Kung Hei Fat Choi!!! (Happy New Year!)
Yes, the Year of the Dragon commenced just two days ago and I have some lovely pictures of the parade and the fireworks to show you. BUT, as I promised, I will first explain a little bit about the thing I’m supposed to be doing here: studying.
The university I’m attending is called Hong Kong University (for simplicity 😉 ). It takes 5 to 10 minutes to get there by bus, but on a sunny day walking there is quite the treat. (as can be seen from the picture)
I’m enrolled at the Faculty of Business & Economics, so I’m supposed to take at least three courses from this faculty. It took me quite a lot of effort to enroll at this faculty, since University College Utrecht (my home university) officially has a deal with the Faculty of Arts. I still don’t fully comprehend their motivation for electing a student majoring in Science and Social Science to go to an arts faculty. Anyway, a month of e-mailing back and forth enabled me to actually do courses here that are relevant to my curriculum, which doesn’t seem too much to ask, does it?
The first two weeks at HKU (Hong Kong University) are called the ‘Add/Drop Period’ in which you are allowed to sit in on any course you want and you attempt to enroll in courses online. I have now finished one week of this hectic applying bonanza and ended up in only a buddhism course. Don’t ask me how that happened. Luckily I had managed to get into ‘Introductory Econometrics’ and ‘Microeconomic Theory’ at home already. I’m now trying to figure out which other economics courses I would like to take. ‘Economic Development of China’ had an interesting course outline, but unfortunately it turns out to be taught by a permanently angry and frustrated Chinese woman with an incomprehensible accent. Eventually, I think I’ll apply for ‘Economic History of China’, ‘The Economic System of Hong Kong’, ‘Current Economic Affairs’ (least favourite, because taught by strict chap in midlife crisis) and ‘Principles of Journalism’ (why the hell not?). Besides this, I want to improve my Mandarin, so I’m also taking a Chinese course. Busy! Below you can see a picture I took while doing my first homework this semester (econometrics is a bitch) in the Econlab. Look at the funky dual monitors they’ve got over here!
I usually have lunch in the university canteen. They offer a large range of Western as well as Asian cuisine. It’s extremely cheap and quite delicious, except for the veggies that are always the same, whatever dish you order. I guess I shouldn’t complain at 15 HKD per meal (= approx. 1.50 euros). The university library is also quite nice, with the possibility to borrow DVDs and watch them in a special room, sit on comfortable chairs and being distracted by an overwhelmingly beautiful view of the campus and surroundings.
Besides studying economics, I’ve also come here to study dance. And guess what? I’ve finally found a ballet school! A friend who studied at HKU last year kindly recommended a school to me (Thanks again, Niko!). It’s a half-hour bus ride from where I live and the classes are really good. I’m so happy I finally found a ballet school! My back was starting to feel like the Hunchback of the Notre Dame’s, but the two classes I took there last week improved it a lot.
Next time, I’ll share some of the nice pictures I took during Chinese new year with you, as well as a description of all the awesome stuff I’ve been up to during my week off! 🙂