Whilst this is not my first time in Hong Kong, it always surprises me how busy and bustling this compact city can be. It is a crazy mixture of both modern design and its historical heritage.
I have come into this exchange experience, with a want to submerge myself in a different lifestyle and to also study subjects unavailable at UTS and outside of my comfort zone—so far, I’ve had a pretty good taster.
P R E – D E P A R T U R E
From the get-go PolyU got me prepped for my arrival by setting me up with a local student as my ‘buddy’. When I got in contact with my buddy Jessica, we made plans for me to meet her at the entrance to the halls so that my check-in would be smooth and I’d have help with luggage. Not only did inbound students have buddies but there are plenty of Facebook groups, both official and unofficial, available for any questions about any part of the exchange, which helped a lot throughout pre-departure and arrival. These groups include all the other local student buddies who, very helpfully, answered a lot of the questions.
The process of finding accommodation and registering for everything was all done via email and coached through a handbook where there are very detailed instructions on how to go about all the administrative necessities. If I had any questions, emailing usually got me a very quick response from the exchange office of PolyU.
T I P: Read through this handbook very very thoroughly and you’ll be a-ok 🙂
I T ‘ S B E E N A W E E K !
It has now been exactly one week since I’ve arrived in Hong Kong. Within this time, I met my roommate, Hailey from Cincinnati, Ohio, had loads of good food, taken my first class and have fully immersed myself in the hot and humid summer-autumn weather (If you’re planning on coming during the Spring (UTS) semester, I promise you, you will get used to it).
I am very thankful that I have great roommate as the room is very compact. It is by no means extremely tiny as it packs a tonne of storage space, but it is definitely cosy. Air-conditioning and laundry is separately paid for from your rent, via your student card, and there are a bunch of facilities also available for free booking. One of the best things is that it is a short walk from campus (bye-bye 1.5-hour travel from building 6!).
Food is also extremely cheap as (depending on where you go) it costs anywhere between to $3-$10AUD each meal depending on exchange rates. No need to stress about my kitchenless room! The OpenRice app has also been great for finding great local restaurants on a budget, but food in Hong Kong never really disappoints.
As an Institute of Textiles and Clothing (ITC) faculty student, I had to attend the Presidents Welcome and an official welcome from my course department. The Presidents Welcome showcased the achievements of the school and also demonstrated how proud the student body was through their school spirit. It was safe to say, that I was in awe of the facilities available to the students in the ITC department in PolyU. Not only were there extensive sewing rooms, but weaving, knitting, printing, dyeing and more facilities were accessible for students in various streams of the ITC faculty. The orientation tour only gave a taste of what can be expected.
During the first two weeks of semester, PolyU allows an add-drop period for students to switch and change their classes. As DAB requires me to take 3 direct equivalents, I cannot change those classes, however, I have been timetabled for 6 different classes. The ITC department suggests taking anywhere between 3-5 subjects for exchange students, so out of the 6 that I am currently taking: Intimate Apparel Patternmaking, Textiles Studies III, Design Studies, Introduction to Intimate Apparel Design, Intimate Textiles and Accessories, and Knitwear Design, I will be dropping some and taking other classes. Local students and tutors have suggested taking a balance of theoretical subjects and practical subjects as the briefs are quite extensive, so hopefully by the end of the week I will have a set timetable.
Rebecca Zhang | 12618435 | B. Design in Fashion and Textiles x B. Creative Intelligence and Innovation | The Hong Kong Polytechnic University | Hong Kong/China