Exchange at Hong Kong Polytechnic University
What subjects are you studying at your university? Are these direct equivalents or electives?
I am studying three subjects at my host university: polytechnic university. I study engineering, but my exchange subjects are all electives from the finance and accounting department.
What are the facilities like at your host university?
Extremely modern just like UTS, it’s a mixture of modern and Polytechnic’s unique red style architecture. Like UTS’s building 1 and building 11. The facilities at Polyu offers both modern teaching rooms, huge lecture halls and small tutor classrooms. It is quite often that you’ll find music performance performed by Polyu students every Tuesday.
How does the teaching style differ to that at UTS?
Teaching style is extremely similar, with both tutorial classes and lecture classes. However, there is more of an emphasis to come to the lecture in person, in comparison to UTS where most lectures are online.
Are you studying something really interesting or different to what you have done before?
I’ve always had an interest in economics and commerce. Coming to Polyu I’ve had the chance to study economics and its logics when we apply it to engineering projects. I am also studying a basic accounting class which proves harder than I expected.
How is life in your host city?
Life in Hong Kong is actually quite similar to Sydney to an extent, due to its colonial history and the fact that Sydney is so culturally diverse it’s hard to not draw similarities to Sydney.
However, the sense of personal space is quite small in Hong Kong, I’ve learned a lot of having a roommate that slept a foot across from me.
Overall life in Hong Kong is quite spectacular, the night life, shopping, everyone can speak and understand English to an extent and the city skylines is almost insane.
How was the orientation/arrival program at your host university?
I missed out on orientation day but the arrival program for exchange student was quite fun. We were introduced to the faculty responsible for us, we had a variety of support including mental support, health care, dental care and a lot of programs with local students we could interact with.
We also played introduction games and have had multiple opportunities to introduce ourselves, our nationality and university.
Housing – are you living on campus?
I live very close to the campus, a 10 minute walk. The housing is provided by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Housing is composed of two rooms and a shared toilet. Each room has two beds and a study desk. Although at first it can be quite shocking to how small the rooms are, it’s a lot of fun when you get to meet your roommates.
What have you found most surprising about your new country/culture?
Some cultural differences I’ve encountered are they stand on the left side on escalators, sharing tables with strangers is very common. Food can be both extremely cheap and expensive.
Due to the limited spaces in Hong Kong people queue up next to each other with very limited spaces in between and was quite a culture shock when I first got here. And on public transport there is no tap off, the opal card equivalent over here covers the entire trip. There have been numerous times where I have paid for two tickets thinking I needed to tap off.
What are you enjoying the most?
Exploring the city and every day I can go to a different place and be amazed by what that specific area offers.
Different cities close to Hong Kong including Macau.
The shopping malls here are quite amazing. I am lying if I don’t say that I don’t enjoy that the most.
Night in Central in Hong Kong and Macau
Any top tips for future students?
Prepare enough cash so you won’t be charged surcharge every time when withdrawing cash.
Always have fun but stay safe.
Go check out the Monster Building, it’s a 1960’s style building with around 15-20 floors but houses 10,000 people!
Zuming Tony Yao
Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Data, Diploma in Prof Eng Practive
Global Exchange Student at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant Recipient
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