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Some words from exchange students!

March 29, 2018 / by / 0 Comment
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Name : Nuria Alfonso Gonzalvez Country : Spain Exchange period : 1 year (from 2017) Major : Biochemistry “Now I think I have a wider perspective of the world.”

Name : Nuria Alfonso Gonzalvez
Country : Spain
Exchange period : 1 year (from 2017)   Major : Biochemistry
“Now I think I have a wider perspective of the world.”

-Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Nuria Alfonso Gonzalvez, from Spain, Pamplona. I am exchanging from University of Navarra (UNAV), studying biochemistry.

-Why did you choose to come to Hong Kong?

I made a list before coming to Hong Kong. I wanted to go outside of Europe and my university only had two options, Canada or Hong Kong and I made like a pro and con list about Hong Kong. The pros were like, it’s easier to travel around to other parts of Asia that I would like to know and the university was well graded so that’s good enough for my CV. I wanted to go out of my comfort zone because it’s my first time in Asia.

-Did you have any expectations before coming to Hong Kong?

Nope!

Haha I just arrived here and I was like “shit, what should I do?” Like I didn’t study thoroughly about Hong Kong. I was like I should go…I should go… and when I arrived it was like a whole new world for me.

-So you haven’t gone to a lot of tourist attractions? Have you done some travelling?

Yeah, I think I went to a lot of tourist attractions.

 

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  -Can you think of a memorable place?

For hikes, I really love suicide cliff and I also enjoyed going to Sai Kung.. it was quite nice with the waterfalls..and from the city, maybe HKU? Hahah you know that tourists visit here to see HKU?

-Yeah, for Chinese New Years, everyone came here to see HKU !

Haha yeah, but for city, I would choose ten thousand buddhas, it was quite fun.

-Did you do anything for Chinese New Years?

We went to see the parade. I’m not sure how to say, but the shops that are close to causeway bay.. kind of like a local Chinese New Years market. But we didn’t buy anything because it was so crowded that you couldn’t even approach to the shops. It was so crowded! We arrived at 8, which was the time when the parade starts but it was already so crowded because I think people go there one hour before.

-Did you ever notice any differences in Hong Kong compared to your country, something that surprised you?

One of the things that most surprised me is when I saw that people who clean the city are very elderly people. Many times they don’t look healthy or doing well, like they have back problems…

-How is it back in your country?

Its usually young people in their 40s-50s who wants a job and they do that, like a full-time job.

-I think it’s same in Korea too, like not a lot of young people but rather old people..maybe it’s because it’s hard for old people to get a job..

-Well, that surprised me because back in Spain and countries I know in Europe, when you retire, the government gives you money so you can get a job. So it surprised me to see quite old people working in the streets.

-In contrast, what do you think is the best thing in Hong Kong as an exchange?

Hong Kong is such a big city that you have everything. Like foods are from almost all parts of the world…like there are people from all over the world..I think that opens my mind. I came here and I knew I will meet a lot of people, but its more than I expected.. like I met people from all over the world, Korea, Japan, United States, United Kingdom, Italy and Africa.

-So back in your university you didn’t have so much diversity?

No, we have people from Spain, South America..so mostly Europeans and Americans.

 -For me back in my university, we had a bit of diversity but because there were not a lot of Europeans because it was japan..Mostly south east Asian people partly Americans, so when I came here I met a new region of people and it was really cool. So now I have a new goal, which is getting an intern in Europe because I want to spend some time where I have never been before.

You should go..that will be so nice.. At least in Spain, there are not a lot of people who knows Koreans or Japanese because there are not a lot of Asians. There are a bit of Chinese.. and you speak English pretty well.. because in Spain there are not a lot of people who are fluent in foreign languages so they will like you because you know a lot of languages, and they need people.

-So what’s your plan after the exchange period?

After my exchange period, I would like to work a little bit in the summer. I want to work and earn money because I already spent a lot of money while I was in Hong Kong and I took away a lot of money from my family haha so yeah and go back study for my last year. The best thing will be if I find something in Germany so I can stay with my parents.

-Do you think you have gained something during your exchange period?

Now I think I have a wider perspective of the world. It was my first time outside of Europe and I haven’t traveled as much so I think this was such a good opportunity. Also I think my English has improved as well compared to the first day I came here. So I am really proud of this improvement.

-Were there any difficulties while you were living in Hong Kong?

I think I had some difficulties in the beginning. Like getting used to how things work in Hong Kong. Like..ah…the mini buses.. haha..I didn’t know that I had to shout to stop the buses. So in the second week after I arrived in Hong Kong, I took this mini bus that goes to our hall and it used to always stop in front of our hall. So I thought it was a regular thing. So one day I just set down there and didn’t say anything. So the bus passed the station! I was so shocked at the moment. Inside I was like ‘shit shit shit what have I done?’ I couldn’t think and I thought I took the wrong one. So I waited until somebody stopped the bus and I got of the bus, crossed the street, and I took the big bus.

-Yeah that happened to me too. It was so hard for me to go back to the halls in the first few weeks!

Name : Yoori Shin Country : Korea Exchange period : 1 year (from 2018) Major : Political Science  “I am trying to spend more time on discovering myself through this exchange period.”

Name : Yoori Shin
Country : Korea
Exchange period : 1 year (from 2018)
Major : Political Science
“I am trying to spend more time on discovering myself through this exchange period.”

-Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Yoori Shin. I am from Seoul, Korea and exchanging from Yonsei University. I am majoring in political science.

- Why did you choose to come Hong Kong?

I was interested in Hong Kong’s culture and I thought its current political situation is interesting. Also the reason why I choose HKU is because I can learn both languages, English and Chinese.

-Have you learned a bit of Chinese before?

Yeah a bit of Mandarin, so I was kind of shocked to know that they only use Cantonese here.

-So did you have any expectations before coming to Hong Kong?

Yeah of course, because I watched a lot of Hong Kong movies when I was in Korea like Tian mimi and I had a fantasy about Hong Kong. So I thought I would meet my love in Hong Kong. I was expecting that…but yeah I’m still single haha.. and also I figured out there are so much food to eat in Hong Kong, I’m really enjoying it.

-What is the best food you tried in Hong Kong so far?

Dimsum! I especially like the one that has pork inside and the crispy bun. Also wanton noodles!

-How do you spend your daily time?

As I came here as an exchange student, I don’t study that much..haha..but I try to experience new things, like traveling around, meeting new people, and especially I’m trying to meet new people as much as I can beyond Koreans. Also I am trying to spend more time on discovering myself through this exchange period. I am trying to read more books and watch movies..enjoying my daily life.

-So do you have any place that was memorable because you seem like you have done a lot of traveling.

Repulse bay, stanely bay were really good. I also enjoyed riding the second floor bus. I took the tour bus and explored the city. Also the night view—Harbor city ! It was so nice!

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-Have you ever notice any differences in Hong Kong compared to your country, something that surprised you?

I think there are a lot of dogs in Hong Kong, like pets. I live in Kennedy town and I noticed that there are a lot of dogs walking around and the thing is that in Korea, if the dog pees, they just go. But in Hong Kong, I noticed that people pour water after their dogs pee. I think that’s such good manners.

Also, for HKU, I felt the school cares a lot for their students. In Korea we have to do all the things by ourselves, like finding internships and jobs. But here, they consistently send mails and I think they care a lot. Even my Korean exchange friend was saying like this university is much better than her home university. Haha

-Have you ever felt any difficulties while staying in Hong Kong?

Hmm.. the difficulties I have in Hong Kong is also the best part of Hong Kong. The food is so delicious! I planned to go on a diet while I’m staying in Hong Kong, but I think I will fail because I eat a lot and there is so much food to eat! That’s the difficult part. I cannot control my appetite.

-What do you think is the best part of exchange otherwise than food..haha

Good thing about Hong Kong is that you can experience new culture because there is so much diversity here. Also you have a lot of free time so you have the time to meet new people and I think these times will give me new inspiration to know about myself.

-What do you think you will gain from this exchange period?

Hmm tough question.. weight..pounds? Haha

Inspiration and more network. Also, I will have more courage about myself. I hope so.

-Do you find it hard to spend time with the local students here as an exchange student?

I think they are all nice. Like when I ask them about locations they reply very kindly.. But it’s kind of hard because I can’t speak Cantonese which I think is the main problem so I cannot fully connect to them as I have to speak in English.

Also it’s so hard to find them because they always study so hard, so I tend to gather with other exchange students. But I want to meet them. I also think it’s tough because every time I wanted to get into school clubs, I couldn’t because they only speak in Cantonese.

Name : Hasan Asim Country : United Kingdom Exchange period : 1 year (from 2017) Major : Computer Science  “Made loads of friends. That’s the main thing, its about the people.”

Name : Hasan Asim
Country : United Kingdom
Exchange period : 1 year (from 2017)
Major : Computer Science
“Made loads of friends. That’s the main thing, its about the people.”

-Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Hasan Asim. I am from the United Kingdom studying in the University of Sheffield. I am majoring in Computer Science.

 - Why did you choose to come Hong Kong?

I choose Hong Kong because I really wanted to stay in a big city. I never lived the city life before. I felt I would really enjoy it because I live in a small town near Manchester.

- Did you have any expectations before coming to Hong Kong?

I didn’t know what it would be like. I had no idea.. I thought everyone would speak English in Hong Kong, but than I went into restaurants, I realized they don’t speak English.

-Do you have any special episodes that happened in Hong Kong?

When it was one of my friend’s last day in Hong Kong, and his flight was like 11 am so we didn’t go to sleep. Instead when it was the time for sunrise, we took a taxi to Braemar hill and looked at the view of Hong Kong and that was the best view I have ever seen in my life! Crazy view.

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-What are your plans after the exchange period?

Once the exams are finished, I want to travel for like 5-6days and come back for one final night in LKF. Then fly out to Dubai, and back to the U.K. I have three months before school starts so I’m going to try be productive. Travel a bit in Europe and maybe meet some people I met in Hong Kong. Also, trying to get an internship maybe. Or try to do a side project because I study computer science.

- Do you think you have gained something during your exchange period?

I have had new experiences that I wouldn’t have gained if I stayed at home. So different. Made loads of friends. That’s the main thing, its about the people!

- What do you think is the best thing in Hong Kong as an exchange?

People and all the socialising, like that feeling when it’s Wednesday and the work is done and you go to Wongs just to talk to people, socializing, going to stones meeting people. That’s a great feeling!

 



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