Study Exchange in Hong Kong

Keziah Agunoy – BSc (Hons) Computer Science – Study Exchange at Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Hi, I’m Keziah. I study Computer Science at the University of Surrey. I went to Polytechnic University in Hong Kong to do my study exchange for a semester. 

Surrey students need to take the advantage of the opportunity to study abroad because it will significantly contribute to their growth. The world is so big and it has so much to offer that they shouldn’t miss out on.

If there’s one word to describe my experience in HK it would be unexpected. Everything that I experienced as well as the people I came across was all so unexpected.

The first couple of months were really hard, especially with my 3-week quarantine. It was financially stressful to go to HK knowing that I have to pay for the pricey quarantine. The Santander grant was used to pay for my quarantine expenses which really helped me save a lot of money that I was able to use for my housing during my stay in HK. I was in a place where I didn’t know anyone nor did I understand the language they were speaking and it made me really homesick. It was such a big adjustment for me.  

During my time at Polytechnic University, initially I found it tough to find friends mainly because of language barriers and it was also a bit hard to approach the professors. I had to work really hard because I only had myself to rely on. However, I was lucky enough to find a lot of international students in my course. I became friends with them and they played a massive role in helping me adjust to my HK life a lot easier.

The international friends that I met have been around in HK for quite some time. They showed me around a few of HK’s tourist spots such as Ocean Park, Victoria Peak and Tian Tian Buddha. I mainly enjoyed the outdoor pursuit in HK. There are lovely hiking trails abound and various water sports. Although the country is famous for being a concrete jungle, there are a lot of green spaces.

HK has really modern, reliable and incredibly cheap transportation which made it easier for me to visit different places in a day, considering HK is also quite small. I also absolutely enjoyed trying the different foods in HK. Never in my life have I ever thought of trying snake soup! Every cuisine under the sun can be found, and restaurants range from cheap and cheerful to extravagant.

Even now, I can’t believe I met some people who were to become some of my closest friends. It was such a sweet gift that I still keep in touch with them even after a few months of coming back home.

HK changed my perspective on a lot of things as I interact with different people. You learn without even trying. You grow and become a better you. I realised how big the world is and how much it has to offer me. I started focusing on what matters and stopped being disappointed by little failures here and there. This is probably the best thing living abroad has done for me.

*DisclaimerThe Santander grants are no longer available for students to apply for beyond the 2024/25 academic year. Please see our MySurrey website for further information about funding available through the Turing Scheme and other grants and scholarships.