How much should I travel when studying abroad?

When it comes to travelling, it is hard to find a golden middle, or a perfect number of trips you should take during the semester. But after following other peoples patterns and comparing them to my own I have developed some do’s and dont’s for you!


Do travel during the reading week!!

At HKU you will have 2 reading weeks, one in the first semester and one in the second. So you will have to do a lot of work, which is why you should treasure the moments when you can relax and travel. Really do! Going to a country nearby is so cheap! Check when your assignments are due and how you can get the most out of the way before the reading week – trust me, it is so motivating!!

Do not underestimate the midterms and be gone the entire reading week. You will need some days to revise and that is what the reading week essentially is for. This sounds sort of given, but being a student at HKU involves a lot of studying. Let me repeat, A LOT. Your exam schedule will escalate from the normal GU 3-6 finals to having 2-3 smaller exams per subject (total 12-15 HKU exams, and no I am not joking), plus extra submissions.

Do travel on long weekends!!

There are many festivals in China, such as the Spring Festival or the Lantern Festival and you will have the opportunity to go somewhere for 4 days – use that opportunity!

Do not miss out on the amazing hikes and places close to Hong Kong such as Shenzhen or Macao! They are also lovely places to visit for a short break!

Do travel more in the beginning of the semester

There is a famous add-and-drop period at Hong Kong University. The period is made so that people can decide whether they want to keep or drop the subject after going to a couple of lectures, and it is usually in the first 2 weeks of the semester. After that tutorials start and they are compulsory, so it will not be as easy to skip a day or two. The lectures in the reading week will most likely cover the course outline. If you are desperate for travelling, do that in the beginning of the semester before the real lectures start!

Do not ignore the information gone through in the add and drop period. It will be assessed in the quizzes.

Do travel more in the second semester

The second semester basically consists of holiday until mid February! Serious university life does not properly start until after the Chinese New Year so make sure you travel! It is the best time for that!

Do not book tickets for the Chinese New Year holidays late, because they will be very expensive. If you know you are going somewhere, then book the tickets as soon as you know. The Chinese New Year is by far the biggest holiday in China and tickets will be super-mega-crazy-expensive to go anywhere.

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