So I know when most people think of going abroad, the actual “study” aspect of study abroad might not feel like a top priority. In the months leading up to my departure, I grew more and more excited about meeting new people, exploring Asia, and taking my Insta-game to the next level … but I never expected to enjoy my classes as much as I am right now. As nerdy as it sounds, I’m actually okay with spending my Friday afternoons in lecture! The quality of teaching at HKUST is blowing my mind, and even though I’m only taking three classes here, I feel like I’m learning a lot.
My Negotiations class is one of the most popular classes at HKUST, and I was lucky to even get a spot because the waitlist had around 100 people! I get to practice negotiating against my classmates, and I’ve been picking up all sorts of life skills, like how to negotiate a salary. What I found the most surprising is that quite often, negotiating has to do with creating win-win outcomes. I thought I’d be challenged to become tougher or more intimidating in my negotiation style, but a lot of what I’ve learned relates to becoming a better listener, asking good questions, and being more creative in my thought process.
I’m also taking a class called Deal Making in Asia and Emerging Markets. Every lecture is centered around a case on a specific negotiation or deal that occurred in Asia. The best part? Our professor worked on every single one of these deals. It’s amazing being able to learn from his firsthand experiences, and while it’s probably my most challenging course, it’s totally worth it because I get a unique perspective on how business works in Asia.
Finally, I’m taking a class called Chronicles of Internet Commerce—it’s all about how e-commerce companies have evolved over time and where they’re headed in the future. I’m enjoying it because it’s a bit slower paced and it counts towards my Information Technology degree, so that’s an added bonus.
Apart from the courses I’m taking at HKUST, I’m also enrolled in two online courses through Illinois, and it’s really nice to have that flexibility. If any of you are thinking of going abroad, I’d encourage you to take a closer look at the course lists for each partner University when you’re doing your research. Believe it or not, the “study” part can be just as engaging as the “abroad” part!