Today is my fourth day in Hong Kong and the first day of classes at Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST).

I landed on Tuesday, August 29th at around 4PM and was lucky enough to have my exchange buddy waiting for me at the airport. The 15 hour flight was tough for a host of reasons. During the whole trip my heart was racing. My thoughts ranged from simple questions about sleeping on the plane to wondering if I would be able to make friends once I got to my destination and whether I made the right choice leaving the comforts of my home for a place I’ve never really been to. I occupied my time and my mind with free airplane movies and light reading.

Once I arrived at the airport, I met with my exchange buddy Winnie and we took the public bus to my dorm in Tseung Kwan O (將軍澳). She was so pleasant and courteous. We spoke English at first, but quickly switched to Cantonese after she realized I could speak the language. She was quite shocked at my speaking skills!

After I checked in at the dorm, we took a look at my room. It is very large. I live in Jockey Club Hall (JCH) which is an apartment style dorm. It is an off-campus dorm that is quite new. The residents of the hall are assigned to a suite and have a double room in the suite. The suite reminded me of Carl Becker House at home. We have a living room and kitchenette. There are four bedrooms in the apartment and there are two showers and toilets.  The school also provides a free shuttle bus to and from HKUST for JCH residents.

The past couple of days have been interesting. I spent a lot of my time either on campus going through orientation events or taking the MTR (the local HK metro) to the Hang Hau (坑口) shopping mall. Over the course of 3 days I have acquired a set of bed sheets, a pillow, some stationery, an IKEA bag for laundry, and clothes hangers.

Overall, it’s been a hectic three days in HK. I’m still trying to get adjusted to life here and am still pretty jetlagged. I miss home, my friends, my family, and the familiarity of Cornell. But at the same time, I am excited for what is to come in the next few months. I am excited to make new friends from all over the world and to step out of my comfort zone. I only wish this awkward transition period would go by a bit faster…