Dongchen - The University of Hong Kong

B. Commerce
Semester 2, 2016

Academic experience

At HKU, the full-time course load is 5 courses (#30 Credits). During the exchange semester at the University of Hong Kong, I took 5 Finance Courses: International Finance Management, Financial Markets and Institutions, Investment and Portfolio Analysis, Management of Commercial Banks and Derivatives. The lecturers and tutors were really helpful in providing good content and feedback to students. However, lacking online content and recorded lectures made me feel inconvenient, which means I had to catch up every lecture; meanwhile, the Finance courses in HKU always last for 3 hours instead of 2 hours in UQ.

I strongly recommend you take more technical courses if you are Commerce Student only majoring Finance and pursuing a trade or quant job. The following courses are really helpful and give you an outline of Financial Mathematics: Mathematics Finance (taught by Dr. Rujing Meng, who graduated from Peking University), Interest Rates Model (taught by Prof. Fan Yang, who graduated from Peking University as well), Financial Engineering and Computer Programming. Based on "only credits transferring back to UQ", you won't have to push yourself to attain high academic performance, but you definitely will be required passing all courses.

Personal experience

I got lots of friends from HKU, they are all smart and "play hard, study hard". Compared to UQ students, they got more peer pressure and the majority of them rarely sleep before 2 am. What did I learn from my friends is being aggressive in the academic effort and making great efforts to everything.

Accommodation

I lived at Lee Shau Kee Hall of Second Student Village, which was student residences assigned by HKU. The Second Student Village is located on Pok Fu Lam Road and extremely near to Flora Sports Centre that totally free for HKU students. Lee Shua Kee Hall was probably one of the newer buildings for accommodation and the fees were around 7000 HKD for the whole semester.

You'll be assigned a double room with a senior local student. However, my original roommate quit the hall and I had a completed my own space. At Lee Shau Kee Hall, you have to share pantry and bathroom with your floormates, and the laundry requires sharing with the entire hall mates.
I joined the Contract Bridge Team when I was living in Lee Shau Kee Hall.
We practised twice a week normally if you decide to take part in Joint-hall Bridge Competition, you probably require practising 3 even 4 times a week in order to prepare well. Contract bridge is a fun game, which involves several contracts and trick-taking techniques.

Professional development and employability

View of HKU library

Exchange experience was good for my future professional career. After I finishing the exchange semester, I got an official internship from an investment bank ( fixed income department), which located in Lujiazui Finance & Trade Zone, Shanghai. 

Another attribute I want to point here is not necessarily related to my professional career but related to my academic aspect. Actually, I did double majors before, Accounting and Finance, and I was extremely confusing my career prospects. During my exchange semester, I chose an International Financial Management as I mentioned, which was a quite useful course and made me get interested in IMF. Therefore, I express my IMF research aspiration to my professor and he gave me lots of suggestions like getting high GPA and GMAT score, and etc. 

Top tips

  • I would definitely recommend applying for university accommodation because it is far cheaper than trying to find accommodation on your own. If you’re not assigned university accommodation straight away as many more offers go out in the first to second week of the semester starting.
  • Joining the clubs you like and being a part of HKU.