Brainy Barrhead lad's Far East journey

Published: 6 Aug 2012 12:00

A GLOBE-TROTTING Barrhead whizz kid is getting used to life in the academic fast lane - after he was chosen to spend 16 days on a prestigious international study tour in Hong Kong.

Brainy Christopher Simpson, 18, pulled out all the stops in a government-organised competition exercise where he had to demonstrate why overseas education can be beneficial, and was amazed and delighted to be one of just FIVE chosen for the trip.

He was a guest of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and worked a full college day every day throughout his stay before enjoying the sights and sounds of the former British colony in the evening.

He told the News: "The food was superb, with restaurants where you could choose the dish you wanted to eat from live fish.

"But while there was so much that was strange or different there were also plenty of reminders of home, because of the previous British history."

He added: "Until now the education traffic was pretty much one way from Hong Kong to Britain, but this initiative aimed to show the benefits of British people studying abroad - and one thing I found was that the Chinese work ethic goes right into education, with hard work but also opportunity."

His proud mum Amanda followed his progress for days through intermittent calls and e-mails, but it was only this week - after picking him up on his return to Glasgow Airport - that she had a chance to hear the details in full.

She said: "It has been a fantastic achievement for him and also an excellent experience.

"And now that he's home the wee boys next door are round every five minutes to see him and ask him all about it."

Christopher is waiting to see how he fares in next week's exam results but is hoping to gain a place at Cambridge if he manages three A's.

"After that I might consider a postgraduate degree in Asia, " he said, "and it would be in studying law."

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