Hey there, congratulations to your new adventure and a big welcome to Hong Kong, whether in advance or belated. Arrived at your new accommodation (probably smaller than you would have expected), unpacked your belongings and ready to show this new place what you are made of. Hang on, at this point you might have realised a few hitches; you are probably friendless, clueless about where you could get your dinner other than the ones recommended on tourist websites and nothing to do on Friday nights. Fret not, most of us have been there and done that, so to make your settling down timeline less painful and more quickly, here are Five Survival Tips in adjusting your new life in a new city.
1. Stay Healthy, Body and Mind
Arrived in a new city you may experience acclimation, distress and anxiety from the unfamiliarity and missing friends and family to a certain extent; and therefore it would essential for you to look after yourself. Start by going to a nearby park to do some exercise, and if you are up for more adventure you can even go for some hikes; otherwise you can get to know your local areas.
2. Stay open-minded
It is obvious, isn’t it? Of course, keeping an open mind and leaving your prejudice behind is the key to understand another culture, but it is also essential element while experiencing cultural adjustments. With an open mind you will be keen to try something new. So, be adaptable and embrace the new!
3. Learn basic Cantonese
Picking up the language can help you break the ice between you and the locals, and of course, reducing the language barriers. Even though Hong Kong markets itself as an English-speaking city, there are many, particularly off-campus, have difficulties understanding complex English sentences. However, to learn a new language overnight is a real challenge, so please do not feel discouraged if you could not pick up Cantonese immediately. If you are really keen on learning the language, just keep trying and do not be afraid or embarrassed to make silly mistakes. Believe in yourself, you can do this.
4. Befriend a local
Your study abroad programme will not be complete if you have not made any local friend. Join a study group, school clubs or societies, build up your network, and go out of your comfort zone to find people that will become your best pal after! In addition, by having a local friend, you will definitely have better insights to the city, and when you are lost and confused you know you have someone to rely on.
5. Be involved in local activities
What’s cultural learning without a immersing yourself in cultural experience? The school offers cultural workshops and excursion trips in which you will learn things you never understood by yourself.
It is not unusual to experience challenges and frustration when travelling or living in Hong Kong, these 5 tips are sure to be helpful in anyways to ensure your trip to be an adventure. Enjoy your stay and see you around!