I arrived in Hong Kong on January 17, 2013 at approximately 6:00 PM. My flight from Los Angeles to Hong Kong took fifteen hours as I flew across the Pacific Ocean. Upon my arrival, I had the address to my dormitory that I presented to a taxi man. I was quite nervous because I did not know how to speak Chinese, or the dialect Cantonese specifically, which is the language they mainly speak in Hong Kong. But thankfully, because this Special Administrative Region of China (SAR) was once colonized by the British, everyone speaks English here.
The ride was forty minutes long as he drove me across a bridge in the direction of the Hong Kong island. In Hong Kong, there are two main parts of the harbor: Hong Kong island and Kowloon. My university, The University of Hong Kong, is on Hong Kong island. The view of Hong Kong is so beautiful. Everything is well lit and high-rise buildings surround the city. I would compare being in the heart of Hong Kong to New York City because the buildings are so tall with bright lights and advertisements everywhere. Hong Kong is very clean and well kept. There is little trash on the streets and the atmosphere is extremely urban and modernized. It is not unusual to see expensive sports cars and men dressed in suits walking around in the city.
The place I will call home for the next five months is Patrick Manson. It is an all girls’ dormitory located about two miles away from the main university campus. Upon my arrival, I met my roommate from Sweden named Ida. I was so excited to have her as my roommate because within the first ten minutes of talking, we realized we had so much in common and were excited to be studying abroad in Hong Kong together.
In the month that I have been here, Ida and I have explored so many places together such as Macau, Lamma Island, and Soho in Hong Kong. In fact, we are already planning our trips to see each other post-graduation. I look forward to showing her around in America as well as visiting Sweden! I am so happy that I am making lifelong friendships with people from all over the world. At the exchange student orientation, I met students from Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Sweden, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. It is fascinating to see how students like me from all around the world want to travel and explore the Hong Kong and Asian region just as much as I do!
This month has definitely flown by. During the week I attend classes and meet new professors and students in my classes, and every weekend I am out and about visiting somewhere new. The next few months will pass even faster because I have booked my travels to Beijing and Thailand. I can’t wait to share with you the next chapter of my study abroad adventures here in Hong Kong.