Now that I am home I feel that I should reflect on my time over the last 2 months spent at HKUST. Although I’m sad it’s over and missing the new friends I made, I am happy to be home and back with my family. And so, I feel I should reflect on my time and share what I have learnt through my experiences.
Well firstly, and I guess its the main thing, I really enjoyed my courses! I studied Coding, Robotics and Engineering Innovation. As well as the content, I learnt to appreciate the different learning styles and got to know my classmates (many from Hong Kong) from all over the world.
Hong Kong as a city; although during the initial excitement it all seemed very strange and exotic, quickly I began to appreciate how familiar to home it was and how lucky I am to be an English speaker. All the signs, announcements and notices are written in English, making it easy to find our way around! Similarities in culture made it relatively easy to interact with locals. Obviously I enjoyed all of the touristy days outs, running around the city seeing all there was to see, but as I was there for 2 months I also came to appreciate what it was like to live there. By the end, our trips/outings seemed ‘normal’ and ‘mundane’.
I miss the food already! What I was expecting when leaving for HK was this huge array of both Chinese and foreign foods everywhere I looked, and I wasn’t disappointed! Everyday I was able to eat the most amazing things that I’d never imagined; my definite favourites were the dessert bars. Most days we would just skip the mains and eat sweets, going from one bar to the next. One surprising thing I miss is the cold drink selections in shops; I am now used to choosing from a huge selection of bottled teas. Being home and only being able to choose from fizzy drinks I have found rather disappointing.
My dorm was a shared room. I was very anxious about this before my arrival, however I actually really enjoyed the experience. My roommate and I got on really well and although obviously a few compromises had to be made, I found I actually prefer living like this. When my roommate went away for a weekend I was lonely and missing her within hours!
Overall the experience was exciting, confusing, scary and eye-opening all at once. I would go back in heartbeat! I have truly enjoyed the experience and would recommend a study abroad to anyone, especially in Hong Kong as it both foreign and familiar, allowing me to feel at home quickly without losing the excitement!
I feel that it has helped me become more confident. I’m moving on with a more international perspective and insight. I now know that I would love to live in HK or another city abroad in the future.