Three students earn scholarships for Master's study in Hong Kong

Even in the face of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the Walker College of Business (WCOB) is pushing forward with one of its stated goals of increasing internationalization. Three Walker students have been competitively awarded full scholarships to study at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) for Master’s degree study. 

Kyle McMearty and Jason Hopkins will study in the Master of Science in Business Management Programme (similar to an MBA) while Christian Honaker will pursue a Master’s degree in FinTech and Financial Analytics. These three students follow in the footsteps of Kali Smith, Reed Morris and Charles Herst who are finishing up their Master’s degree study this summer. Read more about the 2019 scholarship recipients in this article.

"This shows the competitiveness of our students as they must compete with the best and brightest students from all over the world in order to get awarded these scholarships. In total, the combined scholarship awards amount to a US $278,435 of value transferred directly to our students," said Dr. Michael Young, Associate Professor in the Department of Management, who worked in Hong Kong for 19 years before joining App State. “These scholarships allow our students to study at a great university in one of the world’s most vibrant cities without having to incur further student debt. HKBU is very happy with the quality of students that App State sent last year.”

Hong Kong Baptist University 

HKBU is one of eight publicly-funded universities in Hong Kong. The HKBU School of Business is triple accredited by AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. It was ranked as one of the top 25 Asian Business Schools by the Financial Times in 2018 and the Master of Science in Business Management was ranked 8th in the region and among the world’s top 100 Master’s in International Management Programmes. 

“Despite the pandemic, 2020 is turning out to be a great moment to earn a Master’s degree in Hong Kong,” stated Dr. Young. “Hong Kong has nearly completely eradicated the Covid-19 virus so they are less likely to contract it there than in the US.” This is partly because Hong Kong has experience in dealing with communicable disease due to the SARS epidemic that occurred in 2003. “And with the job market in the US being very weak this year, the opportunity cost of pursuing a Master’s degree is much lower,” notes Dr. Young. “ It is a great deal; basically, they are paying our students to study, and this is extremely rare for a terminal Master's degree.” 

In addition, Hong Kong is in the center of one of the most economically dynamic regions in the world: Laos, Cambodia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, Korea and mainland China are cheap and convenient weekend travel destinations. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will broaden their horizons and change their lives in ways that they cannot yet imagine. 

Making Connections and Broadening Horizons

“Every door opened leads to more opportunities in life, and this is pretty much the biggest door life has ever given me,” said awardee Jason Hopkins.” I know I will have many great experiences and connections by the end of my studies. I am excited for all that it will bring!”

"Studying abroad is a unique experience to see the world and learn about how other cultures live outside our own," said Kyle Mc Mearty , who is looking forward to making friends that last a lifetime during his time in Hong Kong.  

Christian Honaker echoed this sentiment. "I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to not only learn about innovation in the business world but to fully immerse myself in a different culture,” said Honaker. “The connections and relationships that I have made at Appalachian State have helped change the direction of my career and life." 

Interested in applying?

Professor Young says he hopes this App State to Asia connection will continue to grow and will support this effort in any way that he can. If you are considering Master’s study and do not know how to pay and are open to adventure and foreign experiences, consider applying for one of the full-ride scholarships to HKBU. The admissions process will begin in November for the 2021-22 academic year.   More information can be found at: or by reaching out to Dr. Young at

Congratulations to Kyle, Jason and Christian on winning these scholarships and good luck to you as you begin your big adventure!

About International Programs with Appalachian's Walker College of Business

The Walker College of Business encourages students to study abroad and provides a variety of short-term international programs designed to develop international business skills and intercultural knowledge. These faculty-led programs have proven to be invaluable for many students. Scholarships are available. Fluency in a second language is not required and students can earn credit toward their degree. For more information on future opportunities, please contact Global & Civic Engagement Specialist Meredith Church Pipes,, or visit

Scholarship Recipients: Top: Jason Hopkins, Christian Honaker Bottom: Kyle McMearty
Published: Jun 17, 2020 1:57pm