First few days

Keir Burbidge, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

With my Christmas holidays being largely non-existent because of coursework and alternative assessments my arrival in Hong Kong feels quite surreal. This is mainly because although I have known for a long time that I was going abroad it feels like it snuck up on me and I didn’t get the chance to properly say bye to all my mates. Despite having my suitcases packed I felt like I was going back to Manchester and not embarking on flight where I would leave 9am on a Wednesday and get to Hong Kong 9am the next day tired and jet-lagged but excited for the semester ahead. I was born in Hong Kong and I haven’t been back since I left when I was still a baby so on a personal note i’m gassed to be returning and experiencing life here as a student.

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Definitely not a bad view from my halls

The first thing I did on arrival was head to my new accommodation. Lee Hysan Hall is located on Sassoon Road  and is one of three huge tower blocks. I definitely wouldn’t say they are luxury halls. Think the Tower except you share a room. Affordable living space is in short supply and is a massive problem in Hong Kong so students here have to prove that they will add something positive to the halls here in order to get a place which gives the place much more of a community feel than halls in the UK. However I can’t complain because the fees for the whole semester is what I would pay in 6 weeks in Manchester! Not to mention that because it’s on a hill I have the sweetest view…

The campus here is pretty awesome. Everything is located in one place and it’s got its own MTR (tube) station which is on the same line as the city centre. Theres a free shuttle bus which runs from the accommodation to uni which is good because although there are frequent buses I have literally no idea which ones go where and the drivers don’t seem to like answering questions (one of them closed the door on me and drove off).

Enrolling in classes is pretty weird here as you do it on the same day as you start classes and it works on a first come first serve basis meaning everyone has got up waiting by their laptops waiting for 10am and the mad rush to enrol starts! I’m doing 5 different units with 15 hours a week instead of the 9 in Manchester but I guess it’s a small price to pay for the whole experience.

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Tower challenge?

Enrolling in classes is pretty weird here as you do it on the same day as you start classes and it works on a first come first serve basis meaning everyone has got up waiting by their laptops waiting for 10am and the mad rush to enrol starts! I’m doing 5 different units with 15 hours a week instead of the 9 in Manchester but I guess it’s a small price to pay for the whole experience.

It was the coldest it has been in Hong Kong for 60 years so it gave me a whole new appreciation for indoor heating and double glazed windows. Anyway its Chinese new years in a couple of weeks and as I’m in Hong Kong, why not head to the Philippines? See you guys in a few weeks.

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