Life in a bubble
Hong Kong is still like a totally new city to me, but I'm starting to feel to feel a little bit like home. It's sort of weird to call your school "home" but it starts to get normal. To be honest, in the first weeks, LPC didn't feel like home to me at all. It was so new and my room wasn't decorated yet, I didn't know my roomies that well at that time and it just wasn't home yet. But by now, my room really feels like my room and not just a random place. My roomies are like a second family and by now, I also know where what is located on campus. Of course LPC doesn't replace the real home. It feels more like a second home. Thinking about my home in Germany makes me realize how far away it is. Skype is a good way to stay in touch with friends and family at home, but time difference (six hours) sucks.
But let's get back to LPC. Living on campus is a unique experience and it is quite amazing to go to boarding school. I didn't expect life to be so full of activities, but in fact, both teachers and students organize a lot of cool activities that you can join on the weekend. You don't really need a plan for your weekend, you can just wait until you get a mail of a cool activity on the weekend and then you just join it. There's almost no weekend on which there's nothing to do. And under the week, it is quite comforting when you realize that you're not the only one who's still trying to finish a certain assignment or to study for that test. One thing that is really amazing about this school is the community. Students here stick together and you can talk to anyone all the time.
The teachers are also very accessible. You can always write them a mail or talk to them in person. In the beginning, I felt very uncomfortable when talking to my teachers because in LPC, you call your teachers by their first names. I wasn't used to it and it felt super wrong. But by now it is totally normal for me to talk to my teachers using their first name.
Another quite interesting fact about the school is that you can access basically all teaching materials online. The school uses an online platform called "haiku" and every teacher creates his own page on it. They share the PowerPoints from the lessons there, our assignments and additional material. It is really helpful when you want to go back to a certain topic or if you simply want to look something up. The school offers us Wi-Fi and that's how we can also use the page in the lessons. Something I get a lot of questions about from people who are applying is the internet break. To answer the question: Yes, there is an internet break in LPC. Not all UWCs have it, but in LPC, the Wi-Fi stops working at 11:30pm and you can use it again from 6:30am on. At first, I really disliked this rule because I felt like they're trying to control my life and I honestly feel old enough to manage my time schedule on my own, but now I'm fine with it. For me personally, the internet break didn't change a lot in my time schedule, but I guess that there are other people who really need this break in order to go to sleep. Another thing we have is a lights out policy. Due to the lights out policy, the lights in our room are turned off at 11pm. This might seem a little bit weird, but since we have to share our rooms, it is maybe a quite good rule because everyone has a different sleeping cycle and it is quite important that the light is turned off at some point so that everyone can get the rest he or she needs. The lights out policy is working on every single day, but the internet break has a little extension for Fridays and Saturdays. On these two days, we can use the internet until 1am.
All in all, when you live in LPC, you are in your own bubble. You have your little world with the other students, with the own rules of the college but it's not like Hong Kong itself. It is like a different city. Although LPC is way to small to be a little town, I would still say that it's like a world on its own. It's an amazing place and I love being here, but I guess that we all shouldn't forget to sometimes go out and explore the "real Hong Kong". I especially realized this when I met a friend from Germany who is doing an exchange year in Hong Kong. I knew her before I came to Hong Kong and that's why it was really cool to see her again. She visited me this Saturday on the Open Day.
The Open Day was just a day on which students who want to apply visited the school and they could explore what LPC has to offer. A lot of the current students helped showing them the campus and shared many of their experiences. It was quite fun to show people around the place you call home.
Lots of Love,
P.S. The hot and sunny Hong Kong seems to be gone... in the moment, we're having a black rainstorm but it is quite fascinating for me to see how long and how strong it can rain here. But I still hope that the rain will stop soon because it might become dangerous because it could flood streets or other places.
Photo taken by Tracy Tang