Rocky SHUM - The University of Sydney, Australia

"What is exchange? My answer after spending a semester in Sydney is that to experience an alternative life.
Going on exchange was not as rosy as I first imagined. Living alone thousand miles away from home, the first few weeks were uneasy because I was not just a tourist passing by but a resident settling down. Difficult as it was, curiosity fueled me up. How the Australians greet and chat with each other, how the architectural style differs from that of Hong Kong, how cheap but smooth the ice-cream is, everything was new and kept me so excited. When a month is gone, I started to blend into the new life. Not that I gave up all my habits in Hong Kong, for example I still ate instant noodles while trying to cook pasta. The food, the people, the media, the scenery, the pace, they all became natural and usual to me. There was a moment I felt like I am no longer a "Hong Konger" but an Australian while I was strolling in the neighborhood without using Google Map. If life is a bowl of soup, this exchange experience gave another taste to it so that it is not monotonous. This is what I meant by alternative life.
Of course, this exchange brought me to lots of magnificent sightseeing spots, cute animals and thrilling activities but these can also be achieved by leisure tours. What I said above however, is something special waiting to be discovered by really living in another place away home."