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My Semester in Hong Kong: Part One

You know when you’re out clubbing and you’re sweaty and hot, so you go outside for a well earned cig and cool air on your face? This is simply not possible in Hong Kong.

Summer is apparently waning here but outside is at least 10 degrees hotter than a sellout Chibuku night.


One year ago, I decided to take part in the Study Abroad programme at Uni and a little while after that I chose Hong Kong as my destination.

I’m just over five weeks into my trip, leaving me with fifteen to go until I’m forced to return to the UK.  Just in time for the notoriously warm month of January. Ha.

A Beatles tribute band -- Just so Alex doesn't feel too far away from Liverpool

A Beatles tribute band — Just so Alex doesn’t feel too far away from Liverpool


Hong Kong was owned by us Brits until 1997, so things like the same emergency numbers, same plug sockets, double-decker buses and trams mean HK basically feels like home.

That is, if people at home drank cheap (and I mean CHEAP) booze on the streets while narrowly avoiding being hit by taxis rather than going to clubs, or if people at home got colds from over exposure to air conditioning and if it was impossible to catch up with Great British Bake Off on BBC iPlayer.

To clear up any common misconceptions that I also had prior coming here: Hong Kong is NOT mainland China. It’s its own Special Administrative Region. And, Chinese food is actually absolutely nothing like food from a Chinese takeaway (five weeks in, I am very much missing Yorkshire puddings and gravy).



However, I do think I kind of love it here.

What Hong Kong lacks in terms of the Raz and Juicy Thursdays, it more than makes up for with its concentration of cutting edge Asian fashionistas, designer shops (seriously, there is literally about one Topshop – I’m a student, guys!), and skyscrapers which look incredibly beautiful, especially lit up at night.


The island is wonderfully green (like our fair Isles) and there are plenty of beaches to choose from whenever the Sun manages to outshine the air pollution that hangs over us.


But in between drinking with Europeans, Aussies and Yanks, laying on the beach and sweating more than I’ve ever sweated before – I do actually go to Uni. They aren’t lying when they say they work the Chinese students hard. THREE HOUR lectures may be the death of me.

So when you’re leaving your lectures after 50 minutes you lucky gits, spare a thought for little old me living it up in Asia.

Alex Gregson


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