Ellaine CHENG FS2016-17, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University | to London
I wanted to update you and tell you how much I have grown, both personally and academically, through my journey at University of the Arts London (UAL). When I first received the offer for the Fung Scholarship, I was very excited because I will have the chance to live and study in London in a prestigious arts school. I was also nervous because I did not know what this journey would entail, in a city that I have never visited before, but I am very glad that I did. This journey was amazing and eye-opening, and I definitely changed both personally and academically.
I’ve grown personally, through meeting different people of different cultures. I got to live with people from different cultural and social backgrounds, and I learnt how to live with them and compromise. Not only that, but coming to an unknown city alone, it forced me to come out of my shell to become more independent. I am not afraid to do things alone anymore, and I feel like I have grown mature enough to be prepared for the ‘real world’. The culture in London, if I were to summarize it into one word, is that it is very colourful. Everything here is so quirky and interesting and not something I’ve encountered before, and I will definitely miss this type of environment when I go back to Hong Kong. Being in London made me realize how much I appreciated street art and vintage objects; Brick Lane and Shoreditch are my favourite places to go to whenever I feel under-pressured or uninspired. The people here are also very welcoming and nice, but that adds to the unique personality of London. Whilst living here, I also got a little homesick, and this made me appreciate the good things about my home; things that I wasn’t appreciating enough when I was there. When I go back, I will look at Hong Kong in a different light and I will be more inspired to explore more about what my home has to offer.
Academically, UAL is a very challenging university. They teach you to think for yourself and to express your own ideas, which is something I deeply appreciate. Prior to coming to London, I didn’t have a lot of experience with fashion marketing, as the first-year of my studies in Hong Kong are mostly building upon foundational knowledge for the industry. However, when I came to London, I was studying as a year 2, where most of my peers seem to already have knowledge to basic marketing principles. I was a little intimidated at first, but I learnt to work harder and to push myself and gain more knowledge.
Through my academic journey in London, I have found my passion again and I am excited to go back and learn more about the world of fashion business. When I go back to my home university, I hope to share my experiences and knowledge with my friends and peers.