The Long Haul

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As of an hour ago, I’ve submitted my paper applications, reference letters, transcripts and fees. All that’s left to do now is sort out courses/course conflicts and wait for a response from the international exchange office. First tier applicants, that is, me, will be contacted “by the end of February”.

When (if?) I’m selected, I have a “placement fee” (AKA yet another money-grab) and have to confirm my approval in writing. After that, I need to fill out a course approval form, so that I get credits, and finally the actual application form from the University of Hong Kong. After that I have to attend a pre-departure session in mid-March. After that, it’s smooth sailing – I have to get a visa and plane tickets and student loans and some other travel stuff. Preferably, I’d like to get a job so I can afford it, too…

For now, I’m just going to be working out courses with the Department of Physics & Astronomy. I also need to figure out how I’m going to get credits for taking Chinese courses.

I actually have serious doubts that I’m going to be able to validate all 10/10 courses I want/need to take. Yeah, all the courses match up perfectly, but as with any university, there will be conflicts. The courses I’m taking are a mix of 2nd- and 3rd-year courses, and there are so many prerequisites intertwined in them that there’s only really one configuration that’d make everything work perfectly, and in order to get that, I’d need to be extremely lucky. In fact, I know I won’t be able to take all the courses I want, even if they allow co-requisite courses.

I really don’t mind taking a fifth year as a part-time student to complete my degree – it’s my parents and my lack of disposable income that’d be troubling. I think the exchange experience would be well worth it, and I don’t think that my parents really understand exactly how valuable this is on a resumé.

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