I had an experience of exchange program at Hong Kong Polytechnic University for one semester. I chose Hong Kong as an exchange program destination because I wanted to study in an Asian country and Hong Kong is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia, having good infrastructure, many hotels and many landmarks. Being a hospitality and tourism management student, Hong Kong Polytechnic University is the perfect place to study and involve myself in local culture and life.
When it comes to University life, to be honest, studying at Polytechnic University was a bit hard due to many assignments and exams but the workload was capable and I could successfully accomplish all the work with colleagues helping each other. In addition, the subjects I took were interesting so I could study more efficiently and learn a lot. Apart from studying, the life of an exchange student was full of enjoyable moments. I met really nice friends including Hong Kong local friends as well as other international exchange students from other countries. For example, by sharing a room with a local student at the University residence, I could involve myself in real local life and could know better about its local culture. Moreover, I could know and keep good relationships with other exchange students by joining University organized programs such as university trips and other activities. One of my memorable activities was called the cultural lunch which is sharing foods from different countries, organized by international University students.
Apart from my university life, I could have many different experiences by traveling Hong Kong as well as outside countries nearby Hong Kong. Hong Kong has a variety of touristic resources from nature such as mountains and beaches to man-made places such as temples and skyscrapers. When I had a day off from university I normally went on a day trip to the mountains hiking, beaches for sunbathing or its unique islands including Hong Kong’s traditional fishing village. Moreover, as Hong Kong is located in the heart of Asia, it is really convenient to visit other Asian countries nearby such as Mainland China, Taiwan and Thailand. During weekends I also went to Macau and Taiwan with local friends and I gained new experience and had a great time.
I strongly recommend students to do the exchange program. While I have lived in Hong Kong, being a part of its real society, I could gain lots of new experience. I would not be able to experience what I had in this semester if I just traveled to Hong Kong. Even though while I studied it was hard, I gained a lot of knowledge. I am really satisfied with my exchange program experience, making unforgettable memories.
Eun Young Son, Hospitality and Tourism