22 days until Hong Kong

In the last month since the uni semester has ended, time has flown past so quickly I can barely believe it. At the time of writing this, I only have 22 days before I leave for Hong Kong which seems crazy since I feel like I have so much to do before I leave!

I chose to do my semester abroad in Hong Kong because I wanted to experience a culture that is completely different to what we have in Australia, something that would throw me completely out of my comfort zone and force me to learn to survive on my own. The University of Hong Kong (HKU) was one of the few universities partnered with Flinders University that satisfied this, taught in English and offered the topics I needed for my degree. I had looked into other locations and universities but in the end I’m glad I chose Hong Kong and HKU.

As to be expected, I have had a few minor setbacks already. Getting topics approved for my study at HKU was a struggle but in the end everything worked out with help from my college office and course/topic coordinators. I was also rejected from the accommodation that I had applied for in Hong Kong and have instead been placed somewhere somewhat less glamorous.

But these are minor things. I never expected everything to run perfectly when I applied to do this trip in the first place. I think it is a vital part of the experience anyway. On the other hand, the accommodation I have been placed in does have its benefits. It is located in a great position, within walking distance to HKU and close to loads of food and retail shops. I must admit, one of the things I’m looking forward to most in HK is trying tons of new food.

I definitely still have some concerns going into this. I am mainly worried about my topic selection at HKU. Due to my pretty strict plan of study for my degree, I didn’t really have many choices for what topics to do at HKU. At the moment, I only have approval for three topics which I need to do in the semester I’m away or I will have issues with topic prerequisites when I return. To make everything work out, I will also have to take a Flinders topic long distance while I am at HKU. While this is a little inconvenient as I would rather take as many HKU topics as possible, I really don’t mind as without doing it this way, going to Hong Kong would not have been possible for me.

Right now, I can’t tell if I’m more nervous or excited to be leaving in three weeks but there is no going back now. Hong Kong here I come!

Jessica Penrose, Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Enhanced Program for High Achievers), Semester 1 2018 exchange at University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong



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