YOOOOOO I’m Marco. Coming to Hong Kong I had many expectations, I wanted a change and I wrote down a few goals or even a bucket list that might sound a bit outrageous. Personally, I strive for any opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and to explore the world while I can. City University was the perfect opportunity where I could test my own spontaneity and ambition.
I’m assuming the underlying reason that you choose to take part in the Exchange program is being able to escape the ordinary life in Sydney and really take a chance in focusing on understanding/improving yourself to become more independent. City University has many students who were very kind hearted enough to guide me around when I first arrived. The hardest part is to expand your connections with the students at City U. For the months of being in Hong Kong, the culture can sometimes be very different to Sydney. Individuals are usually less willing to open and speak with foreigners. THIS IS THE PART WHERE GETTING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE can create new discoveries. Many students have not been to Australia, and are dying to understand our culture.
Were you ever a night owl? Or really disliked the public transport back in Sydney for always being late? Well, Hong Kong is definitely the place for you. There are different traditional Hong Kong Chinese restaurants that serve all the way up to midnight. I even had the chance to get to know some of my new University friends by going to supper with them. It is called “消夜 … Siu Yeh” in Cantonese, it might even give you a chance to gain some lifelong friends by adopting this bad habit of eating so late.
People here are much more fast paced and busy, so busy to the point that even the elderly will push their way through to beat you up the escalator. The public transport here is called the MTR, trains pretty much can allow you to travel through the whole city, and trains come every 2 minutes on average during peak hours and around 3-4 minutes off peak. One of the most difficult things to keep in mind, is to stand on the right hand side of the escalators!
If someone asked me to describe Hong Kong in one word, it’ll be LIT! For those who support the “Work hard, play hard” motto. This could just be a bonus of why you must come to Hong Kong. Lan Kwai Fong (LKF) is a street filled with Nightclubs and Bars, the night outs here are far better than Sydney. One night out in a club called “Play”, I met many new local friends, one in particular really stood out. Little did I know, he actually takes ownership in many of the shops on the Shoe Street (Fa Yuen Street – this Shoe Street is one distinctive street that only sells fancy runners from brands like Vans, Nike, and Adidas). He asked me an interesting question, “so coming to Hong Kong, what ambitious goal did you set yourself”. I stumbled for 20 seconds then I said, “I’ve always wanted to create a lifelong memory like maybe being on a shoe advertisement that is going to be placed around in Hong Kong”. And yes, he did say yes!
All in all, Hong Kong will always leave a lifelong of memories and really has allowed me to change to the individual that I always wanted to become. If there is a place on earth that I’ll recommend you to, this place would be Hong Kong. Don’t think, don’t question, just do it.
Bachelor of International Business
City University of Hong Kong
Australian Government New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient.