Unforgettable Past Review

By (Birmingham-Southern College) - abroad from 01/08/2018 to 05/18/2018 with

Hong Kong Baptist University: Hong Kong - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned so much about myself. I became more confident and independent. I befriended people from different cultures. I got to taste incredible food that I've never tried before. And I got to visit other Asian countries since the plane tickets were much cheaper than they would be coming from the US! It was 100000% worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The international office was so helpful and friendly. After orientation, they continued to offer events throughout the semester like a cooking class, a field trip to the flower market, and a talent competition. HKBU teachers were pretty responsive to emails and some had office hours.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

There are two people to a room and four people share a bathroom. There is one common room for each floor with a table, fridge, stovetop, and kitchenware. I gave only three stars because the local students were very disruptive at night. They would run up and down the hallways screaming, singing, and laughing up until 2 in the morning. I was informed that this is just part of the "local culture" in Hong Kong, and it happens at all the universities.

* Food:

There is no meal plan. The canteen food was not great, even the local students thought so. However, there is a Starbucks and Pacific Coffee on campus and a pop-up Ebeneezer's that are good. Lok Fu Place is a short walk away and there are a ton of good food places there!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I had local students in three of my classes, but because most of my classes were lecture-based, we didn't get much time to socialize with each other. I became friends with two local students in my classes and my HKBU buddy. I felt very comfortable with my surroundings and the culture probably a month in.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have any experiences with healthcare, but a rating is required.

* Safety:

Hong Kong is extremely safe! I worried about going out by myself at night since I'm a small female, but I never felt scared or harassed.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I loved my experience in Hong Kong and at Hong Kong Baptist University. The location of the school was great. It's on the Kowloon side so it feels less crowded and fast-paced than the Hong Kong Island side. Our school is also walking distance from two MTR stations, a beautiful hiking trail, and a shopping center with bedding, toiletries, groceries, and restaurants.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I spent about HK$500 on food each week, which is about $64 USD. That was me eating comfortably and eating out every day and getting a meal from a nicer restaurant once or twice a week. There are many food places that are really cheap and still healthy. I could easily find a filling meal for under $4. Transportation using the MTR was also very affordable. Most trips cost less than $1. If you want to budget exactly how much money it'll cost, there's a trip planner on their website which says the exact cost. There are also MTR fare savers all around Hong Kong if you really want to save some cents.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

It was not required but I took a Cantonese class and enjoyed it. It definitely improved my experience being able to somewhat understand and communicate with local people who couldn't speak English.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Most of my classes were only once or twice a week so I had a lot of free time to explore Hong Kong
* What could be improved?
  • The teachers should give back assignments so students have a better sense of their grades. I only got graded homework back in two of my classes, and I had no idea how I was doing in the other two until the end of the semester.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? They don't have heating anywhere in Hong Kong. I wore four layers every day in January. I bought a small heater/AC for my room, and it was such a great investment. It gets really hot starting in April.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.