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Journals from Hong Kong Baptist University

2010-09-28 Student Life 9/27/10

Life as a student at HKBU differs from life at Linfield down to the very structure of the school week.  Classes meet less frequently and for a greater amount of time. For example, two of my courses are three- hour lectures that meet only once per week. This means time management and self- motivation are crucial to staying on track with the lessons. Rather than having homework and exams test your knowledge of the course material during the semester and contribute toward your grade, one or two exams, in my case, determine your final marks. On the plus side, I have noticed students here pay much less for their text books.  In my case, not having to pay for course books this semester has been a welcome surprise. On the first day of classes, however, I experienced an unwelcome surprise. Having been used to the ease of accessing and printing materials from the electronic course reserves at Linfield, I was, admittedly, shocked when things were not the same at HKBU. At the library I was dismissively told the numerous excerpts from the books had to be individually found, checked out, and copied by me. Then, left to my own devices, I wandered the library unable, in the end, to find what I was searching for. I realize this event seems insignificant and also makes me seem quite lazy and naive but on this day I noticed a stark difference between this school and the one at home. I saw clearly the difference between a college that works to build a sense of community and one that does not. Over these four weeks of class, I have begun to learn about the culture of this college. The culture is not better or worse than Linfield’s, it’s simply different. Being submersed in a vastly different college culture makes me appreciate what I did not previously realize were privileges, at home. In the process, I have become more self-reliant and less apt to become offended because of social differences. So far, my experience abroad has taught me to evaluate the things that shape and give life to my every day expectations.


Michele Wong

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