Discovering Hong Kong with Benson Geng-Wang

02 Feb 2024

Seeking to broaden his horizons through Round Square exchange opportunities, Year 12 student Benson Geng-Wang eagerly signed up for a taste of Hong Kong. He joined the prestigious St Paul’s Co-Educational College (SPCC) for two weeks in early December.

Benson Geng-Wang has embarked on a journey that has ignited his passion for global exploration and intercultural understanding.

“I think the Round Square network allows us to make connections with various schools, expanding opportunities for student exchanges in the future,” he says. “Personally, it has enabled me to develop lasting friendships from another part of the world and immerse myself in diverse cultures, experiencing different educational systems and ways of life.

“It was particularly exciting for me as I was exploring beyond my own origins and it was also the first exchange between the schools.”

Benson describes his experience in Hong Kong as “truly unreal”.

“Following a warm welcome from my exchange partner, Jason, along with students from the same class, I was soon exploring the historical significance of the Che Kung Temple,” he says.

As Benson adapted to life in Hong Kong, he quickly familiarised himself with some essential aspects, including the Octopus (八達通) card, a convenient digital payment method handy for navigating the city’s extensive MTR transportation system.

“I recall getting up really early on the first day of school – about 5am – because of my excitement and being a bit nervous,” he says. “We then took the MTR for a few stations and a bus to get to school. On arrival, my first task was to introduce myself during the morning assembly and provide an overview of Christ’s College.

“At SPCC, they start every day with a morning assembly featuring hymns and the Lord’s Prayer, followed by news and announcements from the Prefects,” he explains. “I then stepped into my allocated class (5i) to be greeted by many curious stares.”

Throughout his time in Hong Kong, Benson immersed himself in a diverse array of activities.

“From the entertaining talent quest to competing in the A-grade interclass basketball finals, where 5i claimed victory, each moment was filled with excitement,” he says. “I also experienced the vibrant atmosphere of Round Square Day and concluded my exchange on a high note with an exhilarating Christmas Fair.

“One of the highlights was making new friendships. Everyone was very welcoming, and I enjoyed spending time with new friends, both at school and during free time. During the weekends, we gathered to watch an intense table tennis game and indulge in everyone’s favourite fast-food treat. We also explored historical sites such as the San Dong Wu Museum, deepening my understanding of Chinese history. Other trips included the eye-pleasing Victoria Harbour, and a visit to Cha Lou, a typical teahouse, where we discovered how to make the traditional local dessert, shou tao bao.

“Going on this Round Square exchange was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made. The experience was truly unique and unforgettable. If you have the opportunity to go on an exchange like this, just go for it and make the most of it. The process is easy as you only have to pay for the airfares and the school will sort out everything.

“It is a chance for you to step outside your comfort zone and immerse yourself in a completely different setting. I highly recommend this rare opportunity.”