Wow this blog is really overdue, but the end of my semester til now has been INSANE. HKUST’s exam period took place over 2 weeks, and luckily all of mine were near the end so I was able to knock off two more countries from my travel list, Vietnam and Cambodia. My roommate and I spent three days each in Saigon, Phnom Penh, and Siem Reap and it was a blast, but also ridiculously hot. Worth it.
When we came back I had four days to study before my first final. Was this my best decision? Idk, we’ll see when I get my grades. Studying for finals felt so similar to studying for finals at USC, I almost forgot I was in HK. It was five days of grinding, but hey, I survived.
After my last final (RIP Linear Algebra, you will NOT be missed), I was back off to the airport to meet my parents in Beijing! Honestly, that is a sentence I never thought I would say. For my final travels of the semester I finally got to mainland China, which did feel reaaaaally different from Hong Kong. And after 4 months of $3 hostels, it was nice to have someone else footing the bill (ty @mom @dad).
Then, before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye to the place I was so lucky to call home for a semester. Hong Kong exceeded all of my study abroad expectations, and I am so eager to find a reason to go back (looking at you future employers, whomever you may be). I loved every minute of living in a new country (Special Administrative Region, technically) and getting to learn all about the many places I visited. I’ve made some amazing new friends that I never would have met had we not all decided to uproot to Hong Kong for a semester. Time flies when you’re having fun has never felt more true, because somehow I am already back in LA and it feels like the past four months was just some crazy dream.
I can’t say it enough that whatever college you’re at, whatever field of study you’re in, find a way to study abroad. It’s an experience like no other (really when else can you just jump across the world for a little bit?) and has given me memories that I will treasure forever!
PS I know that’s the cheesiest cliche in the book, but my emotions are pretty cheesy rn
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