It seems the world grows smaller as universities offer students more international exchange opportunities.
City University of Hong Kong‘s (CityU), many international exchange opportunities send students to different parts of the globe such as North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia.
Who wouldn’t want to try a study abroad experience? Study Abroad is the chance to explore new landscapes, immerse in foreign cultures, meet new people, and experience learning at world-renowned institutions. It’s a unique and unforgettable experience.
Do you want to know what the life of an exchange student is really like? Below are stories from CityU students about their experiences while on exchange around the world.
Mingyang, National University of Singapore (Singapore)
Mingyang experienced life as an exchange student at National University of Singapore (NUS). She enjoyed the lush greenery of the city and seeing squirrels and geckos around campus.
The impressive academic culture at NUS helped Mingyang develop a routine that made her life as an exchange student in Singapore more fulfilling.
“Having such a busy schedule forced me to organise my life, study, activities, and fitness; in this way, the exchange experience was a great opportunity to readjust myself. It forced me to manage my daily study schedule in a more orderly manner. I am glad to have developed a better routine.”
Being an exchange student isn’t all hard work and studying in the library. Mingyang took breaks from her packed schedule by exploring Singapore.
“As the saying goes, you must step outside of your comfort zone to discover a wider world.”
Jingzhi, KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden)
Jingzhi isn’t afraid to grab a new opportunity with both hands. Even though in winter Sweden is very cold and the sun goes down in the middle of the afternoon, Jingzhi pursued the opportunity to study at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.
“There may not be a better opportunity to experience Scandinavia, so I decided to go ahead with this exchange program.”
KTH Royal Institute of Technology is filled with classic European architecture. Studying there, Jingzhi soaked up the culture and scenery of Stockholm. He explored the streets and lanes of the city, sought out bazaars, and visited museums.
“Exchange is a process that forced me to learn and adapt to a new environment. I didn’t have any cooking skills before going on exchange. After I visited Sweden, I realized that I really needed my comfort foods!”
His stay in Sweden also helped Jingzhi learn a few skills. He started filming videos of his life in Europe in order to express his thoughts. Most crucial was learning how to cook, which helped him cope with such a new environment.
Ruoxuan, McGill University (Canada)
On her first day at McGill University, Ruoxuan knew she made the right decision. She was motivated to apply because she wanted to improve her academic outlook and McGill’s learning atmosphere almost left her speechless.
“I’m not exaggerating – I had to sit on the floor during my first lecture. The lecture theatre, which is capable of holding hundreds of people, was completely full.”
As a Psychology major, Ruoxuan was very excited to study in McGill because the university’s Psychology department is globally renowned. Despite the challenging courses, she is grateful for having experienced such an engaging academic environment.
Ruoxuan experienced moments of homesickness from being halfway across the world from her loved ones. The 12-hour time difference made it difficult for her to speak with everyone at home. She managed these feelings by making an effort to make new friends, exploring new places in Canada, and focusing on the wonderful opportunities in front of her.
“I took the initiative to make some new friends, and we managed to visit different places during weekends. Gradually, I was able to control my mind very well. I focused on this precious opportunity and on my education – I no longer let sadness control my life.”