I Surprisingly Miss The Heat, Humidity And Crowdedness Of Hong Kong’

Florence Lee is a 20-year-old geography student at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge and a member of the university’s Hong Kong society. She has lived in the UK for two years after leaving Kowloon, Hong Kong. When asked why she chose the UK, Florence explained that she had received offers from universities in Hong Kong and the US but wanted to experience different cultures, citing the opportunity to visit London and Cardiff. With British teachers in her international high school and a desire to travel without a car, studying in the UK seemed like the perfect fit.

Florence loves the similarities between the UK and Hong Kong, two areas united by their British heritage. Even the buses and roads seemed familiar. She also finds British culture fascinating, enjoying the unique slang, music, and movies, such as the colloquialism "innit". Although, the most difficult thing about moving to the UK has been homesickness. Florence misses traditional Hong Kong food, hot weather, and the crowdedness of home.

Despite the challenges of living far away from home, Florence finds ways to stay connected with her family and friends. She Skypes with them every few weeks and texts them every other day, utilizing social media and technology to bridge the distance.

As an international student, Florence also takes advantage of her college’s international activities, such as Chinese nights where they cook traditional dishes like steamed eggs, dumplings, fried rice, and soup. However, she has also developed a fondness for English dishes like Banoffee pie and fish and chips.

Regarding her social life, Florence splits her time between friends from Hong Kong and college friends from various parts of the UK. She appreciates her Chinese friends for their shared culture and language, but also values the diversity of the UK, where she can meet people from different nationalities and backgrounds who all speak different languages.

Overall, Florence loves her UK experience, even though it’s more work than she anticipated. While Hong Kong prioritizes exams over extra-curricular activities, Florence is enjoying the well-rounded style of learning and participation in sports and activities she has experienced at Cambridge.

In Hong Kong, people tend to spend their leisure time in shopping malls and cinemas rather than pubs or clubs. This was a new experience for me when I moved to the UK. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed clubbing in Cambridge when I went with a group of friends, as long as I was able to control myself. However, I noticed that international or Chinese students were not commonly seen in the clubs; it was mostly locals or people from Europe.

When it comes to comparing prices, I have noticed that items are generally more expensive in the UK than in Hong Kong. For example, a sandwich that costs 30 Hong Kong dollars could cost around £5 in the UK, which is almost double the price.

Unfortunately, I have experienced some hostility because of my ethnicity. On one occasion, while walking through London, some tourists followed me and attempted to interact with me in Mandarin, even though I did not know them.

For other Hongkongers planning to study in the UK, I would advise them to make the most of their opportunity to learn about new cultures and people. It is definitely a privilege, but it is also quite expensive, so it is important not to become too consumed with studying and missing out on opportunities to travel and socialize. I would also suggest that they prepare for the colder weather, as Asians are more prone to getting sick in the UK. Therefore, packing plenty of warm clothes is a wise choice.

Please note that some personal information has been removed from this article as of September 20, 2021. To read more about international students’ experiences in the UK, be sure to check out the other stories in this series.


  • codyyoung

    Cody Young is an educational blogger. Cody is currently a student at the University of Utah pursuing a degree in communications. Cody has a passion for writing and sharing knowledge with others.



Cody Young is an educational blogger. Cody is currently a student at the University of Utah pursuing a degree in communications. Cody has a passion for writing and sharing knowledge with others.

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