HKUST – Shivani Bansal

719 Views, Posted on: June 29, 2017

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HKUST Research Internship Experience

Internship is a pivotal component of your four-year journey and I realised its importance in my second year. I spoke to a lot of seniors, I was suggested to start apping. Apping is a very tedious process and you have to be patient enough to succeed. With an ambition of university intern, I started applying to various universities but it didn’t yield any substantial result. Apart from this, I applied to universities through the PT cell. I looked for some of the best universities  and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) was one of my dream university. So when the IAF of HKUST opened, I was so delighted to sign it.

One afternoon I got a call from the IC and she said “Party de chal, videsh jayegi ladki”. I was totally surprised and excited at the same time. I had been selected for the research internship at HKUST. It was a resume based selection without interview. Three students were selected. We began our arrangements for Hong Kong and talked to our seniors who had already been there. The only problem for all three of us was “food”. In Hong Kong, it’s very hard to find vegetarian food and all of us are vegetarians. In order to solve this issue, we decided to cook on our own, so we packed a lot of edible stuff.

On 15th May, I had my flight from Delhi, my first abroad outing and I was super excited. After a pleasant journey, I landed on Hong Kong International Airport, located on a dazzling island. I bought HK sim card and Octopus card (used everywhere in HK) at airport itself and headed towards the bus station as taxis are very expensive and would cost you over ten times more than public transport.

The first impression was the astonishing natural beauty of Hong Kong as the country is entirely built on several islands. The lifestyle of the people and the way the city looks just seems so charismatic, making it unique of its own. You’ll see a contrast between the astounding beauty of the landscape and the high-rises leaning on the mountains everywhere.

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

After arriving at HKUST, I was amazed by the outstanding and technically advanced infrastructure of the university. Campus has a huge five-storey library, a quiet beach and well spaced food eateries. I got my accommodation inside the campus as I had booked well in advance and the hostel was entirely for visiting students. So it was pretty easy to make new friends, that too from different countries. On the same day, we all went out for dinner and luckily that restaurant had a vegetarian option. So, first day ended with a pleasant food together with lot of chitchats with new friends.

Next day, I went to meet my professor and got lost in finding the route again. So I reached 15 minutes late which made me a bit nervous but later I found out that he is one of the coolest Prof I’ve ever met. We discussed for over an hour in which after briefly explaining me about the project, he pointed out all the best places here on a Hong Kong map. He asserted that apart from working I should also explore as much as possible. He was very fascinated after hearing about Indian culture and food and wanted to visit India.

 My internship is going excellent so far. The project I’m working on is a government project to develop a new repair method for buildings of Hong Kong which are going to exhibit problems in the coming future. It is very prodigious to work with highly qualified engineers to tackle  human and environmental concerns. Work environment is pretty wonderful and every day I learn new things. This is more than what I expected from a university internship.

View from Victoria Peak


Travel Diaries:

Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated place. It’s dramatic cityscapes cling to the hillside and the edges of its spectacular harbour. The rich heritage of Hong Kong has blessed it with countless temples like Ten Thousand Buddha Monastery, Man Mo Temple and many more. Wherever you go you will smell the scent of incense wafting from shrines.

For all the shopaholics, Hong Kong is a great place. From opulent malls to the bustling market like temple street, ladies street you find pretty exclusive collection. I love to go there often because shopping makes me very happy.

Most of the good places are located in Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) and Central which takes around an hour to get there. LKF, a small square of streets in TST, is the best place to hang out on Friday or Saturday night. There are more than 100 bars and clubs with buzz all across the street to give you one hell of a night.

Hong Kong’s beauty is unbeatable during night hours. We took a stroll along TST promenade which overlooks Victoria Harbour, then a tram to the island’s highest mountain, Victoria Peak. At the peak tower, we met some of the giants of history, politics and popular culture at Madam Tussauds then headed up to the observation desk for the best view of Hong Kong.

Besides this, there are plenty of green places  to find peace and serenity like wide open spaces of Victoria garden, hillside tranquility of Hong Kong garden and Nan Lian garden. Kowloon’s walled city park is a gateway into world of classic design and featured statue of twelves animal of chinese zodiac.

Roaming around Hong Kong is pretty convenient and all credit goes to the Hong Kong’s excellent public transport system.

In coming weekends, we plan to visit  Disneyland, Ocean Park and also nearby countries like China and Macau.

 Hong Kong is quite expensive so you would have to be prepared to let the money flow. There are some Indian restaurants too, most of them are in TST, where we can have  delicious food but it takes around an hour from campus to reach there. People around here are very friendly but it is very arduous to communicate with locals as most of them can’t understand English.

Dragon Boat Festival

Lamma Island

Being in Hong Kong has been a very good experience for me. According to me, the best part of an internship is that you meet a lot of new people, you get to know about their culture, their lifestyle which helps you to open up your mind to perceive the whole wide world ahead and work experience gives you an insight into your future plans.

I’ve completed a month so far and I already feel so much connected to this place. It would be very hard to say goodbye to this beautiful country.


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