I am currently over the halfway point in my exchange at CUHK SZ and it has been moving at such a rapid pace! I have just come off the back of midterms and I am starting to prepare for the last month and half of my exchange!
A few weeks prior I experienced my first national holiday, this was around two weeks of no classes due to the holiday and provided the perfect opportunity to go travelling around Asia. Therefore, me and eight other students, some from the University of Auckland, and also some from varying countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, decided to travel to both Myanmar and Cambodia for the national holiday period. It was some of the most amazing experiences and ones that I will never forget, from riding scooters through fields of Pagodas in Myanmar, to taking overnight buses with a group of foreigners to go see Angkor Wat in Cambodia, exploring the unknown. It was the perfect opportunity to push my boundaries and comfort zone by exploring these countries that I would have never personally thought of travelling to.
That has been one of the great things about this exchange is that not only do you get to experience the university life in a different country but you make plans to travel around to these amazing places that were not even considered attainable when you were back living in your home country. I would have to say Myanmar was my favourite place of the two, due to the local experience we gained through a tour guide who knew exactly what we wanted and also Myanmar is relatively untouched in terms of tourism compared to a lot of South-East Asia.
After the holiday we arrived back on campus late at night, still dressed in the South-East Asian style which included Thai pants and Cambodian t-shirts, so we were getting some curious looks as we got out of our taxis and back to our dorms! Then it was back into classes and daily routines again which was a little bit of a struggle after feeling like intrepid explorers for a few weeks. Now that the midterm period is over it is really starting to feel like the end of this exchange will creep up! The University has organized a trip to Hong Kong this upcoming weekend to visit the science park and the varying businesses around the area, that will be interesting to gain an insight to business life in comparison to New Zealand. Also, I am planning to visit Beijing in the coming weeks hopefully before the exam period begins! It is a must for me to visit the Great Wall!
Overall, I have now started to feel more comfortable in my new environment and have appreciated the opportunities that have come my way in the last few weeks, it is still crazy to think that I am out here studying in a completely foreign country!