Friday, 27 November 2009

Prospective Students for GBUS/HKUST? P. I

Long time no write. I've been indolent and... well, much too self-conscious to post. I felt that something has been expected of me, that my poor writing and inane entries would not stand up to the calibre of a "Global Business Student."

Almost a year and a half here. I wish I could more clearly articulate my gradual evolution. Before I broadcast my own knot of thoughts, perhaps what would be more interesting to others would be what HKUST/GBUS is like, at least in my eyes. At least, that's what I get asked most of the time. Funnily enough, I just got asked that through Facebook.

Because I will be talking about HKUST/GBUS through my lens, it's only fair that you know where I come from and how my lens is biased. I'm from an international school and I entered through "non-Jupas" with the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma. I am, however, considered a "local student" because I have a Hong Kong Identity Card. For the record, though, I've never lived in HK before university. I'm afraid I would not be able to offer any information regarding entry using HK public examination results.

International Students
Please come to HKUST with an open mindset. I learned that the hard way. I somewhat expected HKUST to be more international than my high school, that it would resemble a private university in the US. HKUST has many international students and the trend is that it will get more international. At the time being, expecting it to be thoroughly diverse in terms of nationality is a little over-demanding. It is still a young school that has been very successful in earning itself a respectable reputation. It is still growing.

In terms of athletics, I also expected it to be like a US uni. Note that HKUST is more academically-oriented. As captain of the swim team and water polo team, I can tell you that my high school team was better. We have amazing facilities though - the outdoor pool is great, right next to the sea, and we have all equipment necessary for building a formidable swimming and water polo team. Here, schoolwork comes first and I respect that. It may be a little difficult to ask for resources to support your team too - our swim team training sessions are now on Tues and Thurs mornings which conflict with class time for many swimmers (classes can be anytime between 9-6pm, with certain classes/tutorials ending at 7pm) because the SAO (Student Affairs Office) has asked us to train during non-peak hours in the indoor pool (smaller than the outdoor pool and hence space is more precious). Unfortunately our usual time of 7-9pm which suits all athletes falls under peak hours. In all due respect, it took much negotiation and compromise to even reach the non-peak hour training timeslot. Originally the SAO said that it will not support swim team training sessions in the indoor pool at all. We are immensely grateful that at the end we are still able to train.

It's late, I'm sick, time for bed.