Caroline Andersson, Nursing programme, Hong Kong University, Hong Kong
I have always loved travelling, experience new cultures and to meet new people. When my plans to go to Chicago for exchange were put down the thought of going to Hong Kong was born, and I am so grateful for the way everything turned out. My name is Caroline and I am studying nursing, now entering the sixth semester in School of health and welfare. I spent my fifth semester in Hong Kong, a special administrative region in southern China.
Bithdays of both the faculty, which is turning 130 years this year, and my friend in the middle.
During my semester at Hong Kong University – Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, I took four courses which corresponded to the courses I would have taken back home in Sweden during the semester. The courses progressed parallel and they were all finished with a final exam or some kind of hand in assignment. All courses also had group projects with between 10-12 persons in each group, something that I´m not used to from home. During the semester, we also made community visits at a private hospital, elderly care centre and underwent a simulation situation where we were equipped with gear to simulate what it is like to be old.
Group presentation in one of the lecture halls of Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
All the information we were given before leaving Sweden was very clear and descriptive. Everything was divided into different emails and HKU wrote lists on what to do, step by step. Even when arriving the information was clear and precise and we were given private tours in the school. In the process of applying for HKU it was also necessary to apply for a student accommodation, which I did. I was assigned a spot in a student apartment and this apartment I shared with five other people. Four from mainland China and one from Sweden. The apartment had a kitchen, restroom, living room and two bedrooms where we stayed three in each room. We all had a bunkbed on our own with a desk underneath. The apartment did not have the best standard I´ve experienced but it worked and I am happy I had somewhere to live. It was also relatively cheap, only around 6000 HKD for one semester.
Since the kitchen facilities was relatively restricted I ate out almost every day. But since the rent for the apartment was so low and also that it is relatively cheap to eat out in Hong Kong, I figured it was ok anyways. Of course, it depends on what kind of restaurant you go to, but the prices can range somewhere between 30-200 HKD for each meal. Hong Kong is really amazing because you can find both cheap and expensive shopping, it all depends on what you are looking for. There are both really cheap markets and super expensive malls to look for things.
At HKU, there are a tonne of different clubs and associations where you can engage yourself. Even if you are only there for one semester I would definitely recommend you engage in something, it is so enrichening and gives you a unique opportunity to get to know locals. I was active in the rowing club and I got to learn so much about the culture and the language through the people at the same time as I had a blast rowing. I really want to advice people who are going to Hong Kong to try and get to know “locals” who can show you around and give you insider tips.
Group of rowers after an intense session of practice.
I think not being judgmental of other people’s way of living is a good start when you arrive. Try to accept that we think differently and that it is okay to have differences. If you are able to do so you will be able to find kind, warm and caring friends who will take you on adventures. They will want you to tell them everything about Sweden and to share your opinions if you let them do so too. My experience has been amazing because it has been so diverse. I think I have fallen in love with this country and now that I have to go home there are so many emotions I cannot explain. It is everything from the food, the atmosphere, the hikes, new friends, roommates, smog, Cantonese and everything else that has created this experience and I know that it will never come back. Everything has its time and I know that it is time to go home and finish my studies, but there will always be these five months of explosive happiness and mind being at ease that I will never forget about.
If you have qustions you can contact me at email@example.com.