As my time is slowly running out in Hong Kong, it is time to reflect on my time here. It has now been almost an academic year since I first landed in Hong Kong. I arrived in the humid and boiling hot weather of August. It is now February and the temperature is surprisingly pleasant. Compared to the UK’s near-zero temperatures, it is now a comfortable 23 degrees celsius at the time of writing.
The weather is only one element of Hong Kong to be grateful for. Although the list is endless, I’ll try to identify a few throughout this post. This year abroad has first of all allowed me to study at a true world-class university. This is not only reflected by its world ranking but HKU, much like Hong Kong itself, is at the junction of cultures, languages and innovation.
Thanks to its location, Hong Kong has also allowed me to travel to destinations I’ve always wanted to visit. During the first semester, I explored Shenzhen, Thailand and Japan. During this semester, I will be visiting Mainland China and Macau. This opportunity is truly unique, especially for someone who had never set foot in Asia before. You can imagine how much of a new world it was to discover.
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, being in Hong Kong has allowed me to gain a more complete perspective on the world. I no longer see the West as being ‘central’ or more ‘prominent’. In my mind, it is only one part of the world, of which there are many. This may seem fairly obvious to realise but there is genuinely something different about experiencing it first-hand.
I’ve also had the opportunity to view things that I had never seen before. For instance, I’ve discovered how simply people can live and I’ve seen the massive gap between the rich and the poor in Hong Kong. Simultaneously, this experience has also shown me the abundance of opportunities that exist and has allowed me to meet truly inspiring individuals. I am convinced that anyone can achieve their goals, whatever they are, as long as they work hard and put their mind to it.
These are only a few elements that have made my year abroad in Hong Kong so special. As stated before, I would deeply recommend a year abroad to anyone who gets the opportunity. If there is no opportunity then I suggest making one! Without a doubt, this year has changed me positively as a person. I believe that I am very different from when I arrived as I now not only view life differently but Hong Kong has also sparked a complete change to my career ambitions.
Although I am looking forward to moving onto the next stage of my life, I will deeply miss both studying and living here. This experience has strongly marked me and I know that wherever I take my life and career, Hong Kong will stay close to my heart for the rest of my life.