What do dim sums, 7/11 and cliff jumping all have in common? They are all things and activities you will come across here on your student exchange in Hong Kong.
Allow me to demystify what a Student Exchange in Hong Kong is like. First, dim sums. There is a plethora of food choices here in Hong Kong: local Cantonese food, street food in Mongkok, Chinese-fusion in Central, Korean BBQ in Jordan, Vietnamese food, Japanese food, Thai food and the list goes on. It is impossible for one to go hungry here in Hong Kong—food is plentiful.
Secret tip #1: Download the app ‘OpenRice’. You will not regret it.
Secondly, 7/11. This humble convenience store has become the primary meeting point for exchange students all across Hong Kong. 7/11 is the place where an exchange student will begin his/her night out, return to during his/her night out, and sometimes even be the place where he/she will spend their entire night out. It is a place where cross-cultural and intervarsity friendships are formed and maintained, friendly banter is exchanged and business ideas are formulated with unequivocal sobriety. The inventory of a 7/11 store may be uninteresting (though, some may beg to differ), but it is what transpires from a group visit to 7/11 that deems it worthy of a lengthy recount in this blog post.
Secret tip #2: Are you feeling somewhat too impatient to wait in line at the main 7/11 on D’Aguilar Street? Head up the road and hang a left after a brisk 50 metre walk or head straight up the road and look to your right just before the bend.
Thirdly, cliff jumping. The words ‘cliff jumping’ are used both in a recounting and metaphorical sense here. In a recounting sense, yes, an exchange student can jump off a cliff into a natural pool of fresh water in Hong Kong. But, in a metaphorical sense, being situated in Hong Kong provides an exchange student the opportunity to jump into the unknown and travel to countries nearby that possess seemingly mysterious and relatively unknown cultures. Be curious, be independent and experience what Asia has to offer.
Secret tip #3: Google ‘Sai Wan, Sai Kung’
Hong Kong is the most international student exchange city in the world. I challenge you, the reader, to find another city that can match the global-nature of this city. #exchangeadventures
Francisco Widjojo is currently an exchange student at the City University of Hong Kong, School of Law (Semester A, 2015/16)