Karon - Hong Kong Polytechnic University

B Business Management
Semester 2, 2018

Academic experience

Because I had completed most of my core subjects back in Australia, I was able to undertake a few business subjects as well as a few electives in my time abroad. My favourite class was called Love, Intimacy and Identity, and it really opened my eyes to how those three concepts are interpreted differently across the world. 
Language was not an issue at all because all of my classes were taught in English, however there are still cultural differences in the classroom that I wasn't expecting. For example, everyone talks during student presentations! One of the other exchange students was quite offended that the whole class wasn't listening intently, but I think that's just what happens and you just need to focus on impressing your lecturer. 
The enrolment process was pretty straightforward, and there is an enrolment officer who automatically sorts your roster out for you. I was happy with the schedule produced, but I have friends who reached out to swap classes so they could move classes to different days.

Personal experience

I made some good friends overseas and one of my closest friends was my American roommate. We still talk and I'm excited to see her again some day soon. 

Personal skills developed include resilience and flexibility.

Accommodation

I lived at the Student Halls of Residence which was within walking distance of the main campus. I shared a room with another student, and we both shared a bathroom with another two students in a conjoined room. 
The living arrangements were more than suitable and I was able to use the kitchen facilities to cook myself meals when I didn't feel like going out.

Costs

All in all I managed to spend only a few hundred dollars more than my $5000 scholarship on the exchange including flights and the accomodation. I didn't need to budget very hard, but I was conscious of what I spent my money on. I cooked maybe 2 or 3 nights a week and went out with my friends on other nights. 

It's very easy to spend a lot of money in Hong Kong, but if you choose local options then you don't have to spend much at all.

Challenge

The biggest challenge was being away from home for so long. I missed my partner and my friends back home. I overcame this by focusing on making new friends in Hong Kong and reminding myself that I only had a limited time there, so I must make the most of it!

Professional Development

I learned that I can be flexible and resilient in making new cities and new experiences feel like home. I think this will help me both personally and professionally because I will be able to get past the uncomfortable stage of new experiences with greater ease.

Highlight

I really loved every part of my experience overseas, and I have to say the friendships made will last a lifetime.

Top tips

Absolutely do it and pick a university you might get a scholarship for! Approach everything with an open mind and don't be afraid to ask questions.