“One of the most important and life changing decisions in my college life was applying to the exchange program with City University in Hong Kong. At first, I assumed I would adapt quickly. I had already travelled 8,000 miles from Nigeria to live in the United States, learning to acclimate to a very different environment and people. To my surprise, Hong Kong was another world to learn.
Every culture has its own uniqueness, and Hong Kong is no exception. From the size of the rooms and classrooms to the people and food, everything was different. One of the differences that stood out to me was the issue of punctuality. I remember my first day of class, I got there ten minutes early but no student, including the instructor, showed up to class until ten minutes after the start time. I eventually got to know that once you are within a 15 minutes time frame, it is not considered late in Hong Kong. This was an adjusting moment, yet interesting.
Generally, I admired the city’s beauty. Most of the buildings are high rise. The subway system is one of the fastest and cleanest I had experienced, probably because most of the citizens depend on it for transportation. Having a car was a display of luxury and not a necessity.
I met students from different parts of the world, and our friendship enhanced my intellectual connection and enlightened my thoughts about global issues and continental differences. It also increased my tolerance for different opinions, teaching me why there are differences in the first place.
The months I spent in classes and just living there gave me a special understanding of Hong Kong and its role in global economic growth, based on its rapidly growing financial and banking institutions. Overall, I had an amazing experience, met a lot of great people, and learned a lot of lessons. This is an experience that I would relive over again if I could.”