When I first arrived in LingnanUniversity in Hong Kong, I was rather disappointed by its location. Far from the center of Hong Kong where splendid skyscrapers stand, the school was a small, liberal arts school in a small town called Tuen Mun. But the disappointment soon disappeared as I rediscovered the schoolÕs own charm. I had no problem adapting to the life in Hong Kong, thanks to the family-like atmosphere of Lingnan.
First, its orientation for international students was very helpful. At the end of August, the school introduced every aspect of Hong Kong and Lingnan life. I spent the first week of Hong Kong busily, having fun visiting famous spots with my buddies. I could easily get along with other international or local students, participating in various orientation programs. The atmosphere in Lingnan was just that much friendly.
Although the courses offered at Lingnan are not as varied as Ewha, the classes have quite an international mood. A lot of professors and even the students are from various nationalities.
Everywhere in school, you are just welcomed and not differentiated for where you are from. Classes were comprised of about 20 people or were even smaller, so students were fully encouraged to discuss with each other. During tutorial time, professors pay a lot of attention on studentsÕ progress. In addition, there are special courses called ILP, which provides extra activity courses like jazz piano, yoga, drum and fencing.
The hostel life is also full of excitement. Most of the students in Lingnan live in six student hostels, and all the exchange students share a room with a local student. So, I was able to build a strong friendship with a Hong Kong student. My roommate and I often go out for dinner, shop together, and chat all night long. Also, many parties are held in the hostel common room. Friends from different backgrounds gather to eat and watch movies together. On Halloween, for example, each hostel opened a ghost house and we all had fun together.
Life in Lingnan is full of dynamic experiences. You never know what is going to happen. You might be invited to a birthday party of a mainland Chinese friend; your roommate might suggest you to go Yuen Long for big sushi; German students would tell you to join a barbeque party at the Gold Coast which takes only 30 minutes by bus; Mexican friends might take you to Central to have quesadilla together. Being an exchange student guarantees international interactions with the people from various backgrounds.
Even though the school is not at the very center of Hong Kong, I could easily head to Central or Tsim Sa Tsui for shopping anytime, thanks to the convenient transportation system: subway, ferry, two stories bus, taxis and light rail. Anywhere I travel, even when I am alone, I never worry about getting lost in the middle of this crowded city. Hong Kong is good for shopping, but that is not everything. The mixture of Chinese and Western culture has made uniqueness of Hong Kong, and the diverse experiences never bore me. I could try some hot noodles in Mong Kok, walk along the KowloonPark, attend Dragon boat training, or hike in Sai Kung. But I know that the people I met here are the most precious of all.