It is week 5 of classes here at the City University of Hong Kong. Unlike the mid-term crunch I would be feeling if I was at Drexel this term, the atmosphere here is quite chill. I am currently taking 12 credits which consist of two Computer Science classes and two general electives. All my classes have group projects for better or worse. Being an exchange student puts you at a disadvantage since a majority of the local students have already formed their groups eons ago which is what I ended up doing. There are usually two outcomes after discussing it with my friend.
- You end up with a group that does not include you or does not respond to your WhatsApp messages. If it is the second scenario, try directly tagging people in your messages which is what one of my friends was forced to do.
- The people in your group actually talk to you and you make some great friends.
According to a local, the reason why students do not do the group assignments is because they know that they will do well on the final exam. One of the benefits for Drexel students is that we only need a C to get credit for the courses since it is a pass or fail only. Our GPA is not affected unlike some other exchange students unfortunately.
One thing that is super nice at CityU is the wide range of classes. There’s a class about sex, tea and many other interesting topics. Aside from group projects, there is usually a final exam. The week before the exam period is known as a revision week and there are no classes in order to give students time to finish their projects, study and/or present. In my opinion, schools in America should adopt this practice.
A downside of studying abroad in another country is feeling lost. I am so used to how classes at Drexel work that I constantly feel like I should be working on some sort of homework assignment. However, some classes are different. Some of my friends have weekly readings with questions that they have to answer. Or they have multiple quizzes throughout the term. In my opinion, the classes here are definitely easier than their counterparts would be back at home.
The most important thing is to find people that you get along with. Be the first person to initiate conversation. The friends you make will help you get through whatever obstacles you encounter here at CityU.