For this blog, I’m going to stop talking about how much fun I’m having in Hong Kong and speak about my classes. Studying abroad isn’t just about exploring the country you’re living in; it’s about advancing your education and learning more about yourself as a student. I have been here for a month now and the classes at HKUST are getting harder. Since I started classes on September 1st, I knew it was going to be completely different than the classes I take at Drexel because of the different academic culture in the Chinese culture. I am taking two engineering classes and two culture based classes. I have a light schedule, but each class has its own unique course load, which makes the workload heavy some days. Out of my 4 classes my Introduction to Embedded Systems class is the hardest.
In the Embedded Systems class, there are no exams, but a lot of labs and a major project. The class is similar to the Drexel equivalent class, but has extra course material. In this class, the professor goes over the different topics for the week, but I always have to do a little bit extra work. Some of the topics he talks about are introduced in other classes here at HKUST, which at Drexel we don’t go into depth. In the beginning of the term, I had to go over my notes from the beginning of my sophomore year to review Digital Logic, since the class heavily uses it. I liked brushing up on my material because it helped me understand some of the topics a little better after I did research.
So far, the labs have been challenging because I have to learn C programming along the way; while learning about the lab topic. The TAs in the lab are very helpful and answer all my questions, whether annoying or not, because they know I want to learn more. I am happy we don’t have an exam in the class because then it is one less exam for me. The project is more rewarding because it helps to put our labs and previous knowledge to the test; to show the professor and TAs what we learned and how we applied it. I’m excited for my project and I hope it turns out good.
My other classes aren’t giving me that much trouble. My probability for engineers class is just like the Drexel equivalent and requires me to put in the time and the effort to learn and apply the math to different questions. My professor is very nice and helpful and I know that whenever I am stuck on something, he takes the time to explain it to me. My Modern China class is very interesting because I am learning about the start of the Opium War in China to the formation of the People’s Republic of China. It is very interesting to learn about and in our tutorials, my professor likes to keep us engaged and have us lead the discussion for our learning experience.
I really like my Mandarin Chinese language class because I always wanted to learn Mandarin and now I have that opportunity. Even though I can’t really practice here in Hong Kong, I am still happy I get to learn the language. However, since I am in Hong Kong I knew I needed to learn Cantonese to speak to some of the locals. I am in a Cantonese Buddy Program and I really enjoy it. I get to learn the language and explore Hong Kong at the same time. Some of the buddies want to take us out to dinner, so that we can learn to order in Cantonese. I’m really excited about it! As my classes continue, I know that I will experience a lot of challenges, but I hope to learn from them. I am really excited to see what I can accomplish here at HKUST and see how I will grow as a student in the classroom.