THREE journalism students of the Chinese University of Hongkong were all smiles when they visited the South China Morning Post recently - they had called to collect their South China Morning Post Scholarships 1992/93. Agatha Ngai Hoi-yan, Donna Chu Shun-chi and Rico Tam Wai-tsz, all 21 years old, are final year students at the university's Department of Journalism and Communication. They each received $4,000. The students said they were very ''pleased and excited'' when they heard the good news of their selection. They told Young Post they had applied for the scholarships for the experience and the challenge, and not just for the money. ''I like being interviewed,'' Agatha Ngai said. ''I have had quite a lot of experience with interviews, which I find exciting and challenging. As an interviewee, you must understand exactly what the questions are about before answering.'' Agatha also believes that interviews could be useful as a form of self-assessment. ''I think it's my eagerness to face a challenge and persevere that's brought me this success.'' For Donna Chu, competing for the scholarship was more an attempt at gaining experience than looking for a prize. She told Young Post she planned to use the $4,000 for living expenses before graduating later this year. Speaking of life at university, Donna said the single most important move she made was joining the Journalism Society in her first year. ''I have learnt so many useful things that you can't get from textbooks - experience in organising activities, and so on. But even more important were the many true friends I made,'' Donna said. Rico Tam, the third scholarship winner, said there was one question raised at the interview that she had not anticipated. ''I was asked what differences there were between reporting for the radio and working for a newspaper. My hunch was that being a radio reporter was a more comfortable job but offered less scope for journalistic experience.'' In Rico's opinion, working for newspapers was an invaluable way to widen one's knowledge, as one had to research articles carefully and write at length and in depth.