By Jessica Lin, Foster Undergraduate who participated in an exchange with Hong Kong University in Hong Kong, China.
For me, the best part about coming to the University of Hong Kong (HKU) for an exchange has been all the doors it opens and all the growing it leads to. When I decided to study abroad, I was nervous about what my fall quarter would be like. I felt scared about leaving my friends and family, sad about missing UW events and football games, and stressed about what my life would be without Chipotle and Serious Pie. But now that I am two months into my exchange and halfway done, I would not trade this experience for anything.
I’ve made friends from, literally, all around the world. In some cases, I’ve known them for two months and in other cases, I’ve known them for two days. One of my favorite parts about studying at HKU is how easy it is to see and meet people from all over. Hong Kong is undoubtedly an international city and when I walk around campus, I always hear a multitude of languages being spoken. Strangely enough, my English is starting to pick up twinges of Singaporean English and Swiss English and my slang vocabulary grows by the day. Just talking about what life is like in other countries is unbelievably interesting. I’ve learned about a butter crisis in Norway, fashion in Seoul, and school life in Hong Kong.
Being on my own and out of my comfort zone has been two of the best months of my life. Hong Kong is a wonderful city to explore and I am never bored. While I’m positive I will travel much more in the future, I know that I will never get the same experience ever again. There is something special and exhilarating about doing a university exchange. Unlike later in life, everyone is eager to socialize and be bold. Between trying new local foods, hiking, and going on weekend trips, time has been flying by but my next adventure can’t come soon enough.