The first month studying at the University of Hong Kong has flown by.
As I stepped off the airplane –the heat, humidity and busy nature of Hong Kong was overwhelming. Arriving at the Halls of Residence where I am staying was easy and stress free. Living in a 16-floored high rise building for a semester is still a surreal concept, but being part of hall life here is a unique experience. The first week consisted of the local students practicing hall songs and chants at 6am every day. Sports teams and cultural teams are taken very seriously and the inter–hall competitions are extremely competitive. The halls I am living in consists of 300 students, 5 of us are international exchange students. The local students are very welcoming, helping the exchange students to embrace their culture. The international community is large – on the first week there were multiple orientation events for the international students – enabling us to meet other exchange students from all over the world.
The HKU campus is on Hong Kong Island and has great accessibility to the rest of Hong Kong. The campus itself is very modern, the geography department is situated in the Centennial Campus which was built two years ago. A lot of Hong Kong is built on hills and steep regions and the HKU campus is no different. It is built on different levels – making it very hard to navigate around it. I still get lost going to the same lecture theatres every week. The lecture style here is similar to Liverpool, however there is less group work here in Hong Kong, the classes that I am enrolled in vary from 20 students to 100 students. Most of the assessment here is based on coursework throughout the semester and a final exam in December.
Hong Kong is a very busy and bustling city, a place where you can never get bored – I doubt that I have explored a half of the city yet and I have been here over a month. In my free time I have spent my time investigating the attractions that Hong Kong has to offer, both the main tourist attractions and the more local attractions, for example hiking to the peak, going to local bars, going to the Hong Kong light show, visiting temples, haggling at the markets, camping at the beach and eating a lot of the local cuisine! On the third weekend here, I managed to fit in a trip to Singapore, arriving on the Friday and leaving on the Monday morning – I got a brief impression of Singapore. Last weekend Hong Kong prepared itself for the hit of typhoon Usagi, all the shops were packed with people stocking their cupboards up, the local students and authorities advised everyone to stay inside for the Sunday, which was the expected day for the typhoon to hit Hong Kong. Luckily for Hong Kong, the typhoons path changed meaning Hong Kong wasn’t a direct hit.
The opportunities that are available studying here are incredible. Studying abroad has definitely lived up to my expectations – it’s amazing!
Anna Durbacz (BA Geography, Year 2)