Alumni News - December 2014 - page 14

HKUST Alumni News 2014
Year 3 BBA student Ruby Lam recently
spent a semester in Canada on an
exchange-out. Her time there was made
smoother thanks to the Relocation Program,
which matched her up with HKUST alumna
and local resident Iris Lai.
A Host of Benefits
How did you get involved in the Relocation Program?
My exchange-out was in Calgary, to study at the University
of Calgary. The Development and Alumni Office (DAO) invited
students to join the Relocation Program and I thought it looked
very useful, as I knew nobody in Canada! It would also be my first
time overseas by myself, and it would be helpful to have someone
who could help if I had an emergency. I could also ask questions in
advance about the weather and what to bring with me.
What did you need to do to enroll in the program?
I filled in a form online with my details and basic information.
DAO sent emails so that the host, Iris Lai, and I could introduce
ourselves to each other. Iris actually lives in Banff, which is near
Calgary. She is a BBA graduate of 1999. She has traveled quite a lot
since graduation – she has lived in Germany as well as North America
and understands the concern of being alone in a strange place.
What advice did Iris give you about Calgary?
It is extremely cold in winter – around -20°C on average,
and it got down to -40°C while I was there! Iris advised me to
bring lots of warm
clothing, but also to
dress in layers, because
everywhere is heated
indoors. She also
advised me on safety in
the city, and arranged a
conveniently located hotel for me when I first arrived in the city.
As well as practical advice, how else was she able to help?
The host serves as a friend who is there when you need
them. They help prepare you mentally for your exchange-out by
giving advice before and during your stay.
Would you consider becoming a host in future?
Sure I would! Someone helped me and so it would be
good for me to help others in return. For the host, it is also a
good way to keep in contact with latest happenings at HKUST.
What did you like about Calgary and the surrounding area?
I was there for four months and I loved it. Sure there was
a lot of snow, but the natural scenery of the Rockies is beautiful.
I made friends and I went skiing. Plus the air there is so clean.
What are your feelings about the exchange-out program
in general?
It is a good way to understand more about the real world.
You can read about other places, but it is different to experience
it yourself. It is also about the real challenges you face – it is a way
to become more independent. Also, you learn about other cultures
and their way of life. I took a business and marketing course there,
as well as studying the sociology of Canada and international
relations. I carried out two projects alongside other students and
you can learn a lot about the way others approach their work.
Ruby’s ski experience
in the Rockies.
I...,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22
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