. Rotman School of Management is ranked #1 in Canada and among the world's best as well) but Hong Kong University is not that bad either (overall ranked in the top 40 universities worldwide and among the top 3 in Asia; its School of Business and Economics is also well-regarded that delivers an MBA program in partnership with the London Business School).

Therefore, the academic factor favor Toronto, also considering that I have course mates who actually transferred from HKU to KCL and complained a lot about the teaching standards back in HK.Also, they said to me that HKU has actually been overtaken by HKUST in rankings and quality of student experience. However, I am really keen on building an international career in Asia in the investment management sector and Hong Kong would represent an ideal destination in view of such professional goal. The small island is one of the globe's foremost financial centers but Toronto is Canada's one, which does say a big deal as well.

I am aware that the choice is ultimately up to me but would you give me some suggestions I could take into account?


Many thanks!
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a9493r
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check this website out for choosing the uni - http://studyusa.com/
However, I think Toronto would have been my choice as it has a better curriculum and ranking as well.
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Okorange
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Trust me, Toronto is not the best business school in Canada, its actually Ivey Business School at Western and Queens School of Business. So its really questionable which one you should choose.
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JasmineLDN
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I am literally deciding between the same two universities at the moment!

I have come across some comments suggesting that student life at Toronto is very miserable, however people are always more likely to say something negative rather than positive.

I don't know if you have come across anything in regards to student life and atmosphere in Hong Kong as it would be interesting to compare the two.
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Okorange
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(Original post by JasmineLDN)
I am literally deciding between the same two universities at the moment!

I have come across some comments suggesting that student life at Toronto is very miserable, however people are always more likely to say something negative rather than positive.

I don't know if you have come across anything in regards to student life and atmosphere in Hong Kong as it would be interesting to compare the two.
I think student life in Toronto is what you make of it. UofT is a huge university spread across 3 campuses and most of the students are commuters. However that does not mean you will not be able to make friends since so many students still live on campus. The school will have events but the atmosphere won't be as tight knit as at a smaller university, but on the flip side you will have a lot to do in the city.
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Costanzas
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toronto much better than hkust.hkust is for proles.
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LordChemE
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Please Don't compare U of T, with HKUST. For more satisfaction, just compare the reputation and rankings. May be look into times higher education or QS ranking
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Okorange
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Personally I would choose HKU if I were you. Since you want to develop a career in asia there is no better university to do that than HKU.
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El Salvador
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Whilst The University of Toronto is better than The University of Hong Kong academically generally speaking, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is nowhere close to either in terms of ranking or student experience. HKU has been dropping on the rankings (but was as high as No 18 on QS), mostly due to an undesirable student-staff ratio due to the change of examination system, it remains miles ahead of HKUST and is in the Top 30 (not just 40). Can't speaking for the quality of teaching, but everything I heard from HKUST is bad. It's nicknamed University of Stress and Tension and apparently people don't have a life there because they've got nothing to do other than studying. Its employment prospect also is not as good. If you're worried about the language, then HKUST will even be worse for it has a very high portion of mainland students and students generally speak English worse there.

Even though I don't like HKU and think UoT is superior, I'd still go to HKU in your situation. UoT is too similar to KCL - both in the 'west', both don't stand out in their continents (UoT of course is great in Canada, but there are a lot of excellent American schools, and even within Canada McGill University is arguably better). It doesn't give you anything extra on your CV. It doesn't give you an advantage so to speak. That is, unless you want to work in Canada in the future. If you're planning on working in America, neither will matter. If you want to work in Asia, KCL + HKU is a better match than KCL + UoT with the Asian experience.
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Lorenzo.S
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(Original post by clh_hilary)
Whilst The University of Toronto is better than The University of Hong Kong academically generally speaking, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is nowhere close to either in terms of ranking or student experience. HKU has been dropping on the rankings (but was as high as No 18 on QS), mostly due to an undesirable student-staff ratio due to the change of examination system, it remains miles ahead of HKUST and is in the Top 30 (not just 40). Can't speaking for the quality of teaching, but everything I heard from HKUST is bad. It's nicknamed University of Stress and Tension and apparently people don't have a life there because they've got nothing to do other than studying. Its employment prospect also is not as good. If you're worried about the language, then HKUST will even be worse for it has a very high portion of mainland students and students generally speak English worse there.

Even though I don't like HKU and think UoT is superior, I'd still go to HKU in your situation. UoT is too similar to KCL - both in the 'west', both don't stand out in their continents (UoT of course is great in Canada, but there are a lot of excellent American schools, and even within Canada McGill University is arguably better). It doesn't give you anything extra on your CV. It doesn't give you an advantage so to speak. That is, unless you want to work in Canada in the future. If you're planning on working in America, neither will matter. If you want to work in Asia, KCL + HKU is a better match than KCL + UoT with the Asian experience.

Really thorough and logical response...you definitively convinced me...thanks a lot!
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Lorenzo.S
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(Original post by Okorange)
Personally I would choose HKU if I were you. Since you want to develop a career in asia there is no better university to do that than HKU.
Thank you very much!
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Okorange
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(Original post by clh_hilary)
Whilst The University of Toronto is better than The University of Hong Kong academically generally speaking, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is nowhere close to either in terms of ranking or student experience. HKU has been dropping on the rankings (but was as high as No 18 on QS), mostly due to an undesirable student-staff ratio due to the change of examination system, it remains miles ahead of HKUST and is in the Top 30 (not just 40). Can't speaking for the quality of teaching, but everything I heard from HKUST is bad. It's nicknamed University of Stress and Tension and apparently people don't have a life there because they've got nothing to do other than studying. Its employment prospect also is not as good. If you're worried about the language, then HKUST will even be worse for it has a very high portion of mainland students and students generally speak English worse there.

Even though I don't like HKU and think UoT is superior, I'd still go to HKU in your situation. UoT is too similar to KCL - both in the 'west', both don't stand out in their continents (UoT of course is great in Canada, but there are a lot of excellent American schools, and even within Canada McGill University is arguably better). It doesn't give you anything extra on your CV. It doesn't give you an advantage so to speak. That is, unless you want to work in Canada in the future. If you're planning on working in America, neither will matter. If you want to work in Asia, KCL + HKU is a better match than KCL + UoT with the Asian experience.
One thing to note is that there is no real ranking of universities in Canada. It does not work that way. Most students in Canada will be able to enter any university they choose, some universities will have special programs that are more competitive than the rest, but most universities offer spots to students with an average in the low-mid 80s.

UofT has just as many pot heads, drug addicts, kids who drop out after one semester as smart hard working students. This applies to nearly all the universities in Canada. McGill and Queens has slightly higher general requirements than other universities but still the admissions process in Canada is closer to (pay your application fee, get your admission letter 3 weeks later) than (pay your application fee, write application, insert extra curriculars, go to an interview, worry about said interview, get your admissions letter to great excitement) again some programs are like that but the vast majority are not.

So clh_hilary is right in that UofT is more like KCL in the sense that its international reputation is higher than its domestic reputation but I would spread that to all the universities in Canada. University in Canada is more like Germany or even France than like Britain or the USA.
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El Salvador
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(Original post by Okorange)
One thing to note is that there is no real ranking of universities in Canada. It does not work that way. Most students in Canada will be able to enter any university they choose, some universities will have special programs that are more competitive than the rest, but most universities offer spots to students with an average in the low-mid 80s.

UofT has just as many pot heads, drug addicts, kids who drop out after one semester as smart hard working students. This applies to nearly all the universities in Canada. McGill and Queens has slightly higher general requirements than other universities but still the admissions process in Canada is closer to (pay your application fee, get your admission letter 3 weeks later) than (pay your application fee, write application, insert extra curriculars, go to an interview, worry about said interview, get your admissions letter to great excitement) again some programs are like that but the vast majority are not.

So clh_hilary is right in that UofT is more like KCL in the sense that its international reputation is higher than its domestic reputation but I would spread that to all the universities in Canada. University in Canada is more like Germany or even France than like Britain or the USA.
Yeah. But my main point is that they are too similar in many ways exchanging to UoT from KCL does not add much value on to his/her CV.
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zero_gravity
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(Original post by Lorenzo.S)
Hi guys!

I'm a first-year undergraduate student reading Business Management at King's College London.

I plan to spend my whole second year abroad but I am unsure which university to pick up as my first choice (out of four) - whether University of Toronto (UofT) or The University of Hong Kong (HKU).

I attended the study abroad fair and spoke to the study abroad tutor but still haven't been able to make a decision.

As far as I know Toronto is a better uni (consistently ranked among the world's top 20 universities, its Joseph L. Rotman School of Management is ranked #1 in Canada and among the world's best as well) but Hong Kong University is not that bad either (overall ranked in the top 40 universities worldwide and among the top 3 in Asia; its School of Business and Economics is also well-regarded that delivers an MBA program in partnership with the London Business School).

Therefore, the academic factor favor Toronto, also considering that I have course mates who actually transferred from HKU to KCL and complained a lot about the teaching standards back in HK.Also, they said to me that HKU has actually been overtaken by HKUST in rankings and quality of student experience. However, I am really keen on building an international career in Asia in the investment management sector and Hong Kong would represent an ideal destination in view of such professional goal. The small island is one of the globe's foremost financial centers but Toronto is Canada's one, which does say a big deal as well.

I am aware that the choice is ultimately up to me but would you give me some suggestions I could take into account?


Many thanks!
(Original post by JasmineLDN)
I am literally deciding between the same two universities at the moment!

I have come across some comments suggesting that student life at Toronto is very miserable, however people are always more likely to say something negative rather than positive.

I don't know if you have come across anything in regards to student life and atmosphere in Hong Kong as it would be interesting to compare the two.
Hi there.

Here is a response way back that I gave to another commenter asking about the same question:

(Original post by zero_Gravity91)
Having been to both places, I can tell you the advantages and disadvantages of the two cities.

Toronto: Being in Toronto, and especially studying at U of T, has its advantages and disadvantages. Located in downtown Toronto, close to the Royal Ontario Museum and Yorkville, a high-end shopping area, you will have convenient access to the subway, which means you will be able to explore other parts of the city. Considering that Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world (and the fourth best city to live in the world), you will have lots of varieties of restaurants, from Thai to Korean, Italian to Greek, and the list goes on. Not only will you be in one of Canada's major cities, you will be studying in one of Canada's best universities. Of course, being in one of the biggest cities in Canada at one of the best universities in Canada will have a bad side of it. You will be competing for marks with a lot of bright and studious students and you will be paying a lot of taxes with a high cost of living (however, in comparison to Hong Kong, it isn't much). Another bad thing about studying abroad in North America means you will be paying a lot if you are to travel to other cities. If you don't mind being in the bus for hours to get to your destination, since taking the train or plane is really expensive, then you would be able to go to cities like Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, New York City, even Boston. With that being said, Toronto will be a very interesting experience for you and I think you will enjoy being here.

Hong Kong: HK is totally different from Toronto. It is a really exotic city and it has a lot of perks with it. If you like shopping, then you will be able to shop without tax and have a lot of opportunities to try different kinds of restaurants. You will also be studying at HKU, which would be the best university in Hong Kong. Being in a very Western-influenced area of Hong Kong, it will not be a problem conversing with others in English. Despite being in a small city with an extensive transportation system, transportation costs will be really high as you will be relying a lot on buses and the MRT, since it charges your trip from origin to destination in terms of distance. The cost of living is also really high in HK, so be prepared to bring a sufficient amount of money with you. Due to the proximity of other countries to HK, you will be able to travel to other destinations extensively without having to pay too much for it, depending on the season and which airline you will be taking. That being said, HK is a great option if you like an exotic destination with good travel destinations close by.

Now, it is your call. Both cities are great and both have its perks and disadvantages. Hope you will be able to make a choice and let us know which one you choose!
Hope that helps!
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Costanzas
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hk is definitely a **** city. for business and economics hku doesn't even come close to toronto.
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Lorenzo.S
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(Original post by Costanzas)
hk is definitely a **** city. for business and economics hku doesn't even come close to toronto.
How do you know? Have you personally studied in either of the universities? Do you have friends/relatives who actually attended UofT / HKU???

I just found this article..http://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk...ob-in-finance/

It lists the top 20 universities globally to get a job in finance...HKU is ranked 12th, ahead of universities of the caliber of Bocconi, Columbia and Berkeley.

And, as a side note, yesterday I went to an information session held by JP Morgan at their London office...I asked an analyst about my study abroad options and he confirmed me that the Asian experience at HKU would look much better on my CV than Toronto.

I am not saying that U of T is bad whatsoever...it is actually one of the very best worldwide..yet it is in Canada, which is basically US with a European mentality...too similar to KCL!
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Costanzas
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Mate those are the qs rankings .they carry no weight whatsoever .do you really think monash is better than columbia or UNSW is better than bocconi?i have a lot if friends at both unis and definitely Toronto is a better place as well as a better uni.do you really think employers sit before their computers each day checking all the rankings-ARWU ,qs,thes,ft,economist,asu,ideas, efonancialcareers etc .for research Toronto is definitely top twenty in the world and if you want to work in London,European financial centres unis like bocconi ,lse,ie are much better.for the us,it's different as it is for Asia.btw I have been to both Toronto and Hong Kong.no comparison between the two.
(Original post by Lorenzo.S)
How do you know? Have you personally studied in either of the universities? Do you have friends/relatives who actually attended UofT / HKU???

I just found this article..http://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk...ob-in-finance/

It lists the top 20 universities globally to get a job in finance...HKU is ranked 12th, ahead of universities of the caliber of Bocconi, Columbia and Berkeley.

And, as a side note, yesterday I went to an information session held by JP Morgan at their London office...I asked an analyst about my study abroad options and he confirmed me that the Asian experience at HKU would look much better on my CV than Toronto.

I am not saying that U of T is bad whatsoever...it is actually one of the very best worldwide..yet it is in Canada, which is basically US with a European mentality...too similar to KCL!
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Costanzas
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Your problem is that you are taking the rankings too seriously (especially **** ones like qs).you will obviously apply to jobs in London upon graduation and Toronto is much more respected in academic circles in Europe generally speaking.
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afterallthistime
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(Original post by Costanzas)
hk is definitely a **** city.
As a Hong Kong resident myself, I completely reject this statement. I know I'm biased, but I love living in Hong Kong and I wouldn't have wanted to grow up anywhere else. If you're up for an experience completely different to much you've experience before, go to Hong Kong. HKU is a really good uni (btw to some above posters who are confusing HKUST and HKU, they are different universities altogether.)
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Okorange
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(Original post by Costanzas)
Mate those are the qs rankings .they carry no weight whatsoever .do you really think monash is better than columbia or UNSW is better than bocconi?i have a lot if friends at both unis and definitely Toronto is a better place as well as a better uni.do you really think employers sit before their computers each day checking all the rankings-ARWU ,qs,thes,ft,economist,asu,ideas, efonancialcareers etc .for research Toronto is definitely top twenty in the world and if you want to work in London,European financial centres unis like bocconi ,lse,ie are much better.for the us,it's different as it is for Asia.btw I have been to both Toronto and Hong Kong.no comparison between the two.
Toronto really isn't the bomb you think it is. I'm actually from there, been through the schooling system. While i'm not too familiar with HKU, I can tell you that Toronto's brand does not get you anywhere in Canada, its an even worse brand than Ivey at Western. Its hard to wrap your head around this but Canada does not work like the international rankings say it does. Different schools are known for different programs and the big research unis are generally just more research focused rather than actually better.

Its gotten better over the recent years but it is a clear 2nd tier school when you ask real Canadians who are local. The leadership positions in Canada are absolutely dominated by Ivey http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivey_Business_School. Compare their alumni list to Rotman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotman_..._of_Management

Now, we are talking about exchange not a degree, prestige really doesn't matter, its mainly about the location. If you want to work in Asia, you cannot beat HKU, very few people from Toronto will end up working in Asia compared to HKU, that much should be clear as day. You are going there to network mainly not to have it as a degree.
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