I came to Hong Kong, because I just wanted to make sure that I live every second of my life, doing something I have never done before, doing something that brings meaning to me and my surrounding…
As a year-three student of Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, I had the chance to spend one semester abroad – going for ERASMUS financed exchange in Europe or self-funded bilateral exchange somewhere farther – Asia, North or South America. I chose the hardest – City University of Hong Kong.
I have been researching about Hong Kong for quite a long time before applying. Once I was accepted, I felt that Hong Kong was my “now or never” chance. However, at that moment, thinking realistically, I could not make it financially, since travel, accommodation and living expenses in HK were way above my capabilities. On the other hand, I found it wrong to give up on the opportunity due to financial reasons. So I had to dedicate all of me to make it happen.
Together with the Swedish Grant scholarship at SSE Riga and my personal savings I had around half of the whole budget. Later, Leif Muten Society at SSE Riga was very kind to fund visa and other document-related expenses, as well as partly my travel. Finally, as a last resort, I launched a crowdfunding campaign and with the help of more than 50 people I managed to collect the rest of the sum. It turned out to be a success combination.
What made it successful? Hmm… I think that maybe the fact that I was open about my thoughts/needs/dreams/problems made it easier for people to relate to my situation. It took me some courage actually to press the button “publish”, because in the society where I come from, it is not common to ask for help publicly, to reveal to a wider audience that you need them.
For me, the thought of living in Hong Kong for a semester seemed to be mind-blowing experience – being on the other side of the world around people of totally different mentality and culture. Furthermore, it’s striking for me that Hong Kong, being founded on the island of rocks is now known as the most efficient economy in the world. I felt very inspired to explore more of its economic and political systems.
Finally, I came to Hong Kong, because I just wanted to make sure that I live every second of my life, doing something I have never done before, doing something that brings meaning to me and my surrounding, meeting people from completely different environments and thus, learning constantly.
Will share my first week experience very soon!