Experiencing Hong Kong
|Date:||01 December 2015|
I have had the great opportunity, this summer from the 1st until the 8th of August 2015, to be the delegate of the University of Groningen at the 6th edition of the University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Hong Kong. The experience was greatly enlightening, enriching and educating as I had the chance to meet participants from 54 countries and listen to world leaders in several different fields. The speeches and the activities were exceptionally motivational and afforded an opportunity to the young future leaders to question societal issues and find their role and passion in order to help contribute to a world in need.
Holding this stimulating event in Hong Kong was an excellent choice. The impressive skyline of the city has comparison with neither European nor American cities. While its business center is booming, the too sharp and scary faces of Wall Street are not to be found in the bustling business district of Hong Kong, which is situated next to the most fancy clubs, bars and lounges in the world and at the same time accessorized with lovely park areas.
For me personally, it was the first time travelling to Asia and discovering that completely fascinating culture. I discovered a city of rush, crowds, development, innovation, excitement and action. It is a city that truly does not sleep. And it is almost as busy during the night as during the day. It was as westernized as it could be on a continent like Asia. Leaving the airport I was expecting to understand nothing and be completely guided by arrow signs. However, that was not the case. English was omnipresent, from the signs on the road to the menus at the restaurant, making it a comfortable city in terms of the language.
Moreover, the multiculturalism of the city is visible in its every corner. It is a city with almost full employment which strives to attract international talents from all parts of the world and is certainly accomplishing its goal in this respect. Meeting people from the USA, Europe, Africa, India and Australia which came there to work or study and connect I saw that the Hong Kong is a highly demanded market. The reason behind is that it offers everything in terms of education and the industries present in the market and the opportunity for development is at its peak. So it is certainly a place where your professional career could receive a great start.
In terms of the cultural shock, I have to admit the food, its flavors and tastes were extremely different, and the 12 days in that city were definitely not sufficient for me to acclimate to that new experience. Nevertheless I tried, and the traditional markets and corner restaurants where the locals would take us were something to be remembered. Also, I would advise trying the city in any other season but the summer as the humidity can be extreme.
All in all, an amazing and impressive city to be visited and considered in terms of either of exchange programs or research possibilities. If you find yourself lacking the time to travel the world to encounter different cultures, one needs merely to visit Hong Kong and there you find it all in one place.