Part1 Monthly Activity Log: JAN: The school starts much before I had the chance to celebrate the Chinese New Year. After I arrived at Boston, the

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1 Exchange Report

2 Part1 Monthly Activity Log: JAN: The school starts much before I had the chance to celebrate the Chinese New Year. After I arrived at Boston, the place was less cold than I had expected. Boston is a quite quiet and peaceful city, surrounded by its intense cultural environment. I walked around in the city quite often during January and was attracted by its peacefulness and beauty covered by heavy snow, something that I have never seen in my life. FEB: We celebrated Chinese New Year together with some other international exchange students. I also travelled to New York. The weather in Feb was quite cold as expected, around -10 Celsius degrees. MAR: I was swamped with exams during this month. Workload became more heavy as midterms approach. One thing special about studying in Boston College (not sure about other US schools) is that professors give you weekly homework for almost very course. Then you are basically buried with homework throughout the semester and will be particularly busy when you have deal with both exams and homework. APR: Lots of holidays for this month. We travelled around Florida and I also went to Washington. For Florida, we went to Miami and Orlando. Universal Studio and Disneyland in Orlando are worth visiting. Clubs in Miami are exciting. Keywest, which is at the southernmost end of America, is an amazingly beautiful place to visit as well. Do remember to bring someone who knows how to drive with you, because otherwise it would be very troublesome to travel in Florida without a car. MAY: Quite a lot of fun and study for the last month. Since we are about to leave this place, we organized quite a few parties, etc. Exams are not tough. As long as you keep your pace together with the class, you will be fine. Many questions come from the textbook or in-class exercise, which lowered the exam difficulty to some extent. Time to wrap up everything and say goodbye and I did miss this place. Part 2 General exchange information:

3 1) Visa Procedures Boston College issues exchange students F1 visa. For visa application, you can follow HK Government website; around 200USD is required for F1 visa. If you choose to go in spring semester, your student status will be valid from JAN to MAY. Then you are allowed to stay in USA for 60 days (grace period) to travel around. Before you leave Hong Kong, US embassy will issue an I-20 form for you. Keep the form with you during your departure as it will be used in various occasions. 2) Orientation Activities BC will organize an information session right at the beginning of the orientation. There was no official orientation for Spring semester and it was said that there will be one in Fall. 3) International Services & Activities There will be various activities for international student to adapt in. 4) Accommodations It is said that BC will try to allocate dorms for exchange students from Asia. (From my observation, all the students from Asia schools get their dorms and many European exchange students don t but they also preferring living off-campus) The type of your dorm will vary depending on where you are allocated. 5) Courses Registration For exchange students, we could only pre-select a list of courses (10 courses with preference order) before we leave, and they will try to help allocate and our preference is not guaranteed. However, after we got there, we can register courses on our own through the system. BC is still using a very old course registration system on a computer software. You can even reach out to professors and ask for extra quota if you really want to get in a certain course. 6) Teaching & Assessment Methods The workload here is no easy than Hong Kong. They give students weekly homework for almost every course. I was often buried with many homework.

4 7) Sports & Recreation Facilities Do take advantage of Boston College s great sport facilities. Healthy lifestyle does exist and everybody in BC goes to gym. A semester gym membership cost around $150 this can be covered by the school mandatory Blue Shield insurance. You can claim a reimbursement for a full amount after purchasing it. 8) Finance & Banking (including currency / expenses) Cost in Boston is relatively high but still acceptable. You can t do much about the meal plan as it s mandatory if you are living on campus. 9) Social Clubs & Networking Opportunities There is a major student club activity early at the start of the semester. There are various student clubs in BC and they do organize quite a few activities throughout the semester for free. Do get involved in these activities if you want to have an authentic taste of how American university life is like. 10) Health & Safety Boston is a relatively safe city compared to other major cities in America. Especially for the area around BC, it a place where the rich live. So safety would not be a big concern. 11) Food Personally I like Chinese food more and you can t really find any Chinese food around the campus, which is disappointing. So I lost quite a bit of my weight during my stay. However, you do find many tasty foods at downtown. For Chinese food, some Chinese restaurants are good in Chinatown. There are also some authentic Italian and Irish food as well. The most famous food for Boston is lobsters, among many other delicious seafood. Definitely try it out. 12) Transportation BC s public transportation is not developed, although there is a train system across the city. It takes around 40 mins from BC to downtown by train. 13) Climate Cold in JAN-FEB (around -10 C) and warm in MAR-MAY (around 0-10 C) 14) Communication

5 There is family plan on AT&T (around 50 USD per month) if several of you apply together and is cheaper than the regular plan. You can also go to 7-11 and buy pre-paid SIM cards. One recommendation is Lycamobile. Unlimited data and enough call minutes. Check it out in the 7-11 stores after you get there. 15) Cautionary measures If you are girl, don t stay outside alone late at night. Part 3 Checklist: Passport Towels Boots Internet cable Lotion Sunglasses Visa Medicine Cap Insurance Pillow & blanket Umbrella Drinking bottle Kettle if you want to drink hot water at home Notebooks Part 4 Useful Links and Contacts: Links: Agora (similar to LMES): https://portal.bc.edu/portal/page/portal/myservices/myservices BC on Gmail Contacts: Exchange student contacts at BC: Margaret Messing

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