Interview with the Asian-Pacific Society at AECC University College

Hosanna Cheung studies the MChiro (Hons) course and has just started Year One of her studies having successfully completed the gateway year. She is also the new President of the Asian-Pacific Society (APS), having recently taken over the role from Jill Cheng who is the Founder. Jill is also studying the MChiro (Hons) course and is in Year 3. Hosanna and Jill tell us more about their chiropractic studies, the work of the Asian-Pacific Society, and their ambitions for the future:

What drew you to study chiropractic?

Hosanna: “When I visited China, I was a volunteer at an orphanage and all the children there either had medical needs, medical conditions or they were disabled. This experience motivated me to want to do more for them physically, as opposed to simply caring for them or playing with them. I want to return being able to offer more support and this is why I wanted to go down the path of studying within the health care profession.

“I saw information about AECC University College after my uncle returned home having attended a chiropractic clinic in Hong Kong and after reading what the University College has to offer, I knew instantly that this was exactly what I wanted to do – it sounded amazing.

What is the Asian-Pacific Society and how do you come together?

Jill: “We are a group of international students who come from the various different Asian countries in the world, such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Korea, Japan, etc. and all of these are known as ‘Asian-Pacific’ countries.”

“In our society we bring all of these people together as a community of people with similar ethnic backgrounds and cultures, and we give them the opportunity to bond and develop friendships. Some members, especially Freshers, can feel isolated – we want to help them in their journey of studying abroad in the UK, as it’s very far from home and a very different culture. We also support each other in study as we have members from all year groups and this is really helpful as we get to share knowledge and experiences.”

Can you give me some examples of the kind of activities and events you have delivered through the society and your future plans?

Jill: “We celebrate Asian-Pacific festivals, for example Lunar, Chinese New Year, etc. and we have also enjoyed hot pot meals together. It is important to us that we don’t just invite the Asian-Pacific students, we also invite anyone that interested in our culture or who wants to experience our cultural traditions, and of course…our delicious food. We also enjoy studying together and celebrating together after exams.

“It is also important to us that we of course experience what UK culture is and what it has to offer, so we also schedule activities that support this.”

Who within the Health Sciences Asian-Pacific community inspires you and why?

Hosanna: “The first person that comes to mind is an Asian chiropractor that I went to see when I was young and living in New York. I believe he was from Hong Kong. I got injured and I went to him for help in my recovery and he made a really good first impression.”

Jill: “A person who has been an inspiration for me is the former Chairman of the Hong Kong Chiropractic College Foundation – Doctor Shun Yon Ng. He is an AECC University College Alumni and he started the foundation in Hong Kong. He has done a lot for the chiropractic Asian community and fully supports students to study at AECC University College. He is very influential – he has inspired me and many others, and he also inspired this Society since he champions a real sense of community within the industry.”

What are your personal ambitions for the future?

Hosanna: “I really hope to use the skills I learn at AECC University College to support people’s recoveries and their comfort levels when they are suffering with medical conditions. I would especially like to help people in poorer countries access chiropractic treatment.”

Jill: “Many people immigrate from Hong Kong to the UK, and I am now considering staying in the UK in the hope I can serve this community and aid them in their transition, as language may be a problem for example or their cultural awareness. They may not be able to communicate well and because of the cultural similarities I may be able to understand problems they encounter better, and I hope to help and use my knowledge to support them in their chiropractic ambitions.”

What would you say to school or college leavers who are thinking of studying here?

Hosanna: “The strong history of AECC University College is very reputable and it has a very diverse community of students who choose to study here. People come from all over the world which makes for a really rich learning experience and this is really valuable for when we graduate and enter the professional world of chiropractic.

Jill: “There is a real sense of community here and people support each other which is lovely. Everyone that comes to study at AECC University College appears to have a true passion to study and learn their subjects, and group study time can be really collaborative, social and rewarding.”

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If you wish to find out more about the Asian-Pacific Society (APS) and how to join, please email susocial@aecc.ac.uk. You can also follow the APS on Instagram.

Hosanna and Jill sat smiling

Hosanna and Jill at the Asian-Pacific Society 'Welcoming Ceremony 2021'.