About the learning environment
GU had offered and arranged three courses for me, including “Environmental Management System,” “Geographical Information System (GIS)” and “Environmental Economics,” all of which are closely related to my environmental study at HKUST. These three courses were all taught in three different ways and were all different to what I have experienced in HKUST. I enjoyed the course and learned a lot. As “Environmental Management System” is a distant course for master degree students, it offered quite a flexible time table, with just several compulsory lectures and the rest optional. The instructor invited environmental professionals in different aspects to share their experience in doing environmental management system work, which taught me more about the real working situation and increased my interest in working on environmental management systems. In the GIS course, half of the time was lectures while the other half was an opportunity for us to explore the ArcGIS software ourselves and to finish different tasks. This enabled me to explore the software and have discussions with my classmates and tutor about it. Among the three courses, I enjoyed Environmental Economics the most. The main reason was that the two instructors have created a very good environment for us to discuss and participate in the lessons. The two seminars in the course also allowed me to learn a lot about presenting an academic paper to other classmates.
I really enjoyed the studying environment here. Besides the ways of teaching in each of the courses, I enjoyed the arrangement of having only one intensive course at a time. It allowed me to concentrate on one subject, to digest and to investigate the topic. While under the intensive course schedule, we still had free days from school to enjoy some personal time. It was an unforgettable experience for me in terms of study experience. And I hope I can keep the same attitude as studying at GU as I continue to study at HKUST.
About the cultural experience
I joined two interest groups organized by the student union at the University of Gothenburg. The first one was a Dining Group, which mainly organized international dinners, where we cooked and shared dishes and desserts of our respective home countries. I made egg tarts and fried rice, which my friends loved. I also tried many different kinds of dessert and dishes that I have never tried before! We had a great time sharing anything interesting about our own countries, and about our language. Throughout these events, I not only learned more about the food culture from other countries, but also had a chance to re-investigate Hong Kong’s own food culture. The second interest group was a hiking group. Although Sweden has fewer hills and mountains than Hong Kong, I used this chance to visit the national park and garden in Gothenburg and walked up to see the city of Gothenburg along with my friends from different countries. I am sure they would like to go hiking in Hong Kong if they can visit one day. It is a blessing that I made so many friends from around the world, with similar interests as me.
I am very pleased that I was given this chance to have an exchange experience at GU, Sweden, to experience a different learning environment, to enjoy cultural exchange, and to explore a different living culture.