From Hong Kong to North Carolina

Sophomore Wing Chun Leung traveled 8,323 miles (17 hours away) from Hong Kong to the United States. Leung is having difficulty being so far from his family.

“I can’t usually call home because of time differences and I miss my family a lot sometimes,” Leung said.

About 290,000 students receive credit for studying abroad each year. The number of United States students who study abroad has more than doubled in the last 15 years. Leung has a family of travelers.

“Both of my older siblings have been foreign exchange students, so I feel like my parents now know what to expect and how it feels to have one of their kids so far away,” Leung said.

Schools and single family homes are far more common in America than in Hong Kong. Leung believes that there are many differences between Hong Kong and the United States.

“We have tall buildings in Hong Kong, 70 floors tall some of them,” Leung said. “Your schools are probably six times bigger and there are many houses. In Hong Kong it is apartment buildings all over.”

For Leung, funny experiences were happening as soon as he got off his plane.

“I checked in with the immigration officer when I got off my plane and he said, ‘Oh, your Chinese, you play kung-fu’, I then had to correct him and tell him that I enjoy watching but I did not play it,” Leung said.

There are approximately 7,401,941 people in Hong Kong. There are little to no cars and public transportation takes people almost everywhere or they are on the streets walking. Leung has noticed that there are many differences when it comes to interacting with people.

“I have become more brave to wave to people because we don’t do that in China. People here are patient and actually want to talk and listen to you talk to them,” Leung said.