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Enjoying Life in Hong Kong
Top: Tara, Bethany, Emma, Patrick
Top: Tara, Bethany, Emma, Patrick


Four Year 3 BEd Primary students – Emma Smallwoods, Tara Grant, Bethany Curry and Patrick Forster – are spending a semester in Hong Kong on their International placement. Each of them share some thoughts below:

Emma Smallwoods:
Néih hóu from Hong Kong! Hard to believe we have been living Hong Kong for just two months and it already feels like home. A highlight for me has definitely been the Chinese New Year celebrations. It was fantastic opportunity allowing me to become immersed in the Chinese culture and learn more about Chinese traditions and beliefs. Having the chance to teach in a local primary school has been fantastic and is allowing me to critically compare the education system in Hong Kong to Northern Ireland. This has been a once in a lifetime experience and I am enjoying every single moment. I would highly recommend an international experience to anyone interested as it allows for personal and professional development as well as memories and friendships that will last a life-time.

Tara Grant:
Hong Kong has exceeded all our expectations. International placement has benefited us all as we have grown as individuals and as teachers within the primary school in which we are teaching. Making friends with locals has enabled us to see what life is like in Hong Kong, and how the world is much bigger than our little haven back in Northern Ireland. From Disneyland, to hiking mountains, eating pigs’ intestines, visiting temples and so much more, Hong Kong is a place we are nowhere near ready to leave.

Bethany Curry:
Over the past few months Hong Kong has become a home from home. This vast concrete jungle has something for everyone: beaches, shopping, hiking and a variety of food! Having placement in the primary school has allowed me to appreciate the similarities and differences between the education systems of Hong Kong and Northern Ireland. I’m also pleased to say that I have ditched the ‘stabbing method’ of my chopsticks for a more skilled approach. Being able to spend Chinese New Year in Hong Kong was so special! After having many reservations about taking on an International placement, I can honestly say that this is the best decision I have ever made and would encourage others to take the same opportunity.

Patrick Forster:
It’s very hard to sum up this amazing place in a few sentences. Honestly, Hong Kong has everything you want - beautiful beaches, quaint fishing villages, epic hikes, impressive skylines, endearing markets, an interesting history and a charming culture… and that only scrapes the surface. Alongside this, the international placement is the perfect opportunity not only to learn about another education system and gain a greater appreciation our own, but also to learn about yourself in a way you could never do in Northern Ireland.

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