|Live and Study Abroad • Hong Kong
Your professional guide for incoming and outgoing academic exchange; and living in HK.
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So you have made one of the biggest decisions in your life to go to HK. But before you get on the plane / boat / train, think for one more time: Why are you going to HK?
Is it because you have friends who have been there and they told you it is a wonderful place?
Is it because your friends (or boy / girlfriend) are also going to HK so think you better go with them?
Is it because everyone says HK or China or Asia is the destination to be?
Is it because you have friends or family there so it will be easy for you?
Is it because you have no other choice?
If any one of the above reason is the reason why you want to go to HK; I hope you have not bought your plane ticket yet because you would be regret after being in HK for a week or even shorter. Over the years, I have met incoming international students who have just arrived at the school in HK from the airport; and then for whatever reason, such as: It is too hot here! Oh no, they don't take credit card at the fast-food restaurant there! Oh no my roomie is Chinese, my classmates are Chinese...everyone in the streets are Chinese; there are no white people around! (I am not making them up! They are exactly what those regret-ters have told me)
And then, they called their parents at home; and SUPRISINGLY, their parents did not ask them to give it a try but said: "I am sad to hear that you have to experience ALL these! We have told you USA (or somewhere) is the best...anyway, it is okay, baby, I am buying you a ticket now. Take the cab to go to the airport; you will get your seat and be home tonight!" So, these students' study abroad experience has only last for 24 hours or less.
That is why I am also writing to parents of the students / expats in my Website here. I am not saying it is wrong to bring their children back to 'safety'; I am trying to include parents in the process of making the study abroad decision; which will be beneficial to both the students and their parents. It will help parents to understand the place, the school so that they will not have too much worry. When you go study abroad, you are not the only one who are unfamiliar with your destination and host school. Your parents are also unfamiliar with all these. They love you, they want you to be safe and happy. So it is normal that they will be worried if they do not know too much about the country and school. Let them get familiar with the country and school so they can support you better. It is also a good opportunity for your parents to learn about a new culture if they have not before. Your parents may have heard strange things about the country. Talk to them and find out it they are correct together.
So think about again why do you go to HK. It should not be any reason I have mentioned above. The answer should be what do you want to do in HK; and why do you think you can. Before going anywhere further in my Website, please make sure you have found out your answer already.
Also, try to go as deep as you can when finding your answer. Discuss with your friends, schools and parents whenever necessary. They are people who know you and they may be able to see what may interest you. If you want to go to HK because you want to learn Chinese. Don't just stop there! Think about why do you want to learn Chinese? (and not other languages) Are you going to do anything in the future which it will be useful if you can speak Chinese? What are the things you are going to do? Why do you want to do them in the future?
To some people they may realize they just want to become an English teacher and it does not have to be teaching Chinese students. They may learn Arabic, Hindu and such so they can teach in Asia as well. So they do not really need to go to HK. They can go to India, Malaysia, etc..
On the other hand, some people may realize they have very deep interest in the Chinese culture and they will be very happy if they can teach in China later.
Different people have different reason, but it must be a personal reason rather than 'I am just going with my boy / girlfriend'. You will not achieve anything and you are wasting your time (may as well be your boy / girlfriends' time because they have to take care of you and cannot fully involve in the local community).
Also make bigger and wilder ambition and dream! You are going to another country and there are unlimited discovery and new opportunity. If you want to learn Chinese and teach Chinese students in the future, think about getting a teaching internship while you are studying. Think about visiting the schools there during your stay. Think about further study there and obtain a teaching qualification. Your study abroad trip may start as a one or two semester program; but who tells you it cannot be something longer? I have met more than one students who came to HK for a one semester program; but they fell in love with HK and extended their stay. One of them even convinced his home university that he could finish his degree and take the final examination in HK. He ended up finished his degree in HK and is now working in a university here. Again, think BIG!
So if you have found out the real reason why you want to go to HK and everything you want to do in HK, you are now ready to purchase your plane ticket and explore the rest of the part about going to HK.
For Students / Expats - tips for you to make the most of your overseas experience; and to overcome challenge and hardship
For Parents - tips for parents to support their children in their life-changing journey
For Home / Host Schools - suggestions for schools to provide better support to their international students
August, 2017 (Version 6.0);
since January 01, 2007
Best viewed in 1024 x 768 resolution; IE 11 / Safari / Chrome / Firefox - By Lorencio H M Shiu; all rights reserved MMVII - MMXVII
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