Semester Exchange in Hong Kong

Abbie WhittakerPhoto 2 - face
Flinders Degree: Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)
Program: Semester exchange
Destination: University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Period: Semester 2 2015

“What I gained from going on exchange was far more than I ever could have imagined: I recommend anyone considering an exchange to do it! It is a once in a life time opportunity”.



The whole experience- stepping out of my comfort zone, living away from home for the first time, and growing as a
person, understanding things in a different way and understanding different cultures, meeting new people from all over the world, experiencing life in a different culture and really understanding what life is like in Asia.

The university of Hong Kong had two weeks called weeks of welcome where they held activities where we could get to know other exchange students and also do some general tourist activities, such as climbing to the peak or going to a local restaurant etc. They then had an official orientation day where we did lots of bonding activities with the other exchange students and also met everyone for our home country.

Study Life
I took 5 topics so the workload was slightly more intense than i was used to as it was a lot more weekly submissions instead of large assignments. I had 5 midterm exams and 5 final exams as well. The main difference with the exams was that because the semester was a lot shorter than at Flinders there was only 4 weeks in between the midterms and the finals.

Off-campus accommodation was great! It was really clean and really safe.

Money Matters
For my entire trip I spent under $10,000- this includes travelling to Singapore, Taiwan, Macau and China, all my food, accommodation and buying souvenirs and seeing the sights! I received an OS-HELP loan and also a $5000 scholarship. 

I was really nervous I would not settle in and find like-minded people but there are so many exchange students at HKU that this is really impossible. I did become homesick about a month after arriving but it is difficult to stay homesick as you are so busy with work and exploring!

Moving Forward
I definitely feel more confident. Before i left i was really nervous about meeting people as i don’t generally feel comfortable with people until i have known them for a while, but there is always someone who is the same (i.e. not super outgoing) and luckily for me, this was my room mate. This experience definitely helped me to become more confident and be able to be less shy around new people.

Advice to Flinders Students Thinking about Overseas Study Opportunities
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. If you are doubting doing something because you are nervous, just do it! You will only regret what you don’t do! Definitely recommend to anyone thinking about going on exchange to do it!!

Abbie in Hong Kong with her friends
Abbie in Hong Kong with her friends



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