James - The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

B. Commerce / Economics
Semester 2, 2016

Academic experience

I studied Corporate finance, International finance, Global Economic Environment, Aspects of Western Philosophy and Logic as a Foundational Science.
My favourite of these was studying western philosophy as I have always been rather interested in philosophy but never taken a class. The academic system was very similar to UQ/Australia with only some minor differences in grading and so on.
There were no major challenges apart from the initial adjustment of settling into a new location away from home.

Personal experience

From the exchange I have gained life-long friendships with people spread all over the world. I got the chance to explore China, Thailand and Japan, as well as most of Hong Kong. Any place away from home is going to give a new comparison and seeing these places teaches you to appreciate lots of what we can otherwise take for granted. It also gives you new ideas on how we can potentially change the way we do things back home.


I lived a 15 minute walk away from the university in the residential halls. The living arrangements are vastly different to Australia. Space is limited and so you must live with a roommate. This is fine once you settle in and get used to it. The default accommodation at the residential halls is quite cheap and so I recommend this option. Getting your own room elsewhere is costly, but may be worth it if you're unable to live with a roommate.


Rent was paid in a lump sum at the beginning and was a reasonable price at the student halls of residence for PolyU. 
Food is generally cheaper than Australia so I tended to eat out a lot which was a nice luxury. You can save money by going shopping and cooking your own meals. 
Transport is very cheap in HK once you get a student Octopus card. 
Entertainment is up to you and there are options for every price point.
Travelling is also depending on taste but air tickets to other Asian destinations are way cheaper once you're already in Asia, that's why I did some extra travelling and would recommend doing this.

Professional development and employability

I had the opportunity to meet with the Chief officer of public relations for the Cheung Kong Infrastructure Group, Wendy Tong, after reaching out to her and being invited to have lunch. 
It was interesting to speak with someone so involved in such an enormous business. It wasn't until I researched the company that I realised they distribute all the power in South Australia and control so many assets around Australia and the rest of the world. 
This day was particularly special as she is an inspiring businesswoman and she made me feel so welcome in HK. 
Making new friends and meeting so many people is also beneficial for character development and I'm it has helped me in that regard.


Lunch with Wendy and her colleague Jessie was a highlight. 
Sightseeing in mainland China was another particularly awesome moment.

Top tips

  • Definitely go to Hong Kong! 
  • Bring a power-board with Australian plugs on it. 
  • Make sure you have applied for any award/scholarship you may be eligible for. It's free money and it may just put you in touch with the right type of people.
James - The Hong Kong Polytechnic University