18 Nov - 06 Dec 2017
I was overwhelmed with joy and emotion when I was chosen to come to SPCC as an exchange student. It would be the first time I’d leave my country and I would be doing it alone (with Trent) which made me very nervous closer to my departure.
However, Hong Kong lived up and over the expectations I had of the enormous city. Hong Kong was full of modern architecture, weird shaped buildings and many oversized buildings which stunned me.
When I first arrived in Hong Kong I thought, “How do they live in such a small apartment?” and “How do they manage to fit so many people in one area?”
I found their systems of transportation interesting in how they account for the large population, as such services like trains and buses are not as frequent and common in South Africa. I also found it surprising how safe these services were to use. I often saw children as young as 8 years old going to school independently and catching trains and buses by themselves.
The people of Hong Kong are very diverse, intelligent and from what I’ve learnt from my host’s father, “very prompt”. “Time is precious in Hong Kong,” he frequently told me.
My class 4B was very welcoming and often included me in their learning environment and jokes. My teachers keenly involved me in their lessons and appreciated my company in their class. The students of SPCC gave their full attention to their teacher every second of every lesson and use laptops, tablets and online networks such as Kahoot and google classroom as a different approach to learning.
Probably the most fun and most difficult skill I’ve learnt while in Hong Kong is how to use the chopsticks. It took me a full two weeks to get the hang of it and now I am able to even eat rice with chopsticks!
The exchange student programme has really done me good. I’ve learnt so much and it has broadened my knowledge and taught me many new skills. This experience has also revealed good attributes of my personality that I did not know I had.
I would just like to thank my host family for welcoming me with warm hearts and making me feel like a part of their family. I would also like to thank Westville Boys High School and SPCC for this once in a lifetime experience.
I have particularly enjoyed the public transport in Hong Kong and how easy it is to get everywhere. I have found a new independence in this transport which all South Africans lack. The MTR and buses are efficient and safe and because of these systems I have had the privilege of doing a lot of sightseeing in and around Hong Kong after school and on the weekends.
I found the nightlife of Hong Kong vibrant and enjoyed walking the streets and being able to fully experience the “city that never sleeps”. The whole clock of Hong Kong seems to have shifted compared to South Africa, everything starts and ends much later than what I was used to.
I have been immersed in Hong Kong culture: trying new food, learning to use chopsticks (which I eventually got the hang of) and learning about the interesting history of Hong Kong.
My class, 4A, at SPCC has welcomed me and I have made many new friends. I have learnt a lot from SPCC and was impressed by the efficient and effective use of technology to enhance the learning environment.
Having the opportunity to be part of this programme has been a blessing and I have made memories that I will never forget.