Often, when people think of Hong Kong, all they think of is the endless amount of tall buildings, busy roads, and of course, cheap food and transportation. And to no surprise, this is the life that I am currently experiencing. But there’s more to it. Apart from the stereotypical environment that people may place on this city, there are also other amazing attractions which has left me in awe. But first, I want to write about my first few weeks of settling into Hong Kong.
It was very unsettling. The fact that it was the first time in my life where I was able to catch a plane and fly to a foreign country. Well, maybe not so foreign. I spoke Chinese, that was the only thing that separated me from most exchange students. But I couldn’t read or write. That was a complete struggle. The only thing that eased me was the fact that I was with another exchange student, Adrian. It wasn’t until the pre-departure workshop when we first met. Since then, we planned most things together including travel documents, plane tickets, and reminding each other what to pack and where we’ll meet up at the airport. And well, for the flight, you know.. watching an endless amount of movies. . sleeping . . more movies, you know the drill.
Once we arrived in Hong Kong, the paperwork we had to do wasn’t over. We had to sign papers for accommodation and receive our student cards.
All this had only happened on the first day of exchange. . .
Within the next few weeks of exchange, it was surprisingly a lot easier than I had imagined. Everything that I needed to stock up and purchase was within a 10 minute walking distance so it was extremely convenient for me. If you were ever hungry, you could either go downstairs to the cafeteria or go outside and there would be an endless amount of food stores open till midnight.
Whilst the life as a student was pretty much the same as studying in Sydney, the adventures which I had experienced as a student tourist was amazing !
I met many different people from all around the world including locals, students from America, Canada, Finland, Korea, France, and those were only some of the places which they came from.
During the Easter Break, we decided to go on a trip to Beijing. We went to see some of the most well known sites including the Great Wall and Forbidden City. Surely, it was an experience which I will never forget.
Aside from that, for those who are considering to go on exchange and worried by the fact that there will be nothing planned for you to do, you are definitely wrong in that mindset. There are always social activities set up by the university including various tours and I could definitely say that some of these tours are well worth going to. Some of the tours which I went on included the City tours and Macau Weekend tours. By joining these tours, you are able to meet so many new friends and will only increase the enjoyment of your stay here in Hong Kong.
It was truly a wonderful experience and I will definitely be back again !
Sylvana Shi Yun Lee