Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts, 3rd year
Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts, 3rd year

Academic experiences

At HKU I was required to study 5 courses to count as a full-time load as opposed to 4 courses at UQ.
I was able to credit units towards both my Commerce and Arts degrees by taking three Accounting/Finance courses, a Chinese Language course and a European Studies course.

Although I came to Hong Kong knowing I'd have to adjust to a new academic system, I still found it difficult to adjust at first.
The main issue I had was navigating through the administrative side of changing courses.
For exchange students, the process of changing courses was not electronic, rather you were required to manually fill out a form and submit it to the office.
You were informed of the outcome a few days later, which was frustrating in some cases if your change request is denied and you have to repeat the process.
Other than that, I found the academic system quite similar to that of UQ where you had to attend lectures and tutorials however no lectures were recorded.
Courses typically had a mid-semester exam, group presentation and final exam.
It was typical to have courses with three-hour lectures in the Business faculty.

Hiking

Personal experiences

Going on exchange was a rich experience.
I grew a lot as a person and discovered things about myself I never knew.
You're surrounded by students from all corners of the world and as you build friendships you learn about each other’s cultures.
I gained knowledge that you can only learn through experience, like how to deal with culture clash.
I made a lot of friends, and it's great because everyone there is there for the same reason you are.
I learnt some Cantonese and also some French from some good friends!

Hong Kong is a really central city in Asia which makes it really easy to travel to other Asian countries.
I travelled to a few countries whilst I was on exchange and my only regret would be not travelling to more.
I tried a lot of new food in Hong Kong that I would have not otherwise tried in Brisbane.
I also enjoyed and adapted to living in a fast-paced city!

HKU

Accommodation

In Hong Kong I lived in off-campus housing administered by HKU.
I was placed in Lap Chee College, one of the four colleges within the Jockey Club III Village in Kennedy Town.
These buildings are the most modern accommodation offered by HKU, built only 5 years ago.
Each floor has a common room where you can cook and watch TV.
I shared a room with another student which was an interesting yet enjoyable experience.
The Colleges also have high table dinners where student dress up and have a meal in the hall together, normally with a guest speaker.
Transportation from my accommodation was readily accessible with a shuttle bus to uni about every 10 minutes, an MTR station (train station), minibuses and coaches going in and outbound at all hours of the day.
The buildings are tightly monitored by security where you must go through two different security checkpoints before going to your room.
They also have an 11pm curfew where all visitors must leave.
The facilities within JCV3 are fantastic!
Lap Chee had a study room for students and a music room equipped with a piano, drum set and microphones.

Hong Kong Rooftop View

Kennedy Town is a short distance from the University, about a 15 minute walk, 5 minute bus ride or the next train station over.
It has a variety of food options including restaurants, bakeries, a wet market and super markets.
It is also by the water where many locals would sit and watch the boats and fishermen.

HKU offers other student accommodation on and off-campus.
They are not as modern as the JVC3 buildings and are slightly more relaxed in terms of security where more gatherings can be held.

Budget

The cost of living in Hong Kong is much lower than Brisbane.
Transportation is very cheap and so is food (depending on where you go, nice restaurants can be super pricy).
Housing in Hong Kong is typically very expensive however student accommodation is heavily subsidized by the government.
To give context my accommodation expenses amounted to $1200 AUD for 5 months, which is what many tenants in Hong Kong pay per month.

Hong Kong Skyline at Night

Academic development and employability

Going on exchange has really developed my understanding of the world and the level of diversity between cultures.
In terms of employability it has developed my ability to adapt to new and changing environments, address culture clash and communicate more effectively with people who speak English as a second language.

Hong Kong Beach

Highlight

The single highlight of my experience would be the friends and friendships I made whilst abroad.
You share such a strong connection with these people because you're all on the same adventure.
I was deeply inspired by these people and learnt so many things from them.

Top tips

- Try to network as much as you can!
Introduce yourself to your lecturer or source out what events are happening in the city you're in. You never know what doors it could open.

- Volunteer if you have an opportunity to.

- Travel as much as you can wherever you can.

- Bring some Aussie gifts from home.
I wish I brought some to give to my friends before I left.

- Keep a journal, or at least list the things you got up to everyday.
In the middle of my exchange I realised everything I'd done in the first couple months was a blur.
I decided to keep track in the last few months and I'm really glad I did.

- Lastly, get out as much as you can and say yes to everything.

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