Name: Mia Fitzgerald POLINSKI
Home Institution: Augustana College (the United States of America)
Term of Exchange: Term 1, 2017-18
I chose to study in Hong Kong because just last year I had started taking Mandarin Chinese and soon began to take a strong interest in the Chinese language and culture. Much of the Chinese culture was an unexplored subject for me. I didn't know much about the culture and wanted to learn more through a hands-on opportunity like this exchange programme. My good friend was an exchange student at Lingnan last year. He only had good things to say about it and was so excited that I was planning my study abroad experience here.
When I first arrived in Hong Kong, I was overwhelmed with emotions of nervousness and enthusiasm for what was to come. Arriving on campus, I just remember thinking how beautiful it was. I was blown away by how green and warm feeling everything was.
Studying at Lingnan University has been an unforgettable experience. Lingnan provided me with a smooth transition from life in America to life in Hong Kong. I never expected to learn so much about myself and the rich Hong Kong culture I was immersed into. Being home now, I look back at my experiences with sentimentality. I think about the amazing friends I made, the delicious food I tried, lively nights in the city, the breathtaking hikes and scenery, the thought-provoking ideas learned in class, the travel in other countries of Asia, etc. Each of these experiences have shaped the person I have become through this exchange. I feel liberated by how much I learned these past couple months. I am more independent and feel like I can push through challenges that I may not have been able to before. I will definitely be back to Hong Kong one day, this exchange has truly been one of my most rewarding experiences!