This article is part of the "Summer School" series, which presents students who spend their summer abroad.

The Bachelor students are back on campus from the summer break!

Many students took advantage of the time off to go on a Summer School. Yanliu Li, second year student in the program, shared her experience at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Yanliu Li summer school polytechnique programs

Why did you decide to go on a summer school? Because I want to explore the world. I am curious about different places and cultures. Also, I wanted to compare the courses in different types of universities. For example, l’X is a compact school, it is interesting to take courses in a bigger university. Another important reason, it is a way to make new friends, to communicate with young people from different majors, with diverse backgrounds.

Where did you go? I went to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Firstly, I wanted to try the experience in a relatively big university so I could take some Arts and Humanities courses. HKUST is a comprehensive university, but it still focuses on science and technology. That means I could take some Humanities and Social Sciences courses that interest me, and take computer science courses with high quality at the same time. Also, the tight connection of HKUST and enterprises attracts me. The founder of DJI graduated from HKUST, and started his company with the start-up scholarship from HKUST.  

Tell us about the other people in the Summer Program with you: There were around 270 students in the Summer Exchange Program. They came from the partner universities of HKUST around the world, like UCLA, Cornell, UMichigan, DTU, Lund University, etc. Students in the program could choose different courses. I made a lot of friends in class. In the “Poverty” Course, I discussed questions with other students in the Summer Exchange Program: a girl from Singapore, and another one from Beijing. Since a lot of full-time students at HKUST took the summer courses, I also made friends from outside the Exchange Program.

A few words about classes?I took three courses: “Western Fashion”: 24 hours. We learned how to sew a cloth, and the fashion history from 1850s to now. At the end of the course, each student designed a garment and sewed it by him/herself.  “Poverty”: 36 hours. We learned how to analyze poverty situations and welfare policies. The final project was to analyze the factor of poverty of a region selected by our team (6 students), analyze how the government poverty policies for this region work, and give advices on how to improve them. “Java bridge”: This was an online course. It was a bridge course for students with programming background to learn Java in a short amount of time. Since I learned Python in the first year of the Bachelor Program, I took this course to know more about Computer Science. According to the material offered online, I learned the grammars of Java, and worked on the required project. At l’X we also have this kind of course (the web programming I took last semester), but we have to attend the tutorial in the computer science classroom. I felt I had more freedom when I took the Java course at HKUST.

What other activities did you participate in? The Studying Abroad Office at HKUST organized many activities for exchange students. I participated in several of them. I took a Wing Chun workshop, a type of traditional Chinese Kung Fu practiced by Bruce Lee. The studying abroad office also organized trips to Hongkong and Macau, but at that time I had already met a lot of local full-time students, so I traveled with them instead. Hong Kong is also famous for hiking, there are a lot of mountains and beaches. I went hiking with friends several times. .

How was the campus life? I enjoyed the campus life. The campus is built along the mountain, at seafront. From my dorm, I could see the sea and islands. There was also a swimming pool just by my dorm building. The campus is well equipped. The gym and swimming pool are open from Monday to Sunday and are free for students. There are also 7 restaurants including one offering Chinese food, a French restaurant, McDonalds, Starbucks, Pacific Caffe, etc. I didn’t cook during the summer, because the restaurants offered breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. The dorm was smaller than at École Polytechnique, but the library is pretty big with a lot of study rooms inside, some are open 24 hours, so no need to worry about the study space!

What was your favorite memory? There is a dam by the sea on campus. One side of the dam is a road, the other side is the sea. Once after eating dinner, I lied on the dam watching the stars sky with friends. We enjoyed the sea wind, watching the light house, discussing our personal experiences in different countries, different cultures…

Any cultural fun fact? People in Hong Kong speak Cantonese. I speak Mandarin, but I cannot understand Cantonese at all, so when I communicated with local people, we talked in English.

Yanliu Li summer schoole post ecole polytechnique programs

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