by: Park Ye-ku-sul
I had an opportunity to study in Hong Kong (HK) as an exchange student for two semesters. If there is anyone preparing for the exchange program, I strongly recommend going to HK. I spent a fantabulous time there and I was very lucky to have gone.
Along with those typical skyscrapers that might come up to your mind at first when you hear the word "Hong Kong," there are beautiful beaches, mountains, and parks that you can enjoy whenever you want to be in nature. If you are a city girl, go to Central, Causeway bay, or TST. You can shop, go to cinemas, and go clubbing at night. Many HK clubs have "Ladies' Night," when girls can get free drinks. If you are a more nature type, go to the beaches or hiking trails at Victoria Peak, Lion Rock or the Lantau Island mountains. Lantau Island is where the biggest Buddha statue is located, and you should have vegetarian lunch at the temple.
There are eight universities in HK. I went to Hong Kong Baptist University. I am told that BU's CTV and Journalism department is the best in HK. Compared to Ewha, it is a small school. I was surprised and a little disappointed at first, but its size turned out to be one of the reasons that I got to love BU.
One thing I love about HK is its people. Everyone I met both on and off the campus are very warm and friendly. During the first week of class, I didn't know how to get to my classroom, so I asked a random girl on the street. She took me to the classroom and was late for her own class. It wasn't just a lucky case. HK people are very willing to help.
Exchange students live in the dorm and have to share rooms with local students. In some sense, my world was so small; I had to hang out with up to 40 students from all over the world. I sometimes felt like I was talking to an alien.
I am telling you; do not judge others just because they are different from you. My nonjudgmental personality enriched my life in HK. When you are in Korea, surrounded by your family and friends, you never know what it would be like. Sometimes you can't help judging people not because you are narrow-minded, but because you are a Korean. We look all similar, have the same skin and eye color, the same history and language. In HK I tried my best to absorb everything I encountered or God prepared for me. I listened carefully and participated in conversations not to miss anything. I watched movies and TV shows all the time; when we were in to Sex and the City DVDs, we were looking at the computer monitor 10 hours a day.
Be positive, smile and try to look at the bright side of your life. No one wants to be friends with a girl who is frowning and negative all the time. Be a Christmas gift for everybody! There is always a disagreeable person in every group, but you don? have to be one. Being an international student will not always be a walk in the clouds. Do you want to have unforgettable moments and meet the best friends of your life? Do not hesitate to adventure. This could be the chance to live a life you have never lived before.
Lastly I want to recommend taking a trip to South East Asia. You can get cheaper tickets from HK. I went to Thailand with seven friends. If I hadn't gone on this trip, I wouldn't have been able to get to know a friend named Khara better. She completed my HK life and became one of my best friends.
When I reminisce about my HK life, I have so much to talk about. It was the moment of my life. I can say that I am so blessed that I could be in HK and meet those wonderful friends. I thank God for all His preparation for me.