UQ Program: Bachelors of Commerce

Experiencing a different culture and life style has always been on top of my “to-do” list, and I felt indescribably lucky that I was given this invaluable opportunity to achieve this accomplishment in my last year undergraduate study of Bachelor of commerce.

The first week arriving in Hong Kong was definitely “messy” as there were a number of enrolment paperwork and course selections to be done, not to mention the culture difference and language barrier to overcome with. Therefore the enrolment process definitely gave all of us on exchange a very hardship.

However, I was glad that I took the opportunity to take part in the buddy program offered by HKU. Through the buddy program I was introduced to a local student who picked me up from the airport, worked through the academic paperwork with me, taught me about the local culture and introduced me to local supermarket around my hall residence so he was 100% certain I could survive (and we became best friends). I must admit my buddy really made my new life in HKU much easier than other exchange students who were unaware of this program. Therefore I strongly recommend those of you going to HKU, apply for a buddy is definitely a stepping stone into knowing the local culture.

Despite the enrolment difficulties, I was definitely amazed with everything I experienced here in Hong Kong and the best one out of the long list was the hall life in HKU where i experienced the strong bonding between hall members. I was first allocated to a non-hall residence named Patrick Manson, however through much persistence and waiting I was finally rearranged to RC Lee (a hall residence), and I must say it was worth it because living in a hall residence is where I was involved into local culture and got the most juicy bits of exchange from. .

Residential halls offered me a variety of activities such as hall clubs, interhall competitions, high table dinners and floor night outs where I met different people (exchange students from around the world and locals as well). It was where I met all my lovely friends. I also joined the Dragon Boat team, not because I was sporty (I was definitely not, but I am now) but with a strong courage to push myself out there.

I really enjoyed being a member of the dragon boat team and it really was the major part of my HKU life, not only I met heaps of “hot” guys (and girls), I also loved the strong team bonding we developed. We paddled together, competed together, won together, cheered together and celebrated together. We were like a big family and therefore I never experienced homesick any second during this exchange period.

Another thing worth mentioning is the cheap flights offered by the airlines in Hong Kong, which gave me a strong excuse to travel to China, Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand and Macao with my exchange friends across the world.

This half year exchange experience was definitely one of the most memorable parts in my life. I have met the most friends around the world, tried my most “first time” and done most of my travel.

Tips –

(1) Don’t stress too much on preparation, you can get everything in Hong Kong and they are cheap – you will end up sending most things back to Australia, untouched! If you bring too much

(2) Get yourself a buddy definitely a good way to start with!

(3) Join the local clubs and societies and get the most out of it, you definitely will enjoy the beauty of the culture

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