By Alexandra Ure (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
After a jam-packed summer of catching up with family and friends, holidays, interning and celebrating my birthday on Friday, I am finally about to commence my study abroad year in Hong Kong. Tomorrow I embark on a gruelling 20-hour journey to Hong Kong with a stop-over in Doha; this was my cheapest flight option but you can fly direct for around £100 more if you’re not the best flyer!
I am in disbelief that this is actually happening and at how fast time has passed since handing in my very first Worldwide Exchange applications; it feels so surreal that I will be halfway across the world in 48 hours! I am so excited to start this once in a lifetime opportunity and can’t wait to fall in love with Hong Kong!
Pre-departurewise, I have had no trouble with communicating with the host university (although I was worried about my Visa which only arrived two weeks ago!). Amongst other minor pre-departure related necessities, I have bought a travelcard from STA Travel which cost me £12 and is also an international student identity card, which I thought was handy; you can withdraw money for free with it at any Maestro ATM worldwide. Of course you might find it easier to take cash and set up a bank account in the country you’re travelling to, but I thought this would be worth mentioning as for me, it means one less thing to worry about. Now all I have to do is get a phone and sim when I arrive in Hong Kong (I’ve had a nightmare trying to get my phone unlocked because it’s relatively new).
Here is a little bucket list I’ve put together based upon necessary Google searches of Hong Kong tourist attractions and some personal achievements that I want to accomplish whilst I’m over there. I plan on adding to this list, changing it and ticking things off as I continue to post on the blog. Quite a lot of these are travel-based, which I hope to be able to do alongside or after my studies, but of course I will be focusing on my studies as my study abroad year is graded.
I am ready for and eagerly anticipating everything HK has to throw at me; ups, downs, challenges and opportunities and I very much look forward to sharing it all with the readers of Manchester On The Road!