Bachelor of Arts, 3rd Year
Bachelor of Arts, 3rd Year

Academic experiences

At HKU, the full time course load is 5 courses (#30 Credits).
Whilst abroad I studied on my electives so this allowed me to study a range of different subjects.
These included a history course in Modern Hong Kong (HIST1017), a Hong Kong studies course (HKGS2001), an introduction into photography (JMSC2007) and two political courses (POLI3078 and POLI3079).
To me, HIST1017 and HKGS2001 were the most enjoyable as it allowed me to learn more about the place where I was currently living.
POLI3078 was awesome as well as the lecturer would bring in a guest speaker who had firsthand knowledge about the topic we were learning about every session.
Many found the add/drop period at HKU very confusing but it's a good way to be able to ‘shop’ around for the courses you want and see if you like them before you’re locked into taking them.
Within saying that, those who are confined to taking certain courses may find it more stressful as HKU gives priority to local students.
The main difference between classes at UQ and HKU is that HKU encourages far more participation from their students.

The University of Hong Kong, Centennial Campus

Personal experiences

When going abroad you completely uproot yourself and give yourself a type of freedom because nobody knows you and you gain more independence as you navigate through this new place.
You’ll instantly connect to other exchange students because they’re in exactly the same boat as you.
And as you both become pros at figuring out the local customs, squeezing into the tiny spaces on the MTR and keeping up with the crazy pace of the city; Hong Kong, Hong Kongers and other international students will be the best part of your exchange experience.

My semester at HKU had a crazy amount of holidays and long weekends, which allowed me to travel as much as possible.
I managed to make it to the Philippines, Taiwan, Mainland China, Thailand, Vietnam and Japan.
Hong Kong is a great springboard to other places in South East Asia.
Not only did my travels experiences give me stronger friendships and unforgettable memories but it allowed me to see other parts of Asia.

Lion's Rock Hike

Accommodation

I lived at Pokfield Road Residences which were student apartments (not halls) assigned by HKU.
Pokfield was probably one of the older buildings for accommodation but was also one of the cheapest (6000 HKD for the whole semester), in the best location (halfway between Kennedy Town and Campus) and was the most relaxed when it came to rules.
You’ll either be assigned a double or a triple room; I was put in a triple room, which sounds cramped but was actually roomier than I expected.
At Pokfield you have your own bathroom, kitchen and laundry, which you just share with your roommates.
My favourite thing about Pokfield was my roommates!
Both were exchange students as well and made possible nights of homesickness non-existent.
I would definitely recommend applying for university accommodation because it is far cheaper than trying to find accommodation on your own.
For example, private accommodation can be 6000HKD or more per month whereas it would be 6000HKD per semester for halls etc.
Another tip would be not to stress if you’re not assigned university accommodation straight away as many more offers go out in the first to second week of semester starting.

Tian Tan Buddha

Budget

Everyday life in Hong Kong is pretty cheap!
Student accommodation and transport is amazingly cheap compared to Australia.
A ride to Central would cost roughly 3HKD.
Nights out (if you’re a girl) are also cheap with free entry into clubs and free drinks.
I lived comfortably off 900HKD per week but you could definitely budget more.

I found that eating out was often cheaper than cooking at home.
Meals on campus ranged from 25-60HKD and in Kennedy Town you could find meals for as cheap as 35HKD.

Travelling to other countries was obviously my greatest expense.
Cathay Pacific however has fanfares every week so you can get to some places in Asia really cheaply.

Infinity Pool at Tai O, Lantau Island

Academic development and employability

My exchange experience has allowed me to personally and professionally grow.
I became more self-aware when being abroad, especially in my first month when everything was new and I didn’t know anybody.
Saying yes to everything and joining clubs offered the opportunity to meet new people even if it pulled me out of my comfort zone.
Having participated in an exchange I’ll feel more comfortable with forcing myself out of my comfort zone in the future.

Highlight

The whole exchange was the highlight.
Living and studying in a foreign country was simply uniquely amazing.
Every day you would be presented with something different and discover something new!
Developing nice routines gave a feeling that Hong Kong was my home away from home.
The visits to 3am dim sum after a night in Lan Kwai Fong, beers on top of IFC rooftop mall, weekend hikes and dinners in Kennedy Town were some of the most simple things but have given me the best memories with the people I met over there.

Junk Boat Party

Top tips

Do everything.

Keep an open mind and try new things.

The more you do the better your exchange will be.

Buy an Octopus card – you can use it on all types of transport and in 7/11, Park n Shop etc.

Pack a powerboard and multiple passport photos – the powerboard will save you from buying heaps of power adaptors and the passport photos are handy for visa and other applications (like octopus card)

Be prepared to travel – it’s one of the best ways to create memories and lasting friendships.
Plus it’s cheaper than travelling from Australia!

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