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HAW Hamburg

»Life in Hamburg is comfortable and everyone is very friendly«

Cheuk Ho Yuen and Wai Lun Tsui, Hong Kong

9,000 kms – Cheuk Ho and Wai Lun, guest students from our partner university, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST), have come a long way for their study abroad semester in Hamburg. And even though Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city, compared to Hong Kong it is a village. “Life in Hamburg is very different”, says Wai Lun.”There are so many people in Hong Kong. In Hamburg it is not so crowded and it is a lot quieter. Life here is very comfortable and everyone is very friendly.” Both students enjoy the many green spaces in Hamburg and love walking in the parks, round the lake or even just in the residential areas near their student hall of residence. “The air quality is so much better and we prefer the weather here. It is not so humid and the cool breezes are lovely.”

Germany is strong in engineering and technology

For both students it is their first time in Europe, but when they were deciding about study abroad, Germany was top of the list. “I have always wanted to go to Germany, because it is so strong in technology and engineering”, says Cheuk Ho. “Engineers have a very good reputation.” The students are taking classes in the undergraduate programme “Information Engineering”; a combination of computer science and electrical engineering. Cheuk Ho’s favourite class is Digital Signal Processing: “The professors at the HAW Hamburg have all worked in industry and Professor Sauvagerd has a lot of knowledge because of this. He can explain to you why the things you learn in class are relevant to your later working life. I think this is really important for engineering professors”, Cheuk Ho explains. Wai Lun’s favourite class is Electrical Engineering: “Professor Leutelt is very friendly and he is very helpful when we are in the lab. It is great to get so much practical experience in your studies.”

And what would they say are the main differences between studying in Hamburg and in Hong Kong? “In Hamburg the classes are much smaller and you are much closer to the professors”, says Wai Lun. “In Hong Kong there is a line between students and professors, at the HAW Hamburg the professors are your friends, you can ask them questions after class and they are very kind.”

Classmates are very welcoming and it is easy to make friends

They have also found it easy to make friends with the international and German students. “Our classmates were very welcoming, helping us with our questions”, says Cheuk Ho, “and in our student apartment we get together with our friends in the kitchen and cook and talk.”

And talking of cooking, food is another area where life in Hamburg is different. In Hong Kong their student residence doesn’t have a kitchen, so they eat in one of the university’s five cafeterias. Having to cook for themselves has made them more independent. "The food in the HAW Hamburg cafeteria is very good and it is not so expensive”, says Wai Lun “but the German supermarkets are even cheaper. We love Aldi and Lidl. They are heaven for poor students”, he adds, laughing.

It is easy to travel around Europe

In their free time the students make the most of Germany’s central location in Europe and its great train network. They have been to Hungary, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Slovakia as well as cities in Germany. “But Hamburg is definitely still our favourite city”, says Wain Lun, “and it fits well to Hong Kong.”

Their semester in coming to an end and soon they will be flying home, taking lots of new experiences and happy memories with them. One special experience only comes around every four years. “Being in Germany for the World Cup is really good. We watch the games with our friends and the Germans are really crazy; everyone is screaming when they score a goal”, they laugh.                                             

iw 2014   

Letzte Änderung: 17.12.14

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