By Diego Laje and Corinna Liu, CNN
Hong Kong (CNN) – Aspiring Hong Kong musician Annabelle Cheng wants to be in America.
"I think (Hong Kong) is a city that can be defined by business," said Cheng, who recently graduated from Baptist University in Hong Kong with a degree in religion and philosophy. "But the cost of living in a dynamic city is that you don't have your personal space."
Living conditions in this crowded and hectic enclave are part of the reason Cheng wants to relocate to the U.S. "I really need that amount of time and space to think, to meditate, to get inspiration," said Cheng, who plans to save and apply for a post-graduate music program in the U.S. in two years.
Cheng isn't alone. Despite the rising fortunes of Asia, the Pew Center released a report last month that shows Asians have surpassed Latinos as the largest group of immigrants to the United States.
And university is often a gateway to residency: around half of Asian immigrants have a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 13% of Hispanics, according to the report.