Hsieh Chia-Chun
Hsieh Chia-Chun
Bachelor of Science

A lot of people questioned me about my decision to leave Taiwan for HKU. My parents, my grandma, and my friends couldn't understand why I give up my place in the best university in Taiwan and come here. I think to broaden my horizon is the biggest factor of this decision. I was worried about the gap between my expectations and the reality before I came. However, after 6 months, I found that the more I explore into the jungle of this academic forest, the more I realize that she has even more to offer.

In terms of the academics, I really like the curriculum structure of the Bachelor of Science programme, which allows us to declare major in our second year. As a student of many interests, I am glad to have the flexibility to explore in different fields of studies and see what's suitable for me. Plus, having at least 90 free credits, I get to have the freedom to take courses not only within our faculty but also other faculties, thus forging my unique combination of learning experience.

As for the extracurricular activities, there were so many interesting things that happened this semester. I joined the dragon boat club of our residential college, where I get to make friends from all over the world and cooperate with them in the beautiful bay of Stanley beach. Aside from that, one of my Indian friends also held a small dinner party where he cooked delicious( pretty spicy though) curry and sweets and invited friends from Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mauritius…etc. to enjoy the meal together. In addition, I also joined the toastmaster club, where we practice public speaking skills with people of the same interest. I experienced the thrill of impromptu speaking in the table topic session, and also took on different roles such as facilitator and evaluator in our regular meeting. I conquered my fear of public speaking thanks to the encouraging mentors. Then, I also participated in the Startup Weekend event, in which I met a lot of wonderful people and we team up to make prototype of a business idea for the final pitch. Our effort paid off and our team won the Best Business Model award. This is probably the most rewarding semester I have ever had in my life.

However, life as an HKU student isn't always about the fun stuff. Getting into university means a lot of free time to make use of, but it also means being responsible for yourself. I had difficulty striking balance between academic and extracurricular activity, in addition to that, cooking, doing laundry, taking care of my own health, and a lot of other things my family used to do for me which I took for granted suddenly fell on my shoulder, and it just added frustration and homesickness to me. Luckily, there's a lot of helpful seniors and friends who are willing to share their experience and cheer me up. After one semester, I can confidently handle these challenges better than before.

Going through all the exciting and disappointing moments of this semester, I really learned a lot and made a lot of progress.I am happy about my decision to come to HKU, and I am looking forward to what's coming next.