University of Hong Kong

Name: Sam Levy   |   Country: Hong Kong   |   Date: Fall/Winter/Year Long, 2017

Related Experience: Exchange: University of Hong Kong

For how long did you stay abroad?

Four months

Why did you choose to learn abroad?

Desire to learn more about the region and life in Hong Kong, and have new experiences

What are the specific skills that you learned or developed?

Travel planning: became confident planning trips for myself and for small groups

Personal balance: learning to balance the desire to be on-the-go with taking the time to reflect on experiences and learn from them

Improved my knowledge of southeast Asian history and culture

What benefits did you get from the experience?

Developed stronger personal beliefs and opinions, traveled to ten countries, made dozens of friends along the way

Sam Levy
Please, name 2 challenges that you faced and how you overcame them in your experience.

More than previous study abroad programs, the tighter living conditions and unfamiliar exchange cohort led to a lot of homesickness.  Once I recognized this, I communicated this to my family back home, and we started having near-daily skype check-ins.

Keeping up personal fitness was a challenge. It was hard to get into a regular rhythm due to all the travelling, and it was harder to eat healthily in Hong Kong (the ‘kitchen’ was the size of a bathroom sink, shared by six people). I did not overcome this challenge while I was in Hong Kong, and it took about a month of exercising every day in order to get back to my previous level.

Would you recommend learning abroad to a friend? Why?

In Toronto, it’s easy to comfortably go between home and school. Abroad, nothing is easy or comfortable, and as a result one is constantly pushed out of their comfort zone. There is no way to learn, both in your studies but also about yourself and all the things you can be capable of.